A Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Dystonia Symptoms

In this step: CHANGE Your Future

Step Eight

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 Now that you may begin to see the results of your efforts, it's time to remain steadfast, consolidate your gains and not slide back.

 The nature of dystonia is such that the symptoms became "embedded" in your subconscious and can resurface again .

 It is important that you remain alert about this possibility and that you take steps to handle any relapse or relapses. A relapse is a bad day, a bad game, a bad performance, a bad situation when dystonia roars back.

 If you have suffered from dystonia for any length of time,  it may have burrowed in and that it may be more difficult to mitigate its symptoms, thus requiring more effort on your part.

 If you have at least partially succeeded, keep in mind that a relapse is not the end of the world and it doesn't mean that it is coming back as it was before.

 The road from full dystonia to wellness (which may consist of less frequent and less intense symptoms) is not a straight and smooth line. It is more like a zigzag line, whereby you may temporarily feel that you're going backwards.

 This is more likely to happen in times of appropriate life stress , for example, when something happens in your life that causes a large release of adrenal and cortisol hormones into your bloodstream.

 Your body "remembers" the dystonia symptoms, and the area that was originally affected (eyes, vocal cords, hands, etc.) remains vulnerable to a recurrence of the symptoms. This is normal. What if I get discouraged, lose hope?

 If you broke your leg once, it may have completely mended, but it may remain as a vulnerable spot in your body and one that may give some pain if you get too tired. This is also normal.

 In case of relapse, as before, the key to handle it correctly is to take it in stride (detach emotionally from it) and to focus on the cause of the stress reaction (the stressor itself) and to temporarily resume your work of reducing the adrenaline and cortisol in your bloodstream.

 The process should be very familiar to you by now, and may require less effort than it did before.

  Stay calm, be patient, be determined to succeed and the relapse will be taken care of. Trust your body to know what to do.

  What else can I do? While you consolidate your gains in symptom reduction, you can also try these suggestions on how to live well with dystonia, by DMRF.

  Finally, sometimes you can really use the help of a trained clinician who will act as your coach. While you work on your own at symptom reduction, you can also let me help you with a psychotherapeutic treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, which will greatly improve your chances of success. You will find the details of my program here.

  Good luck! 

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