Regarding what? Regarding what kind of recovery has helped others for their anxiety.
I have already posted a couple of posts indicating I have been in a cult in my brief history.
Now I am posting in "Index -> Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups" and have said I have suffered anxiety for over a decade.
I wonder what other psychological helps people have taken in their recovery.
Psychology CBT has helped me since I embraced psychology a couple of years ago. That took a long time for me to accept since it was forbidden in the churches I went to including the cult.
Diet and exercise, also greatly has helped.
I go to psychology support groups that have helped and interfaith churches also.
I am a nonreligious Christian. There is a "cult expert" near me who is a traditional christian. Since I am not that anymore, I would be incompatible to see that person. I am still conservative in way of behavior but I believe God loves everyone and His Spirit is in all people and I respect everyone.
I feel very guarded around people still. I am working with psychology materials and hope to make more progress.
Is anyone else into psychology, diet and exercise, interfaith churches?
Some people never get over the anxiety, at least not completely, without some type of social network ready, willing and able to help. Some people worry that if they get involved with something similar, they might get sucked into another cult.
Family and friends can make all the difference. People willing to support you so you can get over the trauma and move on with your life. The way I look at is this: I don't want my former group controlling me anymore so why should I let my fears grip me? It took a long time to get to this point. I would lay awake and think back on my past life, it would mess with my sleep patterns [sleeping six and a half hours a night (the same as what we were allowed) for weeks on end and then crashing and burning for several days at a time].
I started exercising before bed. It helped clear my mind and helped me fall asleep. I was fearful I was being followed. You'd be surprised how many people drive black cars, until my aunt pointed out to me the different license plate numbers. It takes time and talking. Some people tell me they have written letters to their former cults, fill it up with all the hate from inside of them and then rip it up. They say it helps, especially if you have a limited network (or family/friends that don't understand).
I have issues...seriously, though, I'm not the emotional basket case I was thirteen years ago. Good luck.
Hi Recoveryingtoo, i think it is great how you have found these different things to help you recover. To hear you say that there is a cult expert near by but that they wouldnt suit you is fantastic because is shows you are finding your own opinion and an awareness of your needs. It can be easy to leave a cult and then fall into following someone else - what they say you need even if it doesnt help or even hurts you. It can be a real challenge to feel entitled to do your own thing and start to find what suits you. I also found psych and counselling techniques have helped in some ways but i havent found a new church or spiritual group that hasnt turned out to follow the same old tune of telling me what the truth is.
Also Mary S. Thanks for your posts, they have given me a lot of perspective because the context is quite different to my cult but the underlying fear and pressure is the same pattern.
Im interested in the process of identifying our desires and needs and more importantly feeling entitled to do so. I took on the belief in my group that i should not have any desires of my own, that it is selfish and against God to do so. The aim was to surrender my own will desires and life to God which actually meant in practice to do only the things that served the leader like getting more members, giving him money etc. But it was under the guise of spirituality, being peaceful and nice to everyone, praying and meditating all the time. What happened to our actual human selves - our feelings, inclinations, individuality? That was all seen as very bad, to be ignored and we were to keep focus on so called divine things. I did this for so long that it is such a turn around to feel not only is it ok to think about what i would like and need, but it is actually what we are meant to do as human beings. To know that God would want this has been virtually impossible for me to believe for a long time. I know now that this is true, but I still revert to old ways and fears often. I have found the best thing now is just to right down what I know to be true and just read it fairly often thus reprogramming some of the destructive beliefs.
Revertingtoo, I like that term you use ''nonreligious Christian''. I actually had a terrible time for many years in my own life because I did have a faith but I didn't want to have to jump through hoops in order to share it. Why can't human beings talk about their souls and God and the afterlife without feeling that they need to perform a gazillion rituals? I think it's interesting that your cult forbade psychology. I know many cult leaders who actually embrace and use psychology in a very negative way. I shyed away from psychology for that exact reason. The Bible and Psychology were both used by cult leaders and family members against me. Getting into psychology and books and reading the Bible for myself was a help in my own personal recovery because I was able to see through their garbage by going right to the source and understanding how they were actually perverting things. Come to think of it diet and exercise was also a help to me and I think for the same reason. The cult I was in actually told us what to eat regaining control of my own diet helped. Good luck with your recovery.
I think it is true that a certain amount of anxiety about relationships never goes away completely, but I look to seeing those feelings become more brief as recovery happens. They become brief if you learn the methods of identifying triggers and ignore the "false" triggers while avoiding the genuine ones.
I also found that repetitious hobby activity helps a lot. Kind of like art therapy, but stops short of the expressive part. Some people knit or take up beadcrafts, I sew quilts. I find the hand-sewing is slow and relaxing and allows me to watch tv or just relax in some other way while doing it and it prevents me from feeling that I am "wasting" my time, since one of the triggers for cults that have used volunteers is often the sense that you should always be "doing" something.
I know exactly what you guys mean. The cult abuse has caused me to live in constant fear of ,exploitation,betrayal and/or attack from acquaintances, friends, strangers and most of all significant others. (My other thread explains that a bit more.) I also fear that I may end up in a different cult. I know my current friends are good friends, they do not exhibit cultic behavior but I keep flipping out on them and thinking that they will betray me or something even though I know they wouldn't. :(
I really highly recommend counseling with a counselor who has special training and experience in dealing with people recovering from cultic relationships. Since there are very few of those, a counselor with extensive experience dealing with battered spouses is a good second choice, because many of the dynamics are the same.
I did not recover until I did intensive counseling with a psychologist who spent several years in a cult himself. Although I had read all sorts of books and worked with other counselors, none of them had dealt with this issue well, because they didn't understand and they couldn't understand. They thought they understood, though.
If you've been in a cult, you might also have mother issues or whatever, but the cult issue must be dealt with separately, and FIRST.
There's no reason to be permanenty damaged because of a few bad years, and there's no need.