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Old 17-08-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
Steel Maiden
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Mindfulness = thought control = hard.

How does one do mindfulness? I gave myself a migraine due to the extreme effort of thought control and blocking out all extraneous thoughts.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

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Old 17-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #2
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You're not doing it correctly! Mindfulness, as it was taught to me during DBT, can be about only focusing on one thing. It can also be letting your thoughts drift through your mind, not observing them or pushing them away, just letting them float in and out.

If you are actively blocking out thoughts then you're not being truly mindful. I was told it's like having your brain made out of Teflon (the non stick substance on frying pans)- thoughts don't stick in your mind they kind of run off. But with no effort.

It's like meditating I suppose. You're not really supposed to try and do it, just let it happen.

It is quite hard, as when you have a thought it's natural to then think "oh no! I've had a thought! I need to get rid of it" and then it kind of triggers more thoughts. If I have a thought I left it drift out of my mind like clouds drifting through the sky.



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Old 17-08-2014, 09:46 PM   #3
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Agree with Sarah that your doing it wrong!

I had a client who had autism/aspergers and I thought mindfulness would be really helpful however one I the corner a her care coordinator has was the concepts may be to abstract. Can you therefore find a class as it will be more helpful than a book or internet app!




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Old 18-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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How do you let a thought go past?? It's not an object like a car that can go past. I don't understand what you mean by "letting the thought go past you". I cannot take my thought and push it past my head.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and although now my focus is much better, even strong, but I cannot control my thoughts or whatever as my head is frequently buzzing with thoughts, ideas, calculations.

I had 18 sessions of CBT with my psychologist and tbh more than half of it was a waste of time because I didn't understand what he was going on about with the abstract concepts. Only the practical, physical, concrete ideas I understood. The rest just seemed bizarre. Like the "bucket of anxiety", a bucket that contains anxiety? How does that work?



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 18-08-2014, 09:44 AM   #5
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Yes I think it sounds like it's too much of an abstract idea for you to grasp. I understand what you're saying, and Mindfulness is incredibly hard to describe.

In my mind, my thoughts are 'things' that come and go. So I could describe them as a cloud, or a train, or a car, whatever I wanted. It doesn't mean they ARE literally a cloud, but it's just a word I ascribe to my thoughts. Then once I start noticing them I can let them move through my head without me either pushing them away or observing them.



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.


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Old 18-08-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
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Well my thoughts are beyond my control 90% of the time. So maybe I should give up on mindfulness and other abstract concepts and just use logic. As logic is something I understand well.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 18-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #7
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I'll practise concentrating for longer and longer periods of time. I've been finding studying easier lately because I don't view biochemistry as so boring anymore.

I can focus for hours at a time on psychopharmacology though.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 18-08-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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If concentrating on subjects helps you, then I can see it as a good thing. Don't overdo it, remember to take breaks and to only do it when you're enjoying it not because you're forcing yourself.



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.


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Old 18-08-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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That is good advice. Thank you.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 23-08-2014, 10:03 PM   #10
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Mindfulness/meditation seems to be valuable for a lot of people. I did meditation for a little while and the emphasis was always on focusing on your breath going in and out - letting go of attachment to whatever thoughts go through your head. It's not to stop thinking (and definitely definitely not to control thinking) but to see each thought in a disinterested fashion - as if your on the banks of a river and watching the water go by. Basically, you are allowing negative thoughts and narratives of yourself go through your head without judging them or assuming that they are true. One of the ways that was suggested is to label thoughts that go by in your head, regardless of emotional charge - i.e. "Thought . . Thought" etc. it's kind of a way to see all thoughts - negative or positive - as the same - and to get really Buddhist about it - all an illusion. If you're interested in meditation there are often free meditation (Buddhist mainly I would imagine) groups around that provide instruction. A lot of people say they like meditating in groups, which was helpful for me starting out.

One thing I remember about mindfulness is the fact that it can be practiced most anywhere, often in an activity that one enjoys where one can figuratively lose oneself - exercise, cooking or whatever. It's sort of a way of focusing purely on the moment, letting all negative thoughts dissipate.

This all said, I had a horrible time with meditation. It sent me into dissociative euphorias which isn't good for people with mixed states. I'm fairly certain that meditation of different sorts contributed to periods of suicidal planning. So basically - my experience was not good but it has been better with others.

Good luck!

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Old 24-08-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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Problem is that I cannot understand abstract, non-scientific concepts. My psychologist said that I should try imagining that my thoughts are leaves on a river that flow by. The way I saw it was getting a leaf, writing down what I am thinking about on it (somehow) and throw it into a river. Apparently that's not what it means but that's my literal interpretation on things. I am confused with how you say "label thoughts". Is that by saying to myself "this thought that I had about exams can be categories as an 'exam' thought and I need to write this down in case I forget?"

I can only use mindfulness, so far, when it involves working out a pattern or ascribing a formula to something. My most recent mindfulness was to learn a road system on a large crossroad and count how many seconds each lane took until the traffic lights went from green to red. Another time I memorised all the street names I passed by on the way home on a bus.

How do you let a thought dissipate? I usually wait until I get distracted with something and that's how thoughts terminate. But physically saying "I will now dissipate this thought", how does that work?

I have very limited understanding for abstract concepts.


Last edited by Steel Maiden : 24-08-2014 at 12:04 PM. Reason: typo


PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 24-08-2014, 10:29 PM   #12
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It's a bit complicated admittedly and the fact that everyone has a different concept of mindfulness makes it more difficult. With regards to labeling thoughts - one suggestion that is proposed is that you say specific words to yourself that define the character of your particular thought as it arises - “anger”, “pain”, “anxiety.” For example, when you start thinking of something that makes you upset you can label it “anger” and then move on. You might think about something that hurts you and you can label it “pain.” You might even be “in the moment” and labeling sensations “hearing”/“smell” etc. The idea is to treat all thoughts/emotions as the same. If you are angry, that is OK - putting a label on it is a way to separate the emotion (which is simply “anger”) with the narrative you have of that anger (e.g. “x person did y to me and I want to scream at them").

One thing that I benefited briefly from - which wasn’t mindfulness as such as that described above - was to notice extremely negative thoughts as I went about my day. When they seemed crippling I “brought awareness” simply to the emotion of those negative thoughts - which let the narrative of those thoughts (“someone hurt me” etc) slip away.

One thing mindfulness emphasizes is using the 5 senses as a way of "being in the moment." So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing you focus on smell/feel/sound etc. I think it was DBT or another therapy that suggests that when your thoughts are out of control you should “drop down” to your five senses, which is to say you focus on sights/sounds around you (getting yourself “out of your head” so to speak).

Here’s a website (perhaps you have already seen it before) on mindfulness exercises. http://www.livingwell.org.au/mindfulness-exercises-3/ It gives some good examples of exercises to try and basic information, better than the little I’ve provided.

As indicated earlier I did not at all find mindfulness to be beneficial as a therapeutic modality in the end - it seemed very fragmenting and isolating in its own way. Sometimes I wonder whether the benefits extolled about the practice were just cooked up by a bunch of therapists and “mental health professionals” who have little concept for the daily experience of people of mental illness. That’s on the cynical side though - I think there are actually a good number of people who have been able to use mindfulness to improve their lives to one degree or another.

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Old 26-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
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Thanks that is helpful. I'll have a look at the link.

I've been practising mindfulness and although I failed a lot, I did get it almost right two times.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 07-09-2014, 11:02 AM   #14
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Mindfulness is rubbish. It is only good for mild anxiety. No good for severe anxiety and OCD. I am really quite dismayed that my mental health team fobbed me off with mindfulness.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 07-09-2014, 03:21 PM   #15
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I don think you can say mindfulness is rubbish in such a blanket way because it can be a very effective treatment but it may nt be appropriate for you due to your autism diagnosis.




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Old 07-09-2014, 05:49 PM   #16
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I agree with random.swirls you can't write it off as rubbish due to it not being beneficial for *you* aspects of it work for people with many different diagnoses, including severe anxiety and chronic ocd.

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Old 07-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #17
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Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-.../dp/074995308X

It is a tool hun. One of many to stay well. Maybe you can do it with a group or with your therapist. I started meditation with my first therapist years ago. But yes takes some discipline, which is not always feasible when you are acute. Right now I am biting everyone so I would not try it as an emergency measure, but I would do it as a long term discipline- like 5-15minutes per day.





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Old 07-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #18
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While I agree it is not helpful to write an approach off, mindfulness has become a bit of a panacea and the reality is, it doesn't work for everyone. I don't find it helpful either, despite practise and trying different approaches.




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Old 08-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #19
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Thank you for the replies.

Ok it is not rubbish for everyone, agreed.

I don't see how being mindful can stop me from losing awareness of my surroundings (meltdown) and then coming back to reality to see that I've got bruises on my body and sometimes even a bloody nose.

Mindfulness doesn't even calm me down when I'm in the pre-meltdown stage.

I have tried meditation too, but with meditation I stay calm for about 10 minutes, and then after that I am agitated again.

I had to take extra Olanzapine during the weekend.

I am glad that mindfulness works for some, but it doesn't work for me.



PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.


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Old 08-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #20
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I don't know if this would be any more useful to you, but I struggle with the mindfulness sometimes and one thing I find useful for mindfulness is 'mindful activity'. You mentioned textbooks, so that might be something for you, but things I find helpful are going for a walk - you can be mindful by looking at your surroundings, I like places where there's water so you can hear the sound of the water running, or notice the reflections in the water, or noticing the sound of the trees in a breeze. It might sound silly, but I like parks and swings for that too - I like to notice the sensation when I'm on swings, when I can feel the breeze. Or crosswords for me too.

But as above, mindfulness doesn't work for everybody, it might just be that there are other things that are more helpful for you instead.










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