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#403932 - 07/18/12 12:46 AM Desensitization Therapy
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Desensitization Therapy

I'm preparing to start DT. Has anyone here done it? If so, I'm interested in hearing from you.
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"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#403940 - 07/18/12 04:04 AM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
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Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1349
Hi Keith,

I do not have any experience with Desensitization Therapy, though I will need to do it in the future for the phobias.

Regardless of the issues, the process of Desensitization Therapy is essentially the same. It is a cognitive-behavioral approach to help deal with the extreme anxiety and distress in response to certain stimuli.

I wanted to wish you good luck in your endeavor.





Anomalous
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#403941 - 07/18/12 04:04 AM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
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Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1349
Duplicate Post.


Edited by Anomalous (07/18/12 04:06 AM)
Edit Reason: Software Problem
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#403942 - 07/18/12 04:04 AM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
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MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1349
Triplicate Post.


Edited by Anomalous (07/18/12 04:07 AM)
Edit Reason: Software Problem
_________________________
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#403976 - 07/18/12 04:11 PM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Thanks for your posts, Anom.... in triplicate. Otherwise it would be nothing but crickets chirping in this post.

Hmmmmm.....I'm wondering if others know what DT is. Or, maybe no one is interested in the topic, or no one knows what to say, or it's a topic that is difficult to talk about.

I know from conversations here that many suffer phobias they cannot escape by talking them out. Avoidance doesn't work either.

If anyone is interested, or if it could help anyone, I would be willing to report on my DT as I step through it.

You never know, getting over a fear of routine medical exams may literally save your life.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#404020 - 07/18/12 09:56 PM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Thanks to Rocco's suggestion I'm currently attempting something along these lines to deal with my genophobia, see this thread Unfortunately, it's not being too successfull thus far mostly due to my own habbit of nerving myself to something than slamming myself into it all at once.

my genophobia and flinching to physical reactions is something that just hasn't! changed all the time I've done recovery. yes, I know where the hell it's from, it's all pretty obvious, but talking about it with several counsellers just hasn't done any good. The ironic thing is I'm fairly sure if I actually was confronted with the thing itself I could overcome this with the right other person, but sinse the genophobia and my fear reactions make this impossible I'm stuck dealing with just the concept and emotional impact of it rather than the thing itself on my own.

Of course, this is trying on my own sinse I'm a little stuck as far as getting a therapist goes sinse the uni services pretty much dropped me and having a commercial terapist would mean my parents paying which I am not happy with, so it's possible that it is different if your trying with a professionals assistance.

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#404038 - 07/19/12 12:33 AM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1349
Hi Keith,

You can find more information about desensitzation here, here, here and here.


HTH




Anomalous
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#404046 - 07/19/12 03:25 AM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Thanks for the input, DE...or, should I get use to calling you Dr. DE since you've just one year to go on the Ph.D?

I'm with you, in that "talking this out" hasn't worked. I've been to several "specialists," from hypnotherapy to just about anything else a "specialist" can promise to help for 100s of dollars per hour. Every single "specialist" has concluded the treatment with, "Sometimes repetitive trauma is so deeply embedded it can only be managed."

My main concern is, as I find my way through middle age I believe it is more important to monitor my health through the recommended routine medical exams. But it is very difficult to get an accurate blood pressure reading when the armband is strapped on in the exact location my father used to pin me down during his assaults on me.

I had to put some thought as to why I am triggered over a simple blood test. The tourniquet on my arm is similar to my father's grip. The technician uses the needle to penetrate my body, extract a part of me, and take it away. My brain goes into fight or flight and the more I struggle to remain calm and conscious, the stronger my subconscious works to render me unconscious. It tries to spare me the sense of being raped, in anticipation of being tortured afterward the way my father used to torture me. I am aware that I 'leave myself' and become unconscious, and then I go into a deeper cycle of anxiety because I am unable to defend myself during what my body perceives as an assault. It takes my body 3 to 4 days to return to normal after a traumatic reaction to an exam.

I've had several situations where I went unconscious from fright during an exam and the technicians, and sometimes doctors, reacted unprofessionally....angry and yelling at me or laughing and mocking me with their coworkers. I should include that I have come across several technicians who knew how to handle someone with PTSD and these phobias, and the exams happened without a hitch, without as much as my breaking a cold sweat.

This is on my mind because last week I lost a good friend to colon cancer. On one of my visits during the last weeks of his life he urged me to maintain routine exams, especially when I reach the age of colonoscopies. He told me he had shied away from them. They could have caught his particular cancer early on.

I do take care of myself, but it's time to face it, that exercise and proper nutrition is not enough. Men need to examine themselves for warning signs of breast, skin, and testicular cancers.

Maybe my facing it and talking about it will encourage or help others to do the same. I think others would like us to stay around for a while. smile
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#404069 - 07/19/12 12:08 PM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Kieth.

one thing does occur to me quite specifically. rather than trying to relate things intrinsically back to your abuse experiences, ---- which to be honest sound completely inhuman to me, have you considdered just! thinking about medical procedures.

Medical examinations are after all, even to someone with no previous abuse history pretty traumatic events. My mum for instance, after being physically delivered to a very uncarring dentist by her less than pleasant boarding school as a child, has had a life long aversion to dentists that has resulted in her preferring to have all her teeth out and use a set of dentures than visit the dentist.

I myself, after my expulsive hemmerage when I was 7 during a supposedly routine opperation which lost most of my eyesight, haven't exactly been too keen on opthalmology examinations either.

There is a really great book by a Doctor of Philosophy called HAvi Korell called the phenomenology of illness. she's actually someone I have a lot of respect for. After doing a lot of work on fear of death, feminism and other issues (I remember having quite a lively debate with her on the existance of an unconscious death drive when I was president of the philosophy society), she contracted a really serious and rare respiritory illness that is pretty likely to end her life in the next five or so years.

She then wrote a book about her experiences and her philosophical reflections, (phenomenology is the study of human experience), which is one of the best pure examinations of the impersonality and fear involved in medical procedures I've ever read.

As a more practical suggestion, one thing does occur to me. I have noticed myself that there is a huge difference in having something done to me, and doing it to myself. For instance, recently I've been attempting to get a cast made for my right eye (similar to an artificial eye). This required basically sticking a wax mould over my eyeball which as you can imagine, is pretty painfull. I noticed however, that things were a lot easier when I could deal with things myself, including sticking the various probes into my eyeball, or even having my hands on the Nurse's hands while she was doing it, ---- luckily she was an incredibly pleasant and personable nurse, far better than most.

So, would there perhaps be any milage in getting a home blood pressure monitor and doing things yourself? Maybe even learning to take your own blood samples, or, for those things that are too technical to do yourself, having your hands over the medical technicians so that you always have some measure of control over what is going on, and aren't just feeling utterly helpless.

Lastly, to paraphrase something from my phd, a nurse is employed to heal! this includes enabling you to work through your own problems, ---- something which actually my dad who's been a nurse for years confirmed.

If a doctor isn't helping, or a nurse isn't enabling you to feel better, then they're simply not doing their jobs correctly.

i know it might be a little different in the states where a lot of medical practice seems more keen on taking as much dosh from the patient as possible without being sued, rather than actually providing the help that you as a person deserve, but I would assume that there are at least some! reasonable medical professionals where the actual rolls of their jobs still pretty much apply.

I hope some of this ramble is vaguely helpfull, and as I said, if you want a really clear explanation of the impersonality of medical procedure and how this affects your bodily integrity, have a look at Havi Korell's book, ---- it's philosophy, but to my mind usefull! philosophy.

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#404077 - 07/19/12 01:42 PM Re: Desensitization Therapy [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
DE, yea, these are excellent suggestions. I'm really glad you added this post to the conversation. As you know every survivor is different and every path is different. There are just so many variables in the mix.

In my case, I have been diligent and fortunate to have found good therapists (it took some searching) who specialize in sexual abuse compounded with physical assault.

I tried self-treatment, gradually exposing myself to triggers, and it was counterproductive. I experienced an intense increase in all of my other symptoms. The therapist I'm now seeing cautioned me that it can be dangerous to self-treat at my level of PTSD. However, this will not apply to everyone, as I was attacked and assaulted numerous times, weekly, over several years of my childhood.

About 10 years ago I went to a lab for an annual checkup blood draw, and I went unconscious. When I regained consciousness, I had been locked in an empty room alone and the lab staff members were quite upset. They said I had gone into an unconscious state and began shouting and trying to defend myself. They wouldn't tell me what I said, but they clearly hadn't seen this before. They only said I sounded like I was being attacked. They didn't want to talk with me or be near me, and only one of them would even look at me on my way out. What a scene.

They wouldn't let me leave until they were sure I'd completely regained my composure with a normal heart rate. It makes sense, considering my father and his friends assaulted me a couple hundred times over the years. (I proofread my comments here and I can't believe this was my life experience. How in the HELL did I survive this?) I must sound like a bit of a nutcase.

I do believe these conversations are helping others who suffer these symptoms but may not be ready to openly discuss them.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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