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  • Mahat
    replied
    These days my anger has subsided considerably. The anger that I've felt in the past I would've described as a depressed anger. People commonly see anger as expansive and motivating, but no, not mine. It was a self-cannibalizing, imploding, and immobilizing type of anger. Imagine being too fatigued to do anything yet you have all of this violence inside of you. So not only are you initially angry at whatever, you're now angry at your own castration. I couldn't fully express my violence and aggression.

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    I had 3 days off of work and within those 3 days, I was ruminating on various malaise that have been haunting me. The anger got rekindled but thankfully not to the point that I couldn't function. But what frustrates me is that I don't know what to do with it. I could channel it into this enneagram project, but that feels dissatisfying to me. That's what I would naturally do, but that's not enough. I'd rather sit with it and express it to the greatest impact.

    . . . . . . . . . .

    I'm not entirely impressed with people tout themselves to be naturally calm, collected, and neutral. What internal war have they overcame? What tension have they resolved? To me it's like fearlessness without overcoming the fear. How do they know true peace and calm if they haven't let themselves experience their own violence and intensity? Maybe I'm being presumptuous but to me it feels like they're running away from something. They haven't earned their peace. It's like the sannyasin or monk who renounces the world without initially being in it. What's there to renounce? There's no nobility in that.

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  • Mahat
    replied
    Since my diagnosis, I've been thinking about it and its implications. I genuinely think my personality is not that disordered to warrant a diagnosis and here's why. I agree with the depression diagnosis since depression has had debilitating effects on my quality of life. These more disordered personality characteristics come to the fore when I'm depressed. At our worst, we share some clusters of characteristics from these personality disorders. The shadow exerts its greatest influence. But once I'm on meds and do counseling, these characteristics do-intensify and don't sabotage me. My personality neurosis could easily be explained away with enneagram since in my unhealthy states I'm fairly typical and average for my type. There's also a pragmatic reason for diagnoses - the insurance companies need a diagnosis in order to cover my meds,
    Last edited by Mahat; 04-15-2020, 11:33 AM.

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  • Mahat
    replied
    I got the results of my psychological test today. It was testing a combination of cognitive and emotional processing. On the emotional component, my results indicated that I have a combination of depressive disorder and a personality disorder non-specified with borderline and obsessive-compulsive personality features. The cognitive component bode well though. On the vocabulary part, I got high above average and on the non-verbal problem solving part, I was in the superior range.
    Last edited by Mahat; 04-15-2020, 11:00 AM.

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  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    Hahaha yeah. I was hesitant, even annoyed, at first to pick up the phone. I almost gave her an excuse for not answering. But I’m VERY glad I answered her call (it seems like it wasn’t just her call that I was answering). Not only did it make my day, it made my week.

  • Mahat
    replied
    Yesterday, I facetimed my mom and her new husband. They looked so happy, healthy, and radiant that I wanted to cry because I was so touched and overwhelmed by how much genuine positivity they were radiating. All of the the angst and lingering grudges I had disappeared when I spoke with them. I guess being reminded of their love and care made me realize that in the end while I still need to work through whatever demons I have, I know deep down they love me and I love them. It made me grateful for the them and the people in my life. But most importantly, I felt deep remorse. Deep remorse for the fact that I entertained the thought of hurting my mom and the pain that it would cause my family, both old and new. I'm so thankful that I sought help when I did; who knows what would've happened to me and others if I didn't do what I needed to do.
    Last edited by Mahat; 04-14-2020, 12:28 AM.

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  • Mahat
    replied
    Some worksheets my therapist gave me
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  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    Now that phone is fixed, I have worksheets I've been meaning to share with you guys. Later on I'll post them.

  • Mahat
    replied
    My CBT therapist wanted me get further looked at to see what's actually going on with me. Today, I started my assessment with another psychiatrist. This was an interview intake and my official assessment will be held on March 31st. By the end of the interview, he said that I features of borderline personality disorder rather than full blown bipolar II, with the caveat that I haven't taken the test yet, so we technically don't know yet. Five years ago I was admitted to the psychiatrist because I was a danger to myself and others. The events that preceded my hospitalizations was that I was in a paranoid rage and I was screaming and throwing stuff in my therapist's office. This happened twice, so the second time was the clincher. Anyways the psychiatrist at the hospital diagnosed me with BPD. At the time, my therapist, physician, and I felt dubious about the diagnosis. I don't necessarily fit the classic description of a borderline especially since I haven't experienced trauma. And as far as I know, BPD is a response to trauma that even some experts want to rename it Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    But I must mention...

    Between birth and age 7, I was shuffled between various households - Biological parents, then grandparents and uncles, then dad and his female roommate/friend, then back to grandparents and uncles, then single mom, and then from age 7 to the last year of high school, my mom and stepdad (who are now divorced and are with different people). Though I've never experienced these events as traumatic, I don't look back and think "geez that was shitty", but these events could've left some unconscious trauma in me. During those transition years and when I first lived with my mom permanently, I was anxious to gain her approval. Not only did I not see her much, she was also volatile and got angry very easily, so I had to constantly track her moods and try not to be a "burden." I only really feel worthwhile is when I'm not only achieving but give the illusion of success and self-possession. To me these signifiers are testaments to me being exceptional and I guess, superior. But knowing that I haven't really achieved anything of worth or anything special, the illusion rests on shaky foundations. I'm afraid that lovers and loved ones will see the more human side of me, and be turned off. The side of me that just woke up in the morning, the side of me that's naked and exposed, a nakedness that reveals gross imperfection. My darkness can be glamorized and mystified but the side of me that shits, eats, and drools when I sleep is unacceptable. I want to be beyond human. And in order to stave off rejection and abandonment, I have to be that. But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself since I'm not officially diagnosed yet.
    Last edited by Mahat; 03-12-2020, 01:26 PM.

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  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    " filtering out all the negative aspects--isn't considered a cognitive distortion." - I noticed this too...maybe this shows a bias in our culture

  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    It is interesting. When typed correctly, you can hone in on a particular cognitive distortion or a cluster of cog distortions, and work on those. That's one benefit I can potentially see from enneagram.

  • Mahat
    replied
    15 Common Cognitive Distortions
    1. Filtering
    A person engaging in filter (or “mental filtering) takes the negative details and magnifies those details while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted. When a cognitive filter is applied, the person sees only the negative and ignores anything positive.

    2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking)
    In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white” — all or nothing. We have to be perfect or we’re a complete and abject failure — there is no middle ground. A person with polarized thinking places people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of most people and most situations. A person with black-and-white thinking sees things only in extremes.

    3. Overgeneralization
    In this cognitive distortion, a person comes to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens just once, they expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.

    4. Jumping to Conclusions
    Without individuals saying so, a person who jumps to conclusions knows what another person is feeling and thinking — and exactly why they act the way they do. In particular, a person is able to determine how others are feeling toward the person, as though they could read their mind. Jumping to conclusions can also manifest itself as fortune-telling, where a person believes their entire future is pre-ordained (whether it be in school, work, or romantic relationships).

    For example, a person may conclude that someone is holding a grudge against them, but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example involving fortune-telling is when a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly in their next relationship, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact, so why bother dating.

    5. Catastrophizing
    When a person engages in catastrophizing, they expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as magnifying, and can also come out in its opposite behavior, minimizing. In this distortion, a person hears about a problem and uses what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”) to imagine the absolute worst occurring.

    For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).

    6. Personalization
    Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to them. They literally take virtually everything personally, even when something is not meant in that way. A person who experiences this kind of thinking will also compare themselves to others, trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.

    A person engaging in personalization may also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for. For example, “We were late to the dinner party and caused everyone to have a terrible time. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”

    7. Control Fallacies
    This distortion involves two different but related beliefs about being in complete control of every situation in a person’s life. In the first, if we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.”

    The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?”

    8. Fallacy of Fairness
    In the fallacy of fairness, a person feels resentful because they think that they know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with them. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” People who go through life applying a measuring ruler against every situation judging its “fairness” will often feel resentful, angry, and even hopelessness because of it. Because life isn’t fair — things will not always work out in a person’s favor, even when they should.

    9. Blaming
    When a person engages in blaming, they hold other people responsible for their emotional pain. They may also take the opposite track and instead blame themselves for every problem — even those clearly outside their own control.

    For example, “Stop making me feel bad about myself!” Nobody can “make” us feel any particular way — only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions.

    10. Shoulds
    Should statements (“I should pick up after myself more…”) appear as a list of ironclad rules about how every person should behave. People who break the rules make a person following these should statements angry. They also feel guilty when they violate their own rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.

    For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” Musts and oughts are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When a person directs should statements toward others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.

    11. Emotional Reasoning
    The distortion of emotional reasoning can be summed up by the statement, “If I feel that way, it must be true.” Whatever a person is feeling is believed to be true automatically and unconditionally. If a person feels stupid and boring, then they must be stupid and boring.

    Emotions are extremely strong in people, and can overrule our rational thoughts and reasoning. Emotional reasoning is when a person’s emotions takes over our thinking entirely, blotting out all rationality and logic. The person who engages in emotional reasoning assumes that their unhealthy emotions reflect the way things really are — “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

    12. Fallacy of Change
    In the fallacy of change, a person expects that other people will change to suit them if they just pressure or cajole them enough. A person needs to change people because their hopes for success and happiness seem to depend entirely on them.

    This distortion is often found in thinking around relationships. For example, a girlfriend who tries to get her boyfriend to improve his appearance and manners, in the belief that this boyfriend is perfect in every other way and will make them happy if they only changed these few minor things.

    13. Global Labeling
    In global labeling (also referred to as mislabeling), a person generalizes one or two qualities into a negative global judgment about themselves or another person. This is an extreme form of overgeneralizing. Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy universal label to themselves or others.

    For example, they may say, “I’m a loser” in a situation where they failed at a specific task. When someone else’s behavior rubs a person the wrong way — without bothering to understand any context around why — they may attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.”

    Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. For example, instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, a person who is mislabeling might say that “She abandons her children to strangers.”

    14. Always Being Right
    When a person engages in this distortion, they are continually putting other people on trial to prove that their own opinions and actions are the absolute correct ones. To a person engaging in “always being right,” being wrong is unthinkable — they will go to any length to demonstrate their rightness.

    For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.

    15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy
    The final cognitive distortion is the false belief that a person’s sacrifice and self-denial will eventually pay off, as if some global force is keeping score. This is a riff on the fallacy of fairness, because in a fair world, the people who work the hardest will get the largest reward. A person who sacrifices and works hard but doesn’t experience the expected pay off will usually feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

    For instance, if a student gets a poor grade on one paper in one semester, they conclude they are a horrible student and should quit school.

    https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-comm...e-distortions/



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  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    Ah I see ok. Though I had stable and happy childhood/upbringing, when my mother would get mad at me, she would lay hell on me. Telling me that I'm worthless, weak, a burden, etc. On top of that, she would sometimes do it in a maliciously taunting way. I know deep down she loves, and she was reacting in the heat of the moment, but I can't help but think that she genuinely mean those words. As a child I was considered fairly intelligent and high-achieving. I didn't just do it for the approval and praise, but I also had a competitive streak. I loved being at the top echelons, however those echelons are measured or were measuring. But since I was a teen, it seemed like I had fallen from grace especially when I was college when I had to take multiple medical leaves for major depression. That era really was a huge catalyst in me developing a more negative self-image. I never had the best self-image to begin with, but those events really clinched it for me. And from then on, I've really internalized my mother's words. I also fell into a toxic relationship at that time.

  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    And a lot of my therapy sessions involves correcting that type of thinking. Ironically the more "accepting" of myself, the more likely I am able to accomplish the things I want. Plus getting a good hold on my daily routines builds self-efficacy which leads to higher self-esteem.

  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    I do think most of my self-worth sentiments are internally imposed (for the most part). For example, I wish I was thinner since that's more attractive and elegant, but I hate exercising and I have trouble getting into an exercise routine therefore I'm lazy and weak-willed, and that means I'm not exceptional and worthy. My looks are not up to standard, and I don't have the will to lose weight. This type of logic can apply to anything. I haven't settled into a career yet, therefore it reflects negatively on me. I couldn't get admitted into a prestigious university, therefore I'm not that intelligent. And so on so forth. I'm essentially trying to prove my reason for existence to myself.

  • Mahat
    commented on 's reply
    Roshan I was displacing my anger at other people, though most of the time it gets manifested as brooding. And no one told me that I wasn't best in every facet of my live, it was something I've told myself. I have deep shame about my lack of notable accomplishments, and how far I am from my ideal image. My ideal image is something to hard to put in words. That collage in the Ideal Image Collage thread would be it, and I'm going to do an analysis of it on that thread (not an enneagram one but an explanation of the symbols). I am what I've accomplished, and I don't think it's up to standard. The reason why this is important to me because being accomplished is a testament to one's intelligence, will, and strength, so what do I have to show for? I have a lot of drive and ambition, but there's a tension between those and my inherent inertia.
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