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My Experiences Coming off Abilify

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posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:04 AM
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Disclaimer START

I encourage you to read this thread if you are taking, have taken or are soon destined to be taking Abilify (Aripiprazole) for the first time. Anyone is welcome to read the thread if they are curious about the medication or for research purposes. However, I strongly discourage you from reading any further than the end of this disclaimer if you are on Abilify, have plans to stop using it and will use this thread as the final "confirmation" to stop taking it. (If you have doubts about it and are using it, that's fine, but do as much research about it as you can instead of being lazy and taking this thread as confirmation.)

I am not a GP, a psychologist or a psychiatrist and do not know YOUR personal situation and why you are specifically on the medications you happen to be on. If you want advice because you are concerned about your own mental health or that of somebody you know, then please call a mental health service provider, or at the very least make an appointment with your General Practitioner as soon as possible and get some help and support. There ARE people out there, right now, who are ready and willing to help!

Any decision to read further after you finish reading this disclaimer indicates to me that you have read, understood and agree to abide by the guidelines you have just read. If you want to go further, you ought to read the entire opening post before replying.

Disclaimer END

I am currently 31 years old. From the age of 19, I had been regularly taking a combination of two different medications after being officially diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and what is now referred to as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I have been taking Abilify from about 2011, which means my duration of being on the medication was about 6 years. The reason I was personally prescribed Abilify is because I was not responding well to previous medications (anti-depressent and anti-psychotic medications) before and my psychiatrist at the time saw positive results among his other patients who had been using Abilify. So I started Pristiq and Ability together. The reasoning was that the Pristiq would act as the anti-depressant and the Abilify would work as an adjunct to increase the affects of the anti-depressant, as well as having the added bonus of addressing my OCD. While I did go as high as Pristiq 200mg and Abilify 20mg at different times, the most consistent period saw me staying at Pristiq 150mg and Abilify 10mg.

It was a big success initially. Even for weeks after, I noticed I had generally more energy, my mood was relatively stable, had a lot more patience and I was not as irritable as before. My OCD was also improving (but this I do not attribute to Abilify, but rather my gradual improvement of the condition overall compared to when I was not on any medication.) Important things I did not notice at the time were my gradual deterioration in cognitive functioning, worsening of my short term memory, and my deteriorating ability to cope with situations involving more than average stress levels. I had other physical/physiological side affects too, and these seemed to be the ones more important to focus on at the time. The psychological/mental problems I mentioned before only got worse as I continued using Abilify.

Eventually, I spoke with my doctor about my plans to stop taking it. He put up a lot of resistance at first, but when I made it CLEAR that nothing would change my mind, his apparent concern was easing, because I had explained the amount of research I had done, I explained I knew the risk involved, that I was prepared for a terrible experience and that I would be using the slow taper method. I never left his office with support or encouragement to do what I was about to do, but I got the feeling from his facial expessions that he understood it needed to be done.

Long story short, I am now only taking Pristiq 150mg and I am no longer taking Abilify AT ALL. I stopped Abilify about 2 months ago. I did NOT go cold turkey and would never encourage ANYBODY to go cold turkey because the side affects of this particular drug are insanely bad. If you stopped cold turkey from anything higher than 5mg, you would be at high risk of psychosis, the worst mental torture you can imagine and even death due to a massive increase in suicide risk.

For me, it was one of the most incredibly difficult experiences of my life. I would get ridiculously agitated for no reason, have very limited patience for anybody else, have frequent meltdowns and verbally abuse many of those closest to me. I would also have a near complete lack of empathy (which was probably the worst aspect of the whole experience.) Anybody that got in my way was to be avoided. Anything that didn't go my way was because others had prevented me from doing what I wanted to do. Everything was an effort to the point I would just get angry thinking of things I would soon have to do. This went from mild to bad, to mild to worse, to the worst to bad, to mild to overcoming it. The whole withdrawal period lasted about 2 months for me.

After adjusting to life without it in my system, I can notice significant improvements in my overall mental health. I cannot attribute all these improvements to my halt in taking Abilify and waiting for its affects to be out of my system, but I am very confident a vast majority of these improvements are a result of my decision to taper off the medication and push through the withdrawal period, which was one of the most difficult experiences I have so far had to endure. It really was brutal. If you don't have confidence in your ability to be resilient and persevere through the changes that will occur, and you still want to get off Abiify, then I would recommend consulting with your doctor about reducing the current dosage of your medication.

I feel comfortable that I have mentioned what I feel are the most important aspects of coming off a medication that has had a very negative impact on my life in the long term. If you would like any additional details about my experiences or advice about current symptoms you are experiencing, I am more than welcome to answer your questions.


edit on 15/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:14 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Out the chemicals brother




posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:16 AM
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edit on 15-4-2017 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:32 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for sharing Dark Ghost and thanks for including sensible advice in your OP about ALWAYS consulting your doctor before making any changes to medication.
I myself have worked in the field of psychology/psychiatry/mental health for about 15 years. I am curious to know; has the change in your mental health for the better coincided with a change in perspective in relation to your illness? By which i mean; have you come to view yourself and/or your situation differently either prior to or after stopping your medication. For example: have you felt that it was time to take more control over your situation, have you 'come to terms' with your illness or come to view it/yourself differently?

The reason i ask (and it's important to understand that i do not mean to imply in ANY way that your condition is your own fault or by your own doing) is that, i have noticed that, real, tangible improvements to people's quality of life often come from a fundamental change in perspective. Now, that's not to say that symptoms have necessarily disappeared, become less frequent or even less severe but that the individual has come to view their situation differently and have experienced an increased ability to manage or cope with symptoms (which have, on occasion led to a significant improvement in wellbeing/wellness). I've found this to be particularly true of people with mood disorders or anxiety.

I can give a real world example of what i mean:

I worked recently with a person i will refer to as 'A'

'A' had suffered with severe psychosis for MANY years (around 20 i would say). 'A' experienced the whole range of psychotic symptoms including visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile hallucinations. Person 'A' had a very poor quality of life, was frequently detained in hospital, was unable to function independently and suffered greatly. A's experiences led to depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness and lack of control over their own life.
A was treated with just about every kind of antipsychotic (and combinations thereof) with variable levels of efficacy... However, the major breakthrough seemed to come when A had a shift in their attitude towards their experiences. A came to accept their experiences as part of who they were and came to a state of acceptance in relation to their experiences. Their perspective changed and they became much more able to cope with their experiences. They felt they had taken back some control and the negative stigma (both societal and self-imposed) became much less of an issue. Although symptoms remained largely unchanged, their inner feelings of wellbeing and self-worth improved significantly and in turn, they were much better able to function independently.

I have seen many examples of this over the years (as i said, particularly those with mood disorders) and I have made a point of including ideas related to perception, philosophy and spirituality (not to be confused with religion in ANY WAY) in my interactions with clients. It has proven effective on numerous occasions and so I am very curious to hear if your perceived improvement in wellbeing is associated in any way with a shift in perspective.

Thanks for reading and i wish you all the best in your continued recovery



I will add that i have become particularly interested in this aspect due to giving lengthy consideration to the notion of cultural attitudes towards mental health and the difference in an individual's ability to cope, function and feel self-worth depending upon the difference in perception of mental illness/wellness in their society or environment.
edit on 15-4-2017 by Indrasweb because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:41 AM
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Good for you. Chemicals are bad for human consumption. Millions of Chemicals going into your body won't help the problem, but rather,mask the problem. Therefore, I commend you for your strength of mind in stopping your consumption.

I quit smoking years ago,cold turkey. I don't get tempted by anything anymore. It's miraculous! And i'm not joking around when i say that either.



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 03:44 AM
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a reply to: Revolution9

Thanks again for the kind words.

I would love to be completely medication free. However, the state of mind I went through during my withdrawal was about 1/3 as bad as my state of mind I was in just before I was placed on ANY medication at all. That might sound like an exaggeration, especially since I stated in the opening post that the withdrawal period was one of the most difficult periods of my life. Well, to put it simply: my inclination to commit suicide was so strong that if I had not gone to the psychiatrist and been put on some type of medication, I would have died soon after.

The most important lesson from my own experience is this: if you suspect somebody is depressed, keep their physical appearance in mind, but focus as best you can on their behaviour and reactions. Too many people take their own lives because nobody understood what signs to look out for. It is so critical that if you notice anything unusual in the behaviour or reactions of anybody close to you that is uncharacteristic, ask to speak privately with them and voice your concerns in proportion to the relationship you have with them.

Don't make assumptions, but rather ask If everything is ok or why they reacted so strongly for a certain action you witnessed. Most of the time, they will be delighted that somebody has noticed something odd and will cooperate with you as long as you convince them (and are sincere) that you will not negatively judge them for it. If on rare occasions they completely attempt to deflect your question, get angry and defensive for no reason, or start to attack you and try to badly insult you, that is a big red flag that you need to contact somebody who is closest to them, and recommend intervention of some kind.


edit on 15/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 04:39 AM
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a reply to: Indrasweb

Hi Indrasweb,

Great to hear you have spent so many years helping others with their mental issues, good work!

In regards to your question, it is difficult to answer clearly, but I'll try: there was definitely a perspective change that happened independent of coming off Abilify, but I truly believe that the symptoms I had while on Abilify would have significantly prolonged the epiphany I ended up having. Why? Because the most significant benefits I reaped after fully withdrawing from Abilify was my confidence to recognise this: you know what? Taking compliments is not bad. Hearing people say nice things about you is not bad. People saying you are good at things might actually be sincere about what they are saying. You are not being an arrogant narcissist for acknowledging when you notice people are expressing sincerely positive things about you, from themselves or from a third party. While on Abilify, I was so used to just letting the compliments slide, as if they meant literally nothing (what does this person know?) and taking the criticisms as an attack on my soul. As though this was more evidence that I was not worthy of feeling happy or good.

The epiphany itself was close to this: yes I have some mental issues and I have some weaknesses that most people seem not to have, but that does not mean that is all I need to focus on. It does not mean I have to blame my problems as way not to act and try improve things. I need to stop using laziness as symptom of my conditions and then justify keeping everything the way it is. The inner struggle between the Free Will vs No Free Will debate that had been raging for many years inside me was finally resolved, and I mentioned that in another thread in detail, very recently.

I hope this has helped answer your question.


edit on 15/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 05:20 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Thank you very much for your response. Your reply made perfect sense to me. You explained it very well.

So, if i'm understanding you correctly; your view of your condition, and of yourself, shifted (though you feel that process was perhaps hindered to some extent by the 'blunting' effects of the medication) and this new perspective enabled you to feel as though you were better able to cope and you felt that you might be better able to progress without medication?

I would be interested in knowing what it was that led to your change of perspective, if it's not too personal a question and if you even know yourself (often it's very hard to pinpoint i think).

I often discuss with people the notion that they are not defined by their illness. That it is one small aspect of their personality and not the 'main event' so to speak. Some people have difficulty in accepting this due to the psychological effects of the labelling (diagnosis) and treatment (mainly the way others interact with them based on said diagnosis) they experience.

Interactions with others, and the feedback we receive (both direct and subtle) plays a large part in our self-image and so, when we are told frequently (both explicitly and implicitly) that we are a certain 'something', and when many of our interactions are coloured by that 'something', it can be very difficult to maintain the perspective that we are considerably more than that. However, understanding that we are incredibly diverse, complex and multifaceted beings and that we are not defined by (in this instance) our illness/problems can be very empowering. We can start to focus on those other aspects of ourselves and start to redefine who we are and remake ourselves in whatever image we see fit.

I feel that interventions that directly address fundamental self-image and established perceptions/fundamental beliefs are frequently overlooked by mental health services and an emphasis is placed heavily on symptom management through medication and/or brief therapies. Whilst these are absolutely useful for many people they are limited in how much they can really change things for an indivudal on a fundamental level. The self-healing properties of a well focused and strong mind are considerably less limited (I'll stop short of saying "limitless" as i don't want to stray into hyperbole)

I have found (though this is only subjective and anecdotal so take it with a pinch of salt i guess) that an individual's fundamental perspective, beliefs and internal narrative (that pesky, sneaky brain/internal voice we have that won't stop bloody well commenting and judging absolutely everything we do) is incredibly important in determining how we feel and how we behave. As we move towards mastering this; controlling it instead of it controlling us, we often see marked improvement in wellbeing and ability to manage symptoms/feelings etc.

The world exists in our head and our head inside the world. The world shapes us but, we often overlook the flipside of that coin which is we have the ability to also shape our world.

Best of luck Dark Ghost. To live with and live through, years of internal strife is one of the greatest challenges anyone can face. I admire your courage

edit on 15-4-2017 by Indrasweb because: Rubbish punctuation



posted on Apr, 15 2017 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

I know the feeling, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

I was on meds for OCD, depression, anxiety and the rest and people couldn't stand being around me because the meds changed my personality. I was doing crazy stuff that was beyond my standard of crazy. In the end I choose my friends over medication because I'd rather be anxious depressed and crazy over lonely.

The problem is many shrinks are sponsored by big pharma so instead of treating you they write you a script and send you away. Sigmund Frauds.



posted on Apr, 16 2017 @ 10:36 PM
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originally posted by: Indrasweb
Thank you very much for your response. Your reply made perfect sense to me. You explained it very well.

So, if i'm understanding you correctly; your view of your condition, and of yourself, shifted (though you feel that process was perhaps hindered to some extent by the 'blunting' effects of the medication) and this new perspective enabled you to feel as though you were better able to cope and you felt that you might be better able to progress without medication?

I would be interested in knowing what it was that led to your change of perspective, if it's not too personal a question and if you even know yourself (often it's very hard to pinpoint i think).


I wish I knew exactly what it was that caused that change in perspective. Even if it were personal and I did know, I would still share it with those who would be guaranteed to benefit from its knowledge. The trouble is, unfortunately, I don't know EXACTLY what it is.

Just so I don't disappoint you or other readers, the best way I can currently explain it is by this: I reached an ultimate personal threshold that I could not actually continue to live with. Very similar to the point of my life that I explained earlier where I was at the psychiatrist for the first time and would have ended my life if I was not forced there. The key difference between that situation and the "epiphany situation" is that the critical factor of Depression was being managed to a reasonable degree, whereas before it was not. I was NOT on an anti-depressant when I first went to the doctor. This is the reason I cannot justify going off Pristiq (the anti-depressant), because it IS necessary for ME not to fall into a mindset where suicide is considered a viable option.

Are there benefits I am being deprived of as a result of still being on Pristiq? Probably. Can I recognise those benefits as being significant enough to just stop using it altogether? NO. I cannot do that because THAT is not a calculated risk.


I often discuss with people the notion that they are not defined by their illness. That it is one small aspect of their personality and not the 'main event' so to speak. Some people have difficulty in accepting this due to the psychological effects of the labelling (diagnosis) and treatment (mainly the way others interact with them based on said diagnosis) they experience.


As somebody who does suffer from major depressive disorder (and at this stage it appears you have not? Please correct me if I am wrong) and can remember when things were at their worst (for me), I can definitely relate to what those people are saying. The real problem with deep dark depression is not what others think about you or worrying about how they will judge you, the actual problem is how you feel about yourself. And THAT is something somebody who has not experienced major depressive disorder CANNOT understand.


Interactions with others, and the feedback we receive (both direct and subtle) plays a large part in our self-image and so, when we are told frequently (both explicitly and implicitly) that we are a certain 'something', and when many of our interactions are coloured by that 'something', it can be very difficult to maintain the perspective that we are considerably more than that. However, understanding that we are incredibly diverse, complex and multifaceted beings and that we are not defined by (in this instance) our illness/problems can be very empowering. We can start to focus on those other aspects of ourselves and start to redefine who we are and remake ourselves in whatever image we see fit.


What you are saying is very reasonable and I agree, but it is unfortunately not for others who are not suffering from the condition to impress upon others who are that those things are what they ought to be addressing. It has been done to me soon after admitting there was a problem, but it was not properly dealt with until about 2 months ago.


I feel that interventions that directly address fundamental self-image and established perceptions/fundamental beliefs are frequently overlooked by mental health services and an emphasis is placed heavily on symptom management through medication and/or brief therapies. Whilst these are absolutely useful for many people they are limited in how much they can really change things for an indivudal on a fundamental level. The self-healing properties of a well focused and strong mind are considerably less limited (I'll stop short of saying "limitless" as i don't want to stray into hyperbole)


Again, what you are saying is very fair and reasonable. The trouble with many people who are clinically depressed is that they will (unintentionally or not) use their condition as an excuse not to even try to change what they can for their own betterment. Which is made worse by the fact that they do not feel they are "entitled" to do anything that is needed to improve their lives, so why do it?

Just to demonstrate that no I am not "over" MY own depression just because I had a life-changing epiphany, as recent as last evening (it is current 1:27pm where I live) the thought of suicide came up in my mind as a necessary option to end the personal anguish I am feeling currently, due to the fact I am currently going through such extremely bad family issues at the moment, that I don't know how to cope. How is it possible? How can I even contemplate that as a viable option if I went through so much effort to demonstrate that it is NOT a viable option before? To be as clear as possible: depression is an ongoing battle that I have to address on an ongoing basis. In the past I was justifying it as a reason not to even try to change my own situation, now I am NOT allowing myself to justify doing the same. THAT is where the epiphany was crucial.


I have found (though this is only subjective and anecdotal so take it with a pinch of salt i guess) that an individual's fundamental perspective, beliefs and internal narrative (that pesky, sneaky brain/internal voice we have that won't stop bloody well commenting and judging absolutely everything we do) is incredibly important in determining how we feel and how we behave. As we move towards mastering this; controlling it instead of it controlling us, we often see marked improvement in wellbeing and ability to manage symptoms/feelings etc.


I would agree if it weren't for my strong opinion that it is impossible for those things you mentioned (fundamental perspective, beliefs and internal narrative) to remain a constant when there are so many variables to deal with in life. My fundamental perspective, beliefs and internal narrative have ALL changed at different periods of my life and that is a reality we have to acknowledge if we want to be honest.


The world exists in our head and our head inside the world. The world shapes us but, we often overlook the flipside of that coin which is we have the ability to also shape our world.


Yes, but those who are allowing the world to shape their own world MUST have had the opportunity to discover that they can make changes that will influence the world around them, otherwise it is unfair to judge them to that degree.


edit on 16/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2017 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost


Best of luck Dark Ghost. To live with and live through, years of internal strife is one of the greatest challenges anyone can face. I admire your courage


Thank you. It has not been easy to put so much detail about my personal experiences out there in a public context knowing there are consequences for doing so. I do not regret doing it and will still do it until it is no longer relevant to do. Since there are millions of people on Abilify for probably the wrong reasons, I will speak out.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 06:29 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Thank you again for taking the time to reply. I acknowledge and respect that sharing your own personal experience is difficult to do and that there can be personal consequences for doing so.

I believe that meaningful discussion can only be attained when the relationship between the individuals interacting is one of equality. In that spirit, i think it is only reasonable to share some of my own experiences. Please understand that I am not comparing my situation to yours, nor am i assuming that I know what is right for you or that what you personally think or feel is 'wrong' or that my opinion or perspective is 'right'.

Also, I'll warn you, some of these ideas are pretty heavy and i don't recommend you read through my post if you're a sensitive person as it may trigger unwanted feelings in you that you really don't need to be dealing with at this time.

With that being said:

From as early as i can remember i struggled greatly with feelings of depression, cynicism, hopelessness and low self-worth. I have always had a strong social conscience and I clearly remember feeling immense sadness, frustration and despair at the injustices of the world, even as young as perhaps four or five. I remember crying uncontrollably when i saw a homeless man in the streets when i was about 5 years old and feeling that this was deeply unjust and incredibly distressing to me. I have felt, at times, cursed with empathy. I feel the wrongs of the world acutely and have suffered a great deal throughout my life as a result.
I remember thinking, at around the same age, that life was completely pointless, that the notion of society and all that we have built is simply bells and whistles, designed to distract us from the inevitably of our own death. That life was futile, existence shallow and society an irredeemable mess.

As I grew up my feelings only deepened and became more entrenched. I had, for many years, an incredibly bleak view of the world, of others and of myself. This led to substance misuse and suicidal thoughts, as well as harming myself on occasion. There were several occasions that I stood on the edge of a bridge at 3am when there was nobody around, or sat alone in my house after many drinks, with fistsful of tablets, an internal conflict raging between my instinct to survive and my desire to be free from the constant suffering my mind was causing.

I took antidepressants for a while but they either made me incredibly high (to the point of noticeably erratic behaviour) or emotionally (and physically, i experienced some sexual dysfunction) numb.

The turning point for me came when I had a period of about 3 years where my life fell apart completely. My partner left me with a 5 year old child, a mortgage to pay, thousands of pounds worth of debts that i couldn't pay. My house was in total disrepair, we had no hot water or heating for over a year and a half, i couldn't afford to feed myself and my son so i stopped eating much, i was walking around with holes in my shoes and soaking wet feet because i couldn't afford a new pair. I had a relationship in that time with someone that failed horrendously because I was such a mess myself. there were many things that happened in that time that i don't have the space to get into here. Basically, I hit rock bottom to be honest.

Then i stumbled across a video that someone had shared here on a thread on ATS (strangely enough). This was years ago and well before I even thought about registering.
It was a video by Alan Watt's. Something to do with the way we distinguish between time working and time playing. He said something that really resonated with me and It set me on a very long path of self reflection and re-evaluation of everything i thought, believed and felt about myself and the world. I listened to many of his lectures, explored lots of topics; buddhism, hinduism, zen and many many more. I began to explore philosophy, spirituality and perception. I began to connect this with my studies and experience in mental health, psychology, psychiatry and the various therapies i have learned about over the years.

I resolved to rebuild myself from the ground up. To totally reinvent myself and to take responsibility and control over shaping my own world. Along the way i had MANY personal epiphanies and revelations and, by increments, my world view changed dramatically. Many small steps that led to BIG changes.

Six years later and, whilst i still struggle from time to time and my efforts are ongoing, i have switched my perspective completely. Things that caused me great suffering are now some of my greatest strengths. You say it is impossible to maintain a singular perspective when all around you changes but, for me at least, that is not true. It's why i talked about FUNDAMENTAL views and beliefs.
My fundamental experience is that my happiness, peace and contentment exists within me and is not reliant on external sources. Therefore, any external circumstance has no power to steal my happiness and contentment. That's not to say i never feel sad or angry or hurt when bad things happen, only that i have learned to accept that I feel that way, that it will pass and that it does not fundamentally effect who i REALLY am deep down.
And I would also say; you are 100% in control of your internal narrative IF you are mindful, alert and resolve to be. That is actually the hardest part as your brain is a sneaky bastard and has a million tricks up it's sleeve. But with patience, perseverance and determination it can be made to work for you, instead of against you.

I say all this, not to blow my own trumpet or to imply that i have all the answers, but because i wanted to let you know that i understand to some extent what you are going through (though the details may be very different, there is likely some similarities in your general experiences).

It's important that i clarify something also; I am not judging ANYONE and i would NEVER suggest what someone OUGHT to do. My job is not to suggest or offer advice, it is not to tell people how to think or feel or what they should be working on. My job is to be a mirror, to help people to make sense of their own situation, to support and to guide them to their own conclusions. Providing someone with 'an answer' is useless; there's no way of knowing if that answer is right for them, they have nothing invested in that answer and therefore no motivation or ambition to follow through on it, and they have no idea how that answer was arrived at because they haven't experienced the process that leads to that conclusion themselves.
Change comes from within, from experience and personal insight, it cannot be imposed.

I am not for a minute suggesting that changing ones perspective is easy, or that it's even the solution for anyone else. I'm just going on my own experiences and observations of others that I have worked with. I don't claim any special knowledge or insight.

I hope you can see that this is just my point of view and that i'm not pretending to be better than anyone else or to have some kind of 'truth'. This isn't really about me working in mental health either (though it has helped me personally to be better at my job). I'm just sharing my experience, one person to another.

I sincerely wish you all the best for the future. You came this far so that shows you're strong. You have the tools, you have the strength. You can do it



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: Indrasweb

Thank you for having the courage to share your personal experiences with the rest of us in this thread. It's nothing short of breathtaking what you have been able to overcome, and I doubt you are finished developing into an even stronger, more resilient and wiser person than you are at present.

Maybe by analysing the below extract of your reply, we can work out why we disagree and whether our own views are sound.


My fundamental experience is that my happiness, peace and contentment exists within me and is not reliant on external sources. Therefore, any external circumstance has no power to steal my happiness and contentment.


I do not disagree with all that you say above, however, I believe it is more accurate to say that the potential for happiness, peace and contentment exists in every human being. The trouble for me is when you state they are not reliant on external sources and then go on to illogically link the second sentence as a natural consequence of the first sentence, which I do not believe is true.

i) A key problem with your argument is that while you can claim "happiness, peace and contentment" are innate features of your psyche and cannot be stolen from you, you ignore that your potential for chasing undesirable attributes like "misery, maliciousness and brutality" are just as possible to be tapped into and would then by extension also be unable to be taken away from you. (Which means they are just as much a part of you as those positive traits you mentioned.) In other words, "anything is possible, but not everything is actually possible" if you can catch my drift.

ii) Another key problem is your suggestion that one's external environment is almost meaningless in its ability to affect your own sense of self and what you truly are. All it takes is a "change of perspective" from within. That MAY be true in theory, but it certainly cannot be demonstrated to be true using strong evidence in our present reality. There certainly are extreme examples of people starting out at rock bottom and finishing their lives at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. But this is so rare, so uncommon, that to suggest this should be recognised as an innate human quality is absurd. The truth is that while EVERYONE has the potential to achieve anything or lose everything, not everyone is equally equipped with the tools to do so.


edit on 17/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 12:01 PM
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Youre incredibly strong to do this.

The strongest man in my life is struggling right now. His internal struggles are similar to yours and the reasons dont matter I guess, but it stems from a lifetime in the mil and being a multiple arena combat vet. He's simply lost his way... and finding it is hellaciously difficult. He is my dear husband. He is even tormented in his sleep. Im giving up basically everything to get him into a more serene environment and retooling everything to compliment the change in the mindset he has fallen into. Its not even a question.. he is my partner and my team mate. I protect him fiercely... and seeing a man who is an actual badass, huge, strong, and respected and revered on the battlefield be so broken by his own mind not only makes me weep, but Im damned mad. Furious! Its my turn to sacrifice and carry him a bit.. and though I am incredibly eager to do this.. its daunting. Not just the task of it all, but keeping him together as much as I can. He is scary as hell when out of control. He is more than scary when in a negative and dark mood. Its not the obvious threat of his strength and capability for violence.. its the turning on himself which frightens me to the core. Its not the war or actions on the battlefield themselves which breaks some men.. when wars are fought by the soldier, but they are USED by their govt in something unholy and unjust is what destroys them.

I dont like letting too many personal things out here or anywhere else.. Im just a more private person.. but its worth it to tell you. Really this whole thing.. life.. it is like driving. Up hills and down hills, up mountains and down mountains, sometimes level for short times.. but never a smooth ride. You have to learn the new skills to deal with the "driving hazards" on your journey. You also have to realize and account for the people who are in your car and along for the ride. SOMETIMES you have to trust a person to take the wheel for you for a bit... which is a hard thing to do particularly for a man. You have to love the journey.. even the pain of it at times.

My dear, in all sincerity.. I truly hope you can make the journey. We get ONE life .. this one is just singular. Change your paradigm at all costs.. and live this precious life. You CAN remake yourself. Its actually not overly difficult. The hard part is starting it and throwing off all of those things you have convinced yourself are true.. about yourself. There is really something to cognitive behavioral therapy.. it gives you the skills to CHANGE your paradigm and remake. We arent born knowing it all.. and you will never regret the effort.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Ok, thanks for taking the time to read the wall of text i posted, i appreciate it.

I would start by saying that it wasn't my intention to put forth an argument of any kind, nor was it my intention to give the impression my own feelings and thoughts are any kind of universal truth. I was just expressing how the world looks from my point of view. I'm not trying to convince you or anyone else of anything.

However, I do understand what you're saying in your reply.

To link the notion of my happiness being dependant upon internal factors with the notion that my happiness is not therefore subject to the whims of the world does not seem illogical to me. It may well be in the literal sense (logical form etc.), but feelings and emotions and perception are not bound by logical form i.e. if 'a' then 'b' kinds of arguments.
Life is a purely subjective experience and therefore it is perfectly reasonable (and i would suggest even necessary) to mix logic and illogic (if you like) in order to lead one's life. I feel fundamentally that my happiness is unaffected by external circumstances, i believe that to be the case and so, that is how it is for me. I appreciate that not everyone sees things that way, and that's fine, i'm not trying to convince you that you should or that i'm right. I was just expressing my point of view.

I agree entirely with your point regarding the potential for misery, brutality etc is fundamentally a part of me as much as my happiness and positivity is. Of course it is. You cannot have positivity without negativity, they are mutually dependent on one another, and i actually don't think that it's desirable to eliminate these things entirely. Feeling negativity is important in order to appreciate feeling positivity. I fully accept my potential for negativity but I have made an enormous and sustained effort to maintain control of those aspects of myself that interfere with me leading an optimal life. I don't always succeed (of course) and it's easy to slip back, but it is possible and it is effective (for me) nonetheless.

In regards your second point; again, I understand what you're saying. This shift in perspective has helped ME no end. It has literally changed my life and how I view it, along with the trials and tribulations I experience and will continue to experience as I go through life. I appreciate that the 'skills' i have developed (if viewing the world/oneself/one's situation a certain way can be called a 'skill') are not innate, nor universal. I know that not everyone has the tools required BUT, I believe, those tools can be taught, they can be learned and, with dedication and practice can be mastered.

A change of perspective/perception is often straightforward when one realises the options one has. What i mean by that is, once you are aware of your thought patterns, once you become adept at recognising them and identifying the self-sabotaging, self- destructive ones you are left with a choice; to continue to engage with the thought, to follow it down the same road to the same conclusion you have done a thousand times before or, to 'flip the script' so to speak, to choose a different point of view and to think new and different thoughts. At that point, there really isn't much of a choice to be made.
This is incredibly hard at first; like first learning to meditate. Your mind will wander, your thoughts will wander and you'll find that you've lost the focus you set out with, you'll slip back into the 'old way' and you'll find yourself back at square one, over and over again. But if you persevere, if you keep giving yourself a chance, not admonishing yourself for failure but simply re focusing and going again, then, in time, a change begins to take place. You get better at recognising the negatives, better at reframing and shifting perspective and better at maintaining focus. Eventually, your new way of thinking becomes a habit, slapping that stupid little sneaky voice down becomes a reflex. Instead of playing along with it you shut it down and you shut it up, and not by burying it in darkness but by bathing it in sunlight.
edit on 17-4-2017 by Indrasweb because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 03:46 PM
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a reply to: Indrasweb

Thank you for clarifying your position. I now have a far better understanding of what you are saying, and what you are saying is very wise and useful.

In the context of this thread, even keeping in mind new readers who might not have seen your previous replies, I notice that you appear to be doing something I was very guilty of in the past and am still doing to a small degree now (but I am continually improving): there is no longer a need to continually stress your position with defensive caveats as though you are not permitted to have an opinion without also stating it's just your perspective and you are not saying it as universal truth, that everybody's experience is different and yours might not be the right one etc.

I can admire why you do it, but it is such an enormous waste of energy that could be better spent on expressing your views (which you already do well, but hey we can always improve) or clarifying your putting your thoughts into words that we can relate to. Just some friendly advice (whether you need it or not) just thought I would mention what I believe others reading this are probably thinking.

edit on 17/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 04:28 PM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Thanks for the advice. You're right of course. I suppose i'm just keen to not come across as being preachy or a smartarse or seem to be imposing my view on others. I'll take your advice on board




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