The answer for me was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I was on meds for many years before I found CBT and it cured me and got me off meds in a remarkably short period of time. CBT is not like other talk therapy. A good CBT therapist does not care much about your past or why you think you feel the way you do etc. A good CBT therapist knows they cannot change what's already happened to you but they can help you change how you deal with what happens in your life from here on out. It's all about using the tools to learn to think more clearly and accurately about things and once you do your anxiety, panic and depression will miraculously begin to lift before your eyes. My favorite starter book on CBT is "Been There, Done That? Do This! by Sam Obitz (www.tao3.com) Based on what I have seen with the people I know who used CBT the more dedicated you are to the tools the faster and deeper the recovery regardless of how bad their anxiety was when they got started. It was inspiring to see the people that dove in head first and how fast they started seeing results to those of us like me that were more skeptical and less dedicated to using the tools in the beginning. Like anything in life the more you put in the more you get out of CBT. That's why I think group settings can be especially effective with CBT because you can see the people that are working the hardest to get well making the most progress and it becomes infectious. Regular talk therapy and meds shredded my self-esteem but CBT enabled me to help myself and grow which built my self esteem back up.
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