Sunday, December 7, 2014

Where is the dialectic?

I am about a third through my book on Acceptance and Commitment Theory. Some of it is useful- but it seems a little all or nothing. There seems to be even more acceptance involved than in DBT. And, taken to its logical conclusion (and I take everything to its logical conclusion), it seems to be incompatible with the use of mediation- because that is a form of trying to run away from your pain- at least if you have depression, anxiety, or dysphoric manias. If you are medicating euphoric mania, I'm not sure where that fits.

So I'm looking for the dialectic. If I can take medication, get physical activity, regulate my sleep, eat healthy, etc., because I know that this will result in less mental pain- isn't that a good thing? And can't that be integrated into a theory that also involves acceptance- and getting on with life in the face of this pain? Maybe this happens later in the book.

What I am taking away from it right now is the emphasis on not over-identifying with internal states and not over-interpreting thoughts as real. There was a term for the latter, but I can't remember it. So anyway, this afternoon, when I felt my mood start to dip- I told myself that I am experiencing feelings of depression and having discouraging thoughts. Did it help? I don't know. I also had a piece of carrot cake- I probably would not have had that if I was feeling better. But a couple of hours later I did feel some better.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I was treated with ACT for quite a while and medication was acceptable, encouraged in my case because I really needed it and was refusing. It was a good thing for me, more accepting that symptoms exist and so this is how we go on with them than anything else. It was very helpful with panic attacks because it was matter of fact: your alarm system went off, it was overreacting, now that's over and what needs to happen to move on, knowing this could happen again. I'm not sure I'm wording this well but it was very good for me.