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Cognitive Therapy


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Hi RM,

I tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for about six months to address my depression and fatigue. I am assuming your son's brain fog is accompanied by fatigue. Of course depression also magnifies both ---is this an issue for him?

CBT is expensive, but I found a therapist in training whom I liked very much.

The steps involved tracking feelings and activities, and then gradually moving to increasing the latter. I met with her 2x/wk. I enjoyed our talk sessions, but I was basically too sick and depressed to meet goals (even

baby steps). I also felt that although my therapist was supportive, she did not have the insight/experience to effectively address where I am in life right now (having to give up my profession, etc.).

Interestingly, my depression and brain fog are now lifting....I attribute this to time as well as 3x weekly private yoga/bodywork sessions. I am also seeing a wise psychologist for basic therapy. I am still very fatigued...but my strength is improving.....

I think any sort of therapy/counseling with someone who understands the ramifications of chronic illness would be helpful. Perhaps CBT would be appropriate for your son.

My basic suggestion is to have an "interview" session with the therapist to see if there is a match (looking at personality as well as therapeutic approach).

The key is that your son is on board with the idea of therapy and that he clicks with the therapist.

Hope this is helpful....


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It might..won't hurt to try.

CBT is now at the center of a controversy in Britain, where a recent study paired it with "graduated exercise" as a "successful" treatment for CFS/ME.
I've read the statistics were flawed and the duration of the study too short for optimistic conclusions...Yet there were also complaints like mine: that goal-setting is difficult with unpredictable illnesses.

It's great your son is not depressed, and as I said, who knows, he might respond to CBT. It's not a med, and has proven to be effective for many disorders. I gave it a good shot so I can't tell you not to try! As I mentioned, it may be uplifting to have someone else regularly rooting for your son, as well as for him to have a private place to discuss things like missing school...

You are clearly a very kind mom!

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I do CBT, for me it was mainly to treat my anxiety disorder and depression. I see my anxiety is very much influenced by how sensitive my nervous system, or POTS symptoms seem to be on any given day. I do find it helpful to a certain degree; it has helped my OCD basically become a non-factor, and with practicing mindfulness, my anxiety and depression have gotten much better. I think CBT is a good start (assuming the costs aren't a problem, because it can get expensive), but for me I had to do more outside of the sessions, so doing daily meditation and reading from a mindfulness book to help put it into practice on a daily basis.

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