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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I live alone in a cabin, and a shop, 10 miles out of town in

Customer Question

I live alone in a cabin, and a shop, 10 miles out of town in oregon. I'm 44 and have a lot of pain issues from things such as a compound femur, tree climbing, broken clavicle, my choice of women,stuff adds up. I'm very antisocial. I've been getting almost psychotic in my shop.
I take mirtazapine, that helps some.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
HelloCustomer- thanks for visiting JA.

I think the first thing to do is get your pain control properly in order. See your doctor and agree with him a treatment regime (medication, exercise, physiotherapy etc) which will give you a better quality of life in that area.

I see from your post that you feel you are becoming anti-social - often in these situations, this leads to a cycle of more and more isolation, less and less good social contact which inturn leads on to more self-isolating behavior.

I'm sure this can be changed, however, and I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

In your case, will help you to revaluate your social situation, and start to move forward into a more comfortable lifestyle.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

Best regards,


Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, you are right that I need to deal with one thing at a time. The catch-22 of anxiety disorder, kinda keeps me out of the docs office. And that I've known him for years, I built a 5 bay log carport for him a few years ago.
So ya see, over 20 years in the community, and life is full of sticky details. I do my own contracts, no insurance, but he charges me $28 a visit. I havnt told him about the shoulder, last physical thing was drop foot for three months last year from the work I do.Turned out to be perneal nerve damage, but being down that long really reminded me that my body isnt getting younger.
I think when I emailed him for head meds, and saw him, it was awkward to visit around the fact that my cheese has slid off my cracker a bit. Maybe more than a bit
The pit I feel like I'm in is more a lack of wanting to do anything else. You know the saying, be careful of what you want. I've roamed far, and covered a lot of ground doing my work, and have the homestead I always envisioned.
My biology work (molluscs), and construction leave me winters here, if I watch my acorns.My sleep is ok if I take a klonopin, havnt yet, probably be up till I do.
Part of my thing is also issues with the medical establishment. See, I was hit by a station wagon, and then in traction with a compound femur at 12, and dont like the medical setting much. Nor opiates. I left home on a bicycle at 17, broke my shoulder in the woods, never set it. Lots of injuries treeplanting and climbing, long list.
No doc till last year. Then that foot drop thing, and Jim thought it was a spine injury, L5'...MRIs, neurologist, just to tell me I've been on my knees too much. 12 years looking for snails now. That alone is enough to drive anyone bonkers. I found 2 target snails all last year.
Luckly, when I started my business in 95 I became the pres. of the corp, but also an employee, so comp covered the foot drop thing, but I dont think I could claim mental duress for crawling around, looking under rocks and sticks in the woods alone all day.
Which brings us to where to go from here.
My relationship with Jim, I could go see Kathy, the other doc, or the clinic, but that also involves circles of people here.
And then there's the pain issue. I dont even know what to guage my pain against. I'll tell you, when I bought firewood for the first time in my life last year, I sure felt small buying it from don, he's 87 years old, a WW2 vet. Tough old guy, nice as can be. I'm 44 and dont feel up to cutting my wood? What a whimp.There's some millworkers, and old loggers around here that hurt more than I, thats for sure.
Then, maybe it's something else. The remeron has helped a lot, but I've been spinning out of control in the shop, not good around lathes, milling machines, and big saws. The spells last around 2 hours,usually just after noon, food helps, then I feel sort of ok.
I've told my story to a few people, and they agree I've been through a lot, and I some of them go like this. Inbetween the 5 year bicycle ride, and becoming a woodsworker I lived with a family for a few years, and had a variety of entanglements in the little community out of town. I bought this place from my neighbor chuck, who got me my first woodswork job in 87, and we worked together for years.I was with Na back then, she's his partner now.
It dosnt hurt to have an ER nurse for a neighbor out here, but lots of stuff there, she dropped some stuff from chuck on my step yesturday, we dont talk much after I came apart last winter. Every direction I turn here, there's some connection. And most people want to see me, it's my head that has gone where it has, people think I dont want to see them. Well, actually, I sortof dont...
Well, if you got through all that, maybe you have some ideas of how I should procede, go to doc jim, hat in hand, or do what everyone is telling me to do, and get a puppy.
Oh, yea. I shot my old buddy in the head, and buried him close. I should have had a vet put him down. That was hard. That was a hard thing to do.
Thanks for your thoughts, Russell
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
OK Russell - you wre kind to your old buddy, and I'll bet he had fith that you would do the right thing for him when the time came. And you did.

Go 'Cap in hand' to the Doc? No - just go to the Doc. You fix wood - he fixes fols, and that's his job - that's all it is.

Get a puppy too - get two! Everybody needs a pal, just as you do.

But - get that therapy as well, and get a whole new world with it.

My very best wishes,

NormanM. - Oh and thanks for the acceptance too!

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