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to get annoyed about positivity?

(31 Posts)
GreenGoth89 Thu 28-Apr-16 23:40:50

I was brought up with complementary medicine and conventional...I used the odd bit here and there as I got older but decided I didn't think all of it worked - at least for me, at that time, don't get me wrong there are bits I still swear by - aromatherapy is awesome for stress. 5 years ago i got diagnosed with a chronic health condition which has caused me to have a lot of health difficulties, and since then I've tried (in conjunction with what the GP/consultants etc have offered, which also on the whole haven't helped in some cases have actually harmed me) a lot of different things and when they do work they're often too expensive to continue but when they don't I'm not thinking positively enough about making a substantial change in my life. I am a pragmatist not an eternal optimist but this kind of attitude really reeks of salesmanship or blaming the client! AIBU or is this just poor craftsman blaming their tools sort of situation?

MattDillonsPants Fri 29-Apr-16 00:23:21

Well YANBU. It seems like a load of old flannel. "Positivity" can't be measured in clinical trials can it!?


No, stick to what works and what the NHS provides OP. The only thing worth pursuing in my opinion as a complimentary therapy type thing is yoga.

Have you thought about that?

GarlicShake Fri 29-Apr-16 02:48:01

That stuff makes me fume! It's victim-blaming.

Yes to yoga, countryside walks & meditation if you can manage any of them. Yes to a healthy, balanced diet. Yes to actual medical medicine.

No to anything that claims to work through vibrations, medicines made of water that has been chanted over, medicinal practices that developed in the Middle Ages, and anything that claims to know something "big pharma won't tell you".

If you do think your own mind is worsening your illness, consider channelling some of that money into psychotherapy. If the problem's more an issue with acceptance, the NHS offers a range of programs to help restructure your expectations.

A4Document Fri 29-Apr-16 02:55:14

If "thinking positive" actually worked to cure health problems, there wouldn't be any need for the medical profession.

00100001 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:43:04

Ah, but there are clinical trials about placebos, showing that they work - which could be interpreted that "positive thinking" does have an effect in a sort of roundabout way.

GreenGoth89 Fri 29-Apr-16 13:57:10

I'm fairly confident that one day I'll be better than I currently am but I have no idea to what extent, but I don't think that's being negative I think that's fairly neutral at worst!

GarlicShake Fri 29-Apr-16 14:48:48

No, that's not being negative at all smile

Clandestino Fri 29-Apr-16 14:57:50

"Think positive" is a lazy gobshite of a professional's excuse for not doing their job. Faith healers belong to the fairy land of chakras, karmas and positive vibes.

DerelictDaughter Fri 29-Apr-16 15:06:27

That whole 'think positive' attitude tends to come from people who, for whatever reason, have a kind of desperation to fix themselves. Sometimes it's really ok, eg I have a friend with severe and chronic depression who says up front that she can't cope with anything negative and so will go on about positives all the time. It's survival for her and she's honest about it too.

Contrast that with the misanthrope whose way of getting through the day hating those around them is to reframe everything as 'I must pretend positivity at all times otherwise I will be rumbled for being an utter c**t.' Have known several of these, who will spout all sorts of balls just to look better than everyone else.

You be who you want to be and good luck with recovery and management of your condition.

expatinscotland Fri 29-Apr-16 15:06:32

YANBU. You should hear how cancer patients and their families get that shoved down their throats.

A4Document Fri 29-Apr-16 15:26:19

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World

An interesting book!

SarahVineTory Fri 29-Apr-16 15:30:23

I am a realist/pragmatist too. CBT and the ilk don't work on me either. I realised I am not into gaslighting and emperior new clothes thinking. I know "it will be ok" seems to work on others, I think the person saying that when they have no way of knowing things will be ok is an odd bod.

CaptainCrunch Fri 29-Apr-16 15:56:49

SarahVineTory, just because CBT didn't work for you, please don't lump it in with "positivity". CBT is nothing like "positive thinking", if anything it is "realistic thinking". I too am pragmatic realist and don't care for cancer patients being told "they can fight this" and similar claptrap, but that has nothing to do with CBT.

SarahVineTory Fri 29-Apr-16 15:58:31

Point taken.

FuckingMother Fri 29-Apr-16 16:47:31

Sounds hard. I am a stalwart believer in keep on keeping on but I also think it is vital to acknowledge when things feel bad. When something or someone hurts you. When a situation is shite. It is facile to do otherwise imho.

It isn't because you aren't positive enough. It hasn't worked. I think there are times treatment (non-conventional or just behaviour modification) doesn't work because the person either doesn't engage with it or it jars with them, or because they really really don't want it to work, but that isn't the same as being positive.

My highly annoying SIL is like this. I had a really bad headache once and DH needed to pick something up from her house. I stayed in the car because she is so loud and in your face. All of a sudden she was there at the car window. She made me get out, circled her fingers on my temples and sang "Jesus will heal you" loudly, over and over again. Strangely, it didn't work. But that was because I didn't let Jesus do it apparently, he had actually been standing there ready to heal me but I was a disbeliever. My bad.

MrsDeVere Fri 29-Apr-16 16:59:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsChrisPratt Fri 29-Apr-16 17:02:56

Oh god, don't get me started. Third IVF has just failed and everyone keeps telling me to chill out, relax, it will happen, just go on holiday. If it was that fucking simple I'd have three kids by now YOU FUCKWITS!!!! Me relaxing isn't miraculously going to multiply DHs sperm count 40 times to get it into the normal range is it?!!!

MrsDeVere Fri 29-Apr-16 17:28:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Fri 29-Apr-16 20:45:55

I'm so sorry, MrsC.

acasualobserver Fri 29-Apr-16 21:00:23

Another recommendation here for The Barbara Ehrenreich book, Smile or Die (linked above). She is excellent on this topic.

CaptainCrunch Fri 29-Apr-16 21:03:37

Cheers Sarah smile

Anicechocolatecake Fri 29-Apr-16 22:01:10

M.E patients too, alas, expat.
It is so insulting, when you think about it.
Smile or Die is an excellent book.

katieinthesunshine Sat 30-Apr-16 03:57:04

Ha I came here to recommend the Smile or Die book and see 3 people have done this already! Really excellent interesting book, just have my copy to a friend last week as it's so interesting

GraysAnalogy Sat 30-Apr-16 04:06:26

It's a question thats entrenched in all sorts of issues that we could be here all day debating.

It depends on the issue. I have BPD. I need meds to cope. But I also need a damn lot of positive thought too. Most people benefit from positive thought. It doesn't mean it's going to magically cure them but it can improve their quality of life. It depends what sort of goal posts you're setting

GarlicShake Sat 30-Apr-16 04:43:11

Well, there's managing your mood and, as OP says, being "fairly confident that one day I'll be better than I currently am" - both of which amount to constructive attitudes.

Then there's wishful thinking and denial.

I have ME and Anice is spot on - we're constantly being given drivel that means, basically, we have chosen to be incapacitated. I'm pretty good at shutting it down (I also have depression, so I get a lot of practice!) But the government's new approach to chronic illness is based on the discredited PACE protocol for ME, mashed up with an equally discreditable theory of bio-social psychology. When you're looking at the possibility your subsistence may be withdrawn due to "incorrect" thinking, Smile Or Die takes on a terrifying relevance.

I welcome all the (proper) therapy I can get, including a helpful course of CBT with the occupational therapy team, and have signed up for Expert Patients. That stuff's about managing your attitude & conditions, not magicking your problems away.

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