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Self Talk

The following are just ideas that some members have found to be especially helpful for dealing with the problems encountered in withdrawal.

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"The more you indulge in negative thoughts, the more you send counterproductive messages to your brain and body, delaying healing. Alternately, the more negative messages and images you ingest (e.g., from the TV, movies, newspapers), the darker your thinking is likely to be.

Whether you believe the words at the time or not, it's always best to send yourself positive messages. So, the minute you find yourself generating yet another downer thought -- "I'm not strong enough to make it through this withdrawal," or "I can't take this anymore" -- tell yourself "Stop!" then replace the bad thought with a positive one. Here are some pointers:

bulletOur brains don't necessarily hear the words "no" and "not." Telling yourself "I'm not scared" may have no real benefit, because it may process as "I'm scared." Instead, tell yourself "I'm courageous" -- i.e., put a positive spin on every thought.
bulletThink in the present tense. Saying "I will get better" implies nothing will happen until the future, and thoughts of the future often generate anxiety. Instead, say, "I am getting better. I am getting over this." It anchors you in the present moment.
bulletRepeat these messages as many times as necessary to drown out the negative cognitions. You will eventually start believing them.
bulletIf you find yourself repeatedly returning to the same negative thoughts, jot them down on a piece of paper. Spent 15 minutes a day -- your "Mad, Sad, Bad Time" -- reading through the list, and when the thoughts arise at other times, stop and tell yourself, "Not now ... I'll save this thought for Mad, Sad, Bad Time." Eventually, these thoughts and fears, becoming worn-out through sheer repetition during the 15 allotted minutes, will start to seem ridiculous, and then fade away."

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.

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Last updated 22 July 2015