How DBT Changed My Life
Start writing a post

How DBT Changed My Life

Some change is good.

How DBT Changed My Life

What's DBT? You may ask. It's an acronym for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

More therapy? You may ask. Haven't you had enough of that?

Not like this. The goal of DBT is to build mastery and create a life worth living. That's literally the mission statement. The first time I heard this, it cleared all of my preconceived notions that it might be some kind of quack invention of psychology to get me to spend more on copayments for something that would just leave me feeling like I needed the next level of help.

Originally, I did not want to go to DBT. My psychiatrist encouraged me to join a local DBT group therapy program and when he told me that it was the leading treatment for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) I felt shame and resentment. I didn't want to acknowledge that I had BPD, let alone be in a room full of other people I'd personally deemed 'crazy' and 'inherently manipulative' for years. It was already a huge blow to receive the BPD diagnosis, but actively seeking help for it meant additionally accepting the diagnosis.

During my intake session, I deliberately acted like a belligerent five year-old so that I couldn't be placed in the program, but between my theatrics and a series of diagnostics, I was diagnosed by a second professional and offered a spot in the program. I looked at my stats on all of the charts that gave rankings on my mental well-being and the only issue I didn't have was social anxiety. Every other issue you could map, especially ideation, was there. I looked at the scars on my body, I remembered how much my psychosis was making my mother sick to her stomach, and agreed to join the program.

The single most damaging and notable characteristic of BPD is 'black and white thinking'. In DBT, we counter this using 'Wise Mind', a concept where we pull ourselves together for several minutes of mindful breathing and then actively remind ourselves to make decisions that are 'in the middle' - not just fact-based but not just emotion-based.

This is without a doubt the most difficult therapy I've ever withgone because it requires that you truly take the skills from those 90-minute classes home with you and apply them to your life. But in nine weeks, I've learned to respect myself, build a toolkit for when my mind is under attack, and more. And studies are showing that DBT is effective for depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, PTSD, and other maladies of the mind.

If you are really struggling today, do a google search. Three letters. You're a human being, and you're the one who's going to have to do the work if you so choose, so none of it will be perfect. But I guarantee that if you are one of the millions of people struggling with malady, at least one of the four components of DBT can do something for you.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

Life Is Messy

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments