Friday, 7 June 2013

Wrong Ex Machina

But what you fail to appreciate, you vapid, vacuous, pollyannaish cunt of a machine, is that I may be entirely accurate in my assessment that I am the worst person who has ever lived! You're assuming that I'm lovely, which is nice and all, but I might not be. You know NOTHING. I have done HORRIBLE THINGS and think HORRIBLE THOUGHTS and it's all a MASSIVE FACADE to hide the fact that I am AWFUL. What if Hitler was taking this test on How Much Your Self-Worth Is Dependent On Other People's Attitudes, huh? He'd score great! That wouldn't have made him any less of a genocidal fuckhead! Because he actually was bad, like I am actually bad, OH GOD I'M WORSE THAN HITLER...
When you're arguing computerised CBT because it refuses to agree that you are the devil incarnate, it's probably time to call it a day.

(Which is not to denigrate CBT! CBT is great, and the only talky therapy to show measurable results in trials (though longer-term therapies are more difficult to study), and I personally found it super-helpful in dealing with anxiety, and if I manage to stop arguing with it I imagine it will be similarly useful in attacking depression. Also you can do it for free at Here endeth today's inspirational message.)


  1. Hmm this gives me a horrible sense of foreboding. I think I'm about to start getting some CBT. That's what the doctor said I should do, anyway, and apparently someone will call me? And then it will happen. I don't quite know.

    I've read up a fair bit about it, but I can't seem to get a sense of it. Could you maybe tell me a little about what to expect? I think we're based in roughly the same area. Please tell me to fuck off if you'd rather not. I know it's a bit cheeky! But I'm scared.

    1. Oh no, I feel terrible now! I honestly did find it really useful - I think face-to-face CBT is a lot better (I'm doing computerised stuff as an emergency stopgap) - having an actual person discussing your conviction that you're The Worst is a lot more effective than a webpage with a standardised message, you know?

      So it's basically about how thoughts create feelings which create behaviours (which create thoughts, etc): so you can interrogate your thoughts (eg. this thought might be 'catastrophic thinking', where you extrapolate from one incident to convince yourself that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO HELL), find more reasonable thoughts to think, which makes you feel better, which makes you act in a more healthy way, which then makes you have happier thoughts.

      Your therapist will discuss what specific problems you'd like to tackle and agree on a plan. You'll do exercises like take an example of a negative/illogical thought process and assess how healthy/helpful/sensible it is, and try to come up with a more productive way to react to the same stimuli.

      What I found helpful was that it brings all your murky bad thinking out into the open rather than have a brain full of unidentified shitty feelings.

      So REALLY don't be scared, it's not scary at all and could be massively helpful. I really hope it goes well and I'm so sorry for making you worry about it.

      (PS whereabouts are you? Nosy!)


    2. Thanks so much for that - that sounds bearable. Not that I don't kinda dread articulating the murky bad, but not articulating it doesn't seem to be working, so it's obviously time for a plan B!

      Gah this feels like I pay an unhealthy amount of attention to your posts, but you mentioned the other day something about commuting through Euston, which I also do, and which totally doesn't mean that we're anywhere near each other, actually!

    3. Ohhh and I forgot to say: please don't feel bad about writing the post! You didn't say anything wrong, but I literally just found out about this and I latched on to your discussion of it to focus my panic and bombard you with REASSURE ME PLEASE! So, um, thanks for doing that! :-)

    4. Phew, glad to help. (Haha, was just thinking if I apologise again we could achieve perpetual motion - two depressives apologising endlessly on a feedback loop of eternity...)

      Good luck with plan B, give me a shout if you'd like to talk. x

  2. CBT did nothing for me. Let's discuss this in person xx