NAMI Week Five

Colorful and Monochrome Rose
Colorful and Monochromatic Roses

At the end of week five of NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer training, we learned the concept behind Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT. To begin seeing the world in less black and white terms and to learn to hold and accept uncomfortable and opposing feelings, we made dialectical statements describing two roses in opposing terms. My two roses here are both colorful and monochromatic.

We spent most of the class learning about these major mental illnesses:

Before our DBT exercise, we did an exercise in relapse prevention. Over the course we are filling in a chart to help us prevent relapses. The three areas I’m focusing on are education/employment, relationship with others, and relationship with self. We spent one week identifying events in our three areas of focus, the following week we determined which thoughts we have connected to those events, and yesterday we listed associated feelings.

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20 thoughts on “NAMI Week Five

    • Kitt O'Malley August 31, 2014 / 2:24 pm

      Yes, it was. The dual diagnosis portion was presented at the very end of the class, but obviously it spoke to me directly.

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  1. heila2013 August 23, 2014 / 2:35 pm

    Dear Kitt,

    Based on your experience do you think DBT can help reduce the symptoms of schizo-OCD?
    Thanks,
    Heila

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 23, 2014 / 3:08 pm

      Heila, honestly I am not familiar enough with DBT. NAMI was introducing the concept to a class of people with varied diagnoses, so I assume that the techniques would help anyone. Many therapists utilize multiple therapeutic techniques, including but not limited to DBT. Medication, of course, greatly helps. I wish you the best in finding the best combination of therapeutic support for you.

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      • heila2013 August 25, 2014 / 1:25 pm

        My son is suffering from schizo-OCD and lately his symptoms have aggravated extremely. Unfortunately he is not willing to take all the medication he should…
        Thanks for your reply Kitt.
        Best, Heila

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        • Kitt O'Malley August 25, 2014 / 3:41 pm

          I am so sorry, Heila. This must be very difficult for you. I am not a psychiatrist (not an MD, only an MA in psychology), but I believe that medication is the most important treatment for schizoid symptoms. Unfortunately, paranoid symptoms may interfere with your son’s ability to trust his doctor and take his medicine. It is a catch-22. I will keep you and your son in my prayers. I pray that he takes all of his medicine.

          Try to work with a psychologist (PhD) or psychiatrist (MD) experienced with schizoid or schizo-OCD symptoms. If the professional can gain your son’s trust, your son may be willing to take all his medication and experience more symptom relief. DBT is just one technique of many. Most psychotherapists utilize a variety of techniques and draw upon many theories and practices.

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  2. Dangerous Linda August 22, 2014 / 1:40 pm

    Hi, Kitt! ~

    I followed you here from My Inner Chick’s FB thread about how “the world is much scarier than it used to be”. How interesting and synchronistic to read your blog post about black & white thinking!

    I agree with your emphasis on “…seeing the world in less black and white terms and to learn to hold and accept uncomfortable and opposing feelings…”

    I’m happy to ‘meet’ you and THIS is one the things, in my mind, that makes the world less scary than it used to be: I can hook up online with interesting, thought-stirring people like you, who I might never meet in ‘real life’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 22, 2014 / 3:05 pm

      Go glad to meet you, too. Just checked out your site. Since you are booked in WI this August, can I assume that is where you are headquartered?

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  3. Zephyr August 22, 2014 / 6:52 am

    Wish you all the best ! You are doing a great job ! I tried going to the DBSA peer to peer but I simply had so much anxiety I couldn’t even think about going. Hope I make to the Friday prayer some how today

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 22, 2014 / 12:03 pm

      Would your husband go with you? My husband once went with me to a DBSA meeting. They had a UC Irvine psychiatrist as a guest speaker. Honestly, though, at the time I didn’t feel comfortable in a peer-led support group. To feel safe, I needed the group to have professional guidance. What is interesting about NAMI, is that their Peer-to-Peer groups are scripted and the mentors leading it have been trained. DBSA has helped many people, though, so give it a try with your husband at your side for support.

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  4. WiL August 21, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    DBT has been so integral to my recovery. Sounds like a great class.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 22, 2014 / 11:15 am

      I am glad to hear it. The practice sounds rather zen, actually.

      Quoting Encyclopedia Britannca:

      koan, Japanese Kōan, in Zen Buddhism of Japan, a succinct paradoxical statement or question used as a meditation discipline for novices, particularly in the Rinzai sect. The effort to “solve” a koan is intended to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level. Each such exercise constitutes both a communication of some aspect of Zen experience and a test of the novice’s competence.
      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/320734/koan

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      • WiL August 22, 2014 / 11:32 am

        Interesting. Mostly, it comes down to radical acceptance for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley August 22, 2014 / 12:17 pm

          Yes. I love that sentiment: radical acceptance of self!

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  5. Just Plain Ol' Vic August 21, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    Sounds like you had a good week of your peer-to-peer training. I am learning so much from your posts. Thanks so much for the links, such a good wealth of information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 21, 2014 / 5:00 pm

      Thanks, Vic. Glad to hear that you are benefitting from them. Have you checked out NAMI Family-to-Family (my husband hasn’t, so no great expectation here)?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley August 21, 2014 / 5:05 pm

      That’s not to say that my husband hasn’t been supportive. He is, very much so. Just not a group kind of guy. He’s an engineer. He has gone to therapy with me and we’ve gone as a family for our son. NAMI is a new resource for me to use. I’ve always paid out-of-pocket for or used insurance for individual or family therapy. My husband and I went to one DBSA meeting together after I got out of the hospital. That was the extent of us participating in peer-based support.

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