A Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Dystonia Symptoms

In this step: CHANGE
Your Powerlessness Into Power Over Dystonia

Step Seven

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 Only you can manage your dystonia symptoms.

 You can read one or more books about it, get help from a coach, get some medication, self-medicate, or simply suffer through it, mired in hopelessness and despair. What else can you do?

 You are in charge of all outcomes, good or bad: take full responsibility and figure out that it is up to you to conquer it, or continue to be victimized by it.

 If you are determined and patient with the application of the technique of detachment (adrenaline/cortisol reduction) and focus on it (and not on the outcome of completing your tasks), you may more easily calm down and let your body do what it knows to do.

 Underneath your dystonia symptoms, your eyes know how to blink normally, your vocal cords know how to produce your normal voice, your arms know how to make a good put, your lips know the right embouchure for your instrument, your fingers haven't forgotten at all how to grip the baseball or how to play the piano or how to write neatly or type. Nothing has changed!

 Your skills are still there . All of them!

 You may need to go back through these step not only once, but twice, three times, a dozen times, until you believe in them, trust your body, and re-master your emotions.

 Don't give up! This seventh step is about patience and determination in applying what you've learned.

 I know that all this isn't your forte. It isn't anybody's forte. It is not supposed to be, actually. Who wants to become paralyzed in the middle of a task  and just wait for the dystonia symptoms to go away?

 The reason for doing this maneuver, though, is that it is vital to getting anywhere that is better than where you are now.

 Right now, your dystonia symptoms are on the opposite end of detachment: they are everything!

 You must make light of · make little/nothing of · set little/no store by · gloss over · under-emphasize · downplay · understate · underplay · minimize · shrug off · soft-pedal · tone down · diminish · downgrade · trivialize · detract from · underrate · underestimate · undervalue · think little of · disparage · decry · deprecate · talk down · belittle · slight · scoff at · sneer at · pooh-pooh · derogate your dystonia symptoms. Basic breath awareness and mindfulness

 You conquer dystonia by downgrading the emotional content of your symptoms, and detaching from how they make you feel; this is how you will be able to reduce the adrenaline and cortisol flow and, over time, greatly reduce the symptoms' impact on your life.

 You conquer dystonia by depersonalizing it, i.e. understanding that it has attached to you much like a parasite, but it is not you, and that it does not define your identity. What if I get discouraged, lose hope?

  You reduce your dystonia symptoms by staying calm, patient, and determined to succeed.

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