DystoniaHelp.DrMarkZuccolo.com

A Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Dystonia Symptoms

In this step: CHANGE
Your History of Fear, Shame, and Stress

Step Six

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 If you can make this adrenaline/cortisol/stress lowering technique work for you, it will reduce your fear of dystonia's symptoms.

 However, there may be two aggravating factors that could delay your symptom reduction.

 First, your stress may come not only from your frustration of not being able to start, do, or finish a task or from the annoyance of the symptoms - it may also come from shame .

 Shame could be a key factor in whether your dystonia symptoms will be reduced, because shame acts as one of the most powerful activators of the adrenaline/cortisol release mechanism.

 One ounce of shame produces one gallon of adrenaline and cortisol, figuratively speaking.

 Moreover, shame (and the stress of it) goes up by a 1000% if someone (your family, your audience, your coach, other players) is watching you and seeing you struggle with your dystonia.

 Just in case shame is the reason, you should do the steps of this technique in private , at least initially.

 Second, your stress may come from bad memories; to use a more technical term, it may come from post traumatic stress.

 Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a consequence of either having experienced a serious traumatic event, or of having been exposed to a traumatic situation for some length of time.  More about PTSD 

 When dystonia first appeared in your life , you may have experienced shock, disbelief, anger, depression, fear, and anxiety; the combination of any of these negative feelings and dystonia symptoms, over time, may have built quite a catalog of bad moments, bad situations, and bad memories in your head.

 Now, when you approach a task, this "emotional trash" or baggage or PTSD weighs very heavily on your subconscious and even on your conscious mind.

 PTSD acts as one of the most powerful activators of the adrenaline/cortisol release mechanism.

 Taken together, the two aggravating factors of shame and PTSD may make it more difficult for you to decrease your symptoms of dystonia. Not impossible, but more difficult.

 There is good news in here, too!

 Shame and PTSD are emotional factors and, as such, they can be acted upon in the same way as you act upon all other stressors, that is, through the technique of detachment  you've learned so far. What if I get discouraged, lose hope?

  Don't let all this emotional trash distract you from your goal of reducing the flow of adrenaline and cortisol in your blood stream, because that is the fuel mix which powers your dystonia symptoms.

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