Top positive review
277 people found this helpful
Works Miraculously For Illnesses Other Than Borderline Personality Disorder
on December 13, 2014
Without any exaggerations intended, this book has seriously saved my life and me from myself. I am 23 years old and ever since I was between 13-14, a certain darkness crept over me and everybody around me saw negative changes in me that even I couldn't understand at first. My parents figured it was just teen angst, something that will go away on it's own. At age 19 to 20-21, I was cutting myself and couldn't run away from the monster that whispers horrible things to me, telling me that I was unloved and that I should kill myself. At 22, I almost went with a plan to kill myself by hanging, and I got sent to a psych ward. Like always, nothing had helped.
This year, I almost lost the love of my life because of my constant mood swings, negative thoughts, suicidal tendencies, degrading myself through words and action, overreacting to everything in the worst ways, aggressive and abusive behavior, and generally being a complete nightmare to be with. I looked around for ways to cope, and I don't know how, but I came across Dialectical Behavior Therapy and it's supposed miraculous results. I thought I had borderline personality disorder, so I found this book and purchased it while seeing a therapist. She diagnosed me with clinical depression with post traumatic stress disorder. She highly believes that I can still use the workbook for DBT even if I wasn't borderline. So, I went straight to work.
My God. I don't know how to describe the book, but it was like finding a true blue best friend who wants to tend to your wounds and heal you from the inside out. This book encompasses all four modules of the DBT, which includes:
1. Distress Tolerance
3. Emotional Regulation
4. Interpersonal Effectiveness
Each one has two chapters, one "basic" and one "advanced", except for mindfulness, which has an extra third chapter to explore this skill further. Distress tolerance has showed me how to self-soothe myself through developing healthy hobbies, pleasurable activities, 'pushing away' a negative thought or emotion until you calm down, and pleasing yourself through your five senses, such as sucking on a candy when upset. Mindfulness has showed me how to meditate and how to practice noticing the physical reality around me to cope with distressing emotions and thoughts, being in the moment in everyday activities, to be non-judging of both the physical reality and the mental/emotional disturbances and to let the negative things go. Emotional regulation has taught me to identify and label emotions (without judging myself), reduce vulnerability from the 'emotional mind', to practice using my gut instincts (wise-mind), to observe and peacefully let go of negative thoughts and emotions, and to ride out the waves of intense emotion without having to physically react and do something dangerous to myself or others. Finally, interpersonal effectiveness has taught me how to ask for things respectfully and assertively from others without feeling guilty to avoid being aggressive, passive, or passive-aggressive, that it's okay to expect certain things from people (provided it is healthy for the two of you), to say no without losing relationships, and to avoid confrontations from blowing up and leaving behind damaged relationships.
It took me a couple of months to complete this workbook but it has changed me for the better. My partner has seen the positive changes in me and couldn't be more happier. Here's a quick lesson that really has helped me with my negative emotions- sometimes we overreact and blow up because we have not been taught how to express our emotions and instead, bottle it all up inside until we boil over. It is crucial to express how you feel, for example, when somebody unintentionally hurts you, tell them, "I feel upset when you said that." in a calm voice. You'll be amazed how apologetic people get when you are honest with your hurt feelings, provided you stay calm and use "I" messages. I am able to stop fighting with my partner and everyone in my life just by doing this. Even when I'm alone and feel upset, I say the emotion out loud: "I feel sad!" I know, it sounds silly, but this simple technique is amazing at managing difficult moments in life. You have a RIGHT to your emotions, even if they feel bad. I promise! :-)
If you have depression, anxiety, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and other array of mood-wrecking disorders, please please PLEASE save yourself and buy this book. Read it cover-to-cover, do all the exercises even if it feels annoying at first, and take all the time to complete each chapter. This is not a race to the finish line; this is your LIFE. I look at the world now with a healthier pair of glasses and I know I can withstand the challenges that will come my way, thanks to this amazing work. Matthew McKay, if you are reading this, know that you have saved a young woman from killing herself and ruining the lives of those who love her very much. You have done a wonderful service to those who feel that they are damaged forever, and you gave me the light at the end of my dark tunnel of mental illness. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Happy healing to everybody! Don't ever give up on yourself! You are loved!