DBT.MATE

What makes D.B.T. (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) so beneficial?

It teaches us CRAY.BAES the skills we need to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

We don’t have to feel abnormal, strange, or different anymore. It takes some practice, but D.B.T. can enhance our daily experiences by keeping our emotions regulated, communicating with others in a more effective way, and keeping things balanced with mindfulness. There’s even ways to calm yourself when in distress. I have been practicing D.B.T. for many years now, and the benefits make learning worth it. Here are a few of my favorite skills, and how you can apply them to your therapeutic routine.

RIDE.THE.WAVE. Riding the wave is like sailing through the waters of an uncomfortable emotion. If you’re sad, surf through it. Feeling anxious? It won’t last — just keep on swimming with the wet-and-wild tide. I like to picture paddle boarding on a rough surf.

A tough emotion can seem like it will sit with you forever, but riding the wave without attaching to the feeling can help it pass quicker, and without getting pulled down by the undertow.

DISTRACT. This tool is especially handy when you need to refocus your attention from a negative thought to a positive one. Say, you can’t stop reliving a traumatic flashback. It feels as though your brain can’t focus on anything but the horrible visualization. Now, listen to some loud music. Or put your heart and soul into that D.I.Y project you’ve procrastinated working on.

Sometimes, fully engrossing yourself in a favorite activity can reframe your thoughts away from that difficult time.

SELF.SOOTHE. Now, for my personal favorite: self soothe. We have five senses and can appeal to each of them in many ways. Aromatherapy takes advantage of your olfactory glands with pleasurable scents. A massage eases tension in the physical way. I like to take a comforting bath when I can’t fight off my anxiety — and incorporate candles for the visual sensation, bath bombs for comforting smells, and the a hot water soak for touch.

You can also pet your cat, or eat a piece of chocolate: soothing your senses helps you tolerate an emotional crisis by bringing you back to the basics.

There’s a crazy amount of DBT.SKILLS you can pull out of the toolkit and apply to your thoughts and emotions. I like to keep it real simple and reap the benefits of D.B.T. even when I’m just chilling out, not a care in the world. Practicing when you are feeling great makes it easier to utilize when you’re just a wreck. Get on board with D.B.T. and take back control of your mind.

For more about D.B.T. check out this article on the WHAT.WHY.HOW of the treatment method.

The great thing about treating borderline patients is that it is like having a supervisor always in the room. — Marsha M. Linehan, DBT.CREATOR

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CRAZY.BEAUTIFUL.

I like to think that we all have a little crazy in us. It comes out in different forms for different people. Maybe you drive your car faaast to perk up your morning commute. Maybe it’s doing something spontaneous/fun with a significant other.

For others, it could be an uncontrolled impulse. An impulse may be serious for those of us with mental illness and addiction. It could lead to a drinking binge or even a psychotic break. We can ride the wave (D.B.T. what WHAT) and feel all the feels without acting on those impulses in an all-or-nothing way.

Crazy doesn’t have to be dangerous/nuts/psycho. It can be a non-judgmental stance on a sudden emotion. And it can be a push-pull towards the impulse to act on the emotion, without the consequence of a spastic outburst (and without having to stuff it deep down into our gut).

Besides that, CRAZY can be BEAUTIFUL. It can be a creative force driving ideas at your job. It can be a gorgeous new way of walking through life with confidence.

MENTAL.PUNKS: don’t be ashamed of your CRAZY.BEAUTY.

Embrace it.

Look out for my next blog on D.B.T. and how us CRAY.PUNKS can regulate our emotions and stay mindful. Ohmmm.

People are always selling the idea that people with mental illness are suffering. I think madness can be an escape. If things are not so good, you maybe want to imagine something better. — John Nash

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WELCOME.PUNK.

My journey through the maze of mental health has brought me here to PUNK.TUATED. — a blog I use to share my stories, successes, and yes, failures with rockstars like you, my readers.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Joanna, a bright-eyed, been-through-hell human on a mission to raise awareness about what 1 in 5 of us suffer from: mental illness. Shocked by the statistic? I’m not, anymore. Brain chemistry can land anyone onto a mental disorder spectrum. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Our brains are wired to communicate to us what we need. Just as a diabetic needs their insulin, so does a depressive need their SSRI. It’s all part of the same medical function: get a person to feel better.

Don’t be ashamed. The stigma is being broken, bit by bit.

Anyway, I can’t wait to share all my crazy stories. It’s been a wild ride, and I haven’t hoped off the rollercoaster just yet. One thing I can tell you, we all have a little wild in us. And that’s what makes PUNK.TUATED. fun. Let’s redefine what it means to be mentally ill. And give it the badass rep it deserves.

Keep fighting. And never lose your sense of rock&roll.

Thanks for reading PUNK.TUATED.

Let’s have some fun redefining mental health in the process.

The sun is gone, but I have a light. — Kurt Cobainpexels-photo-568785.jpeg