Trouble stopping a setback


Recently I put myself in a situation I was not ready for, and I ended up flooding myself with anxiety and I found myself back in depression and sorrow for a time.

I knew what was going on and I knew I should have caught myself and told myself the truth, used the coping statements, read over a handout to slow my thinking down, etc., but I couldn’t do it. It’s like I didn’t care anymore and I just let the ANTs take over my mind.

Does anyone have some advise on what to do when the ANTs are this strong that I can’t even bring myself to try and ignore them?


Sounds like you don’t care anymore. I totally understand! The first advise that came to my mind was to fully immerse yourself in your “why” - the Bigger Picture. Why did you purchase the Series? Why have you spent so much time reading the handouts? Really feel the pain of your past or … a more positive way would be to create a daydream about how you would feel, look, act, without SA. I would suggest doing one and then the other.

You have to be rock solid on “why” you are doing this CBT and remind yourself when needed. Ask yourself, “Why is it so important right now, in this moment, to catch, say stop and distract myself from ANTs?” “How bad do I want to overcome SA?” “What can I gain in life from living with a peaceful / rational brain?” It helps to connect on an emotional level to the frustration of SA (the ANTs handout also does this) and the pleasure of “deserving your dream” (line from a Jewell song).

Also, do one thing a day to make yourself feel competent and in control. This will help with the not caring (depression). When we generate positive emotions (building mastery is doing tasks that we know will be within our control to get a positive outcome) within ourselves on a daily basis we start to care about everything on a deeper level. We believe our confidence (positive outcome) in one area can bleed over into other areas. My goal in writing my second personal post was to extend what I have read recently and even if you don’t reply it was a great decision for me to reply to you because I have reinforced it to myself. Thank you for posting and I know the frustration will end when you have done the work and are ready.


Thanks for the reply!

I think reminding myself why I’m doing this series is a good suggestion and I will definitely try to remember to ask those questions if this happens again.

I’ve tried the daydreaming before, but I don’t think that works so well for me. When I come back to reality, I’m just reminded about where I am right now and how far away from getting better I feel I am. It just gets me overwhelmed and more anxious.

I think the main thing to help, like you said and what Dr. Richards says, is to take a small step and do one thing I wasn’t doing before, no matter how insignificant I think it is.

Seriously, thank you. I needed to hear this :slight_smile: