Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 358286

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Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 10:02:22

You know, you just can't please me.

The once a week schedule just didn't make a dent -- I would open up, leave, become a mess, and pull myself together in time for the next week to start the cycle all over again. After my emotional meltdown, we've increased contact, and the part of the cycle that is missing is the "pulling myself back together" part. I feel like I am walking around wounded, and it's starting to show at work (they can't believe what they're seeing -- I'm always in control) and with my family. In fact, I'm sitting out on the Father's Day get together today for my father-in-law because I am too raw, and it just reminds me of my father's death and all of the unresolved issues there.

I submerge myself in the suicidal ideation more, and I am feeling weak and tired. To overcome the feelings of wanting to die, I usually stay active and busy and distracted, but I don't have the energy anymore. I've isolated myself as much as possible because I cannot carry on the facade that gets me through my days.

This is a low point for me. I have therapy tomorrow -- I won't complain since I asked for this. But yuck -- is there really any hope?

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite

Posted by Dinah on June 20, 2004, at 10:41:54

In reply to Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 10:02:22

Hey, just because you asked for it doesn't mean you can't complain. Although I would call it reassessing the situation and processing the outcome. Your therapist should know what's going on and help you with containment during the rest of your week. Perhaps some ritual towards the end of a session to help you get back in real world mode.

There's no reason to feel like you can't talk about it with your therapist because it was your idea. Trying new things, assessing outcomes, and making adjustments is all a healthy part of life and therapy.

I'm sorry you're feeling so badly.

(((Aphrodite)))

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 11:44:42

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite, posted by Dinah on June 20, 2004, at 10:41:54

Maybe you need to take a day off from hard issues in your therapy. You could put the issues aside for a day or week and just concentrate on feeling close and secure. I do that every once and a while when I have been working on hard issues and it is a live saver (literally) for me.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by daisym on June 20, 2004, at 14:56:20

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 11:44:42

It won't help that I'm going to tell you that this is supposed to happen...but it is. You are feeling old feelings in the here and now and it is confusing and disorienting. You are experiencing what I believe they call the "crisis phase" on the path to healing. I've been there. It is hell. Increasing your sessions is getting you the results you want, you are letting the FEELINGS out and you aren't so in charge of everything.

However, I couldn't, didn't make progress until I actually let my Therapist take care of me when I was in this melt down phase. (metaphorically speaking, of course) You are still protecting your T -- I know you know what he is going through but it doesn't mean he can't do his job and lend you some strength. Dinah is right, just because you suggested it doesn't mean you aren't allowed to say, "this is hard and I need some help managing the feelings." For me, I developed an online friendship with someone I could be completely honest with about the feelings sessions were creating and she helps me process them. We talk almost every day, helping each other. I think you might need someone to do this with. It really does help between sessions.

I also had (have) a ton of contact with my Therapist. This isn't always possible. And I've (gasp) taken time off work or worked at home when it was really bad.

It cycles out...it will ease off. But the more you isolate yourself the longer that takes. FORCE yourself to be with people, watch movies, write, go to the park, color with your son. Distraction really is the key here.

Father's Day brings up painful memories for so many of us. I'm sorry you are feeling it so acutely. Keep writing if it helps.

I'm thinking about you.
Daisy

Did you ever get "Courage to Heal"? When I feel really horrible I reread the pages on crisis. It helps to know that this is something a lot of people go through.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite

Posted by Racer on June 20, 2004, at 16:18:43

In reply to Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 10:02:22

Aphrodite, I'm in my own crisis right now, so you have my permission to write off anything I say to you about this. Obviously, this is "do as I say, not as I do" typing.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let me try to get on with it. If you've read my other posts, you'll know that that's not likely to happen very quickly.

Yes. This does end. Personally, I call it the "dishrag" phase of therapy. That's because, no matter how "good" the therapy session, it leaves me feeling like a wrung out dishrag. I've broken bones, I've been hospitalized for very frightening and potentially life threatening physical ailments, I've been attacked by animals, I've been in car wrecks -- and not one of those things can come close to comparing with the absolute hell of the Dishrag Phase.

It does end.

Just about the time you're absolutely, positively sure it will never end, that nothing in life is worth the agony you're experiencing, one day it is over and you can't even imagine that it could have been so painful.

Part of my tragedy is being unable to have children. Those women I know who have spoken to me about childbirth have all said the same thing: they remember that it was so painful they couldn't imagine living through it. They have all said that they can't remember the pain. That's what the Dishrag Phase is like. Once it is past, it is past. You may remember that it was painful, you may have some residual melancholy over having had to go through it, but you will not remember the actual pain.

Aphrodite, despite my current hell, I can still tell you this from experience. Yes, I am experiencing a crisis which is so painful I can't imagine living through it. You'll notice I'm here today, and you'll notice that I'm posting to you, giving you more hope than I can muster up for myself. I don't know what that means to you, I don't even know what it means to me. But you have my promise that the Dishrag Phase ends.

My own Dishrag Phase happened 20 years ago, and I *knew* I could not live through it. I *knew* that it could never be healed. I did live through it. It did heal. Guess what? My current crisis has nothing whatsoever to do with anything related to those issues. The healing was complete.

I don't know what to tell you, Aphrodite, besides telling you about my own experience. I hope it helps you, I hope it gives you a life-line to cling to. If you choose to take DaisyM's advice and try to find someone to email with, I'm available for you. Just let me know, and I'll post an email address you can use.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by fires on June 20, 2004, at 19:46:58

In reply to Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 10:02:22

Hi,

You made the statement:

"I submerge myself in the suicidal ideation more, and I am feeling weak and tired. To overcome the feelings of wanting to die, I usually stay active and busy and distracted, but I don't have the energy anymore. I've isolated myself as much as possible because I cannot carry on the facade that gets me through my days."

I was there many years ago. It wasn't until I took charge of my life and sought out psychopharmacology over psychotherapy , that I improved. I went through the T stuff, until I could take no more. In my experience my Ts (oh yes! several)were so biased that they really caused me undo suffering by not recommending antidepressants. Antidepressants did the trick.

All that psychobable (very pertinent term for this forum), didn't help at all. Insight can't help if your brain chemistry is too awry.

Please consider what I've written and do seek help immediately if you are feeling suicidal.

Also, it's an old book (1986), so it doesn't have info. on the newer antiDs, but it is a classic: "The Good News About Depression" by Mark s. Gold, MD. Please try to get a copy.

Best wishes

 

Request fires

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:01:29

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by fires on June 20, 2004, at 19:46:58

I prefer that you do not reply to my posts. Thank you.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Dinah

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:03:20

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite, posted by Dinah on June 20, 2004, at 10:41:54

Thank you for your insight, Dinah, as always. I really like the idea of closing rituals -- I'm not creative enough to think of any, but I think I'll ask him. The end of sessions do feel abrupt to me. Any suggestions of rituals that worked for you?

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) lucy stone

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:04:51

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 11:44:42

I like your suggestion. I have had days when I wish I could be in his office, not say much, and just be safe for a little while.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) daisym

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:09:21

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by daisym on June 20, 2004, at 14:56:20

Daisy, I think I've got one foot in the world where I used to be guarded and "corporate" and the other foot in the world of letting go and letting it out. I feel very torn. I think "crisis phase" is an apt description, and I am comforted by the word "phase." I hope it is just that.

I am also very frightened of the implications of change. Opening up is showing me that many of the people I've surrounded myself with are very toxic to me and my well-being and are standing in the way of healing. But that is another story for another day.

I am so glad I have this place of acceptance and understanding. I very much need it now.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite

Posted by Dinah on June 20, 2004, at 20:10:58

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Dinah, posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:03:20

I've heard of more formal rituals, meditation or imagery. My own is highly informal. If it's been a rough session (and they aren't all), about ten minutes before the end I introduce a light subject and he follows my lead to aquaintance-type chit chat. I don't know that that's an approved therapeutic technique as it often involves superficial self disclosure on his part, but it seems to suit me well.

Also, when I'm not feeling so good, I ask him if everything is going to be ok. It's not a question he likes and not one he likes to answer, but we hammered out a compromise on it. He realizes it's important for me to ask and have answered so he answers yes with as much positive energy as he can muster. And I in turn mention the ways I'll help to make it ok. Oh, and he always closes with telling me I can call him if I need him.

Very informal, but relatively effective most of the time. The rest of the time I have my involuntary naps. I wish I could teach you those, as they are enormously effective. But my neurologist says they're narcolepsy. If I find out after my sleep study that they aren't, I'll try to explain how I bring them on.

 

Emotional dishrag Racer

Posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:12:14

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) Aphrodite, posted by Racer on June 20, 2004, at 16:18:43

I like that description. It's very fitting. Thank you for your validating post and your encouragement.

I hope that you are better soon. You wrote such nice and thoughtful comments to me in the midst of your pain and also to Partlycloudy on the social board -- how kind of you to reach out during your trying time. I'm sending good thoughts your way. You have been so helpful.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 20:43:31

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) daisym, posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 20:09:21

My T says that I am both excited and frightened by the changes I am going through. Most days it's hard to find the excited part since I feel so frightened. I hold on to the times I can feel the excitement. Right now you seem to be mostly in the frightened stage. I hope you find the excited part, at least a little bit.

 

a suggestion

Posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 21:07:23

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by fires on June 20, 2004, at 19:46:58

I'm sorry that you didn't find a T who could help you. Not all Ts are good and not all good Ts are right for every person. It can be difficult to find a T that is both good and right for you. It seems that you never find one what was. Research shows that depression is best treated by a combination of medication and talk therapy. I think of it like diabetes, insulin compensates for that biological problem but patients also need coaching on lifestyle changes that help them cope with their disease. I am finding these boards fasinating because I am learning about all the different kinds of therapy people are using to make their lives better. Many also are on medication. I have used medication in the past but right now am dealing with my problems with therapy and it is transforming my life. Reading with an open mind is very helpful, I think.

 

Re: a suggestion

Posted by fires on June 20, 2004, at 23:05:40

In reply to a suggestion, posted by lucy stone on June 20, 2004, at 21:07:23

Thank you for having the courage to say what you did:
"Not all Ts are good and not all good Ts are right for every person. It can be difficult to find a T that is both good and right for you. It seems that you never find one what was. Research shows that depression is best treated by a combination of medication and talk therapy. I think of it like diabetes, insulin compensates for that biological problem ..."

Wonderful

 

Re: a suggestion

Posted by lucy stone on June 21, 2004, at 8:17:55

In reply to Re: a suggestion, posted by fires on June 20, 2004, at 23:05:40

Interesting, you left out the second part of my sentance, where I said that counseling for diabetics gives them the skills necessary for lifestyle changes. No should expect to treat diabetes only with insulin, ignoring the lifestyle changes necessary for health. In the same way, people should not expect to treat depression only with medication when the research clearly shows that the best treatment is with a combination of medication and talk therapy.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by antigua on June 21, 2004, at 10:54:46

In reply to Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by Aphrodite on June 20, 2004, at 10:02:22

Aphrodite,
I know exactly how you feel, and yes, you will find the other side. Have faith.

Therapy tears me up sometimes, but I keep holding onto the belief that as I get discard my issues, one by one, I will find peace. I have to believe that. I don't always believe it, but I've decided to believe it now.

Therapy is supposed to be hard. In my world that means you're making progress. It's just so hard because you don't know if you can hold on because you don't know where the end is, at least for me.

Do something really nice for yourself today that you can enjoy and not feel guilty. You have a good T and as hard as it is to trust, you can do it.
best,
antigua

 

Re: a suggestion lucy stone

Posted by fires on June 21, 2004, at 12:14:11

In reply to Re: a suggestion, posted by lucy stone on June 21, 2004, at 8:17:55

Well, since I'm on my 3rd major depressive episode in my life, do I really need to "re-learn" the lifestyle changes that I never really gave up in the first place?

I will be posting a new post (soon) about the hazards of PT that I've learned from my personal experiences. I hope you will read it.

Thank you

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by gardenergirl on June 21, 2004, at 12:26:42

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by antigua on June 21, 2004, at 10:54:46

>It's just so hard because you don't know if you can hold on because you don't know where the end is, at least for me.

Oh this is so true! That makes it scary. You wonder what else will show itself and how deep the well of pain is.

Take care,

gg

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think)

Posted by partlycloudy on June 21, 2004, at 12:50:18

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by gardenergirl on June 21, 2004, at 12:26:42

Antigua, for me it seems that therapy stirs up the pot in my head; makes me think about and confront issues that I have submerged quite nicely until now, thank you very much. Which is what landed us in therapy! And perhaps there's no start, middle, nor end, but a process that helps us see different choices and paths available to us. I find change extremely distressing: I stayed in a marriage that was absolute misery for 15 years longer than I should have (total of 18 years, I'm being generous about the first 3 of them), resulting in being treated for PTSD!! From being married!!! So for me, change is not only essential for my health, but I'm not able to see the possibilities without help. The meds help me function from day to day, so I am better able to tackle the roots of my problems with my T. Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting her time, and then other times she has seen that I'm not getting anywhere. That's when she suggested I try the EMDR.

For myself, I find that every issue I face and deal with, there are 2 more to take its place. Not new issues, but ones that have been biding their time in my mind's lair.

 

Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) partlycloudy

Posted by antigua on June 21, 2004, at 14:28:08

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think), posted by partlycloudy on June 21, 2004, at 12:50:18

It IS hard to have any idea/perception of how many issues are hiding in that lair. When I find myself strong enough to face one then there are always more behind it. Some are much harder to handle, some are easier, but there's just no way of knowing. I've found that the things I thought would knock me over aren't always what I thought they would be. And that some just slip right by me. Like yesterday. Father's Day. I was "doing" Father's Day for my husband yesterday and it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I literally smacked my head and said, "of course, it's Father's Day," which has so many meanings on so many different levels for me. While I wrestle w/my demons, I also have to acknowledge the loving relationship I had w/my father. But of course that stirs me up--no wonder yesterday was tough.

In a perfect world, I would know all these things before they hit me so I could behave appropriately. In a perfect world, all of these issues would be resolved. I wonder, though, do we get to a point where we decide that we've resolved enough of them or do we have to get through ALL of them before we feel o.k.? Just a rhetorical question, really.

I'm very glad you're back,
antigua

 

Father's Day antigua

Posted by daisym on June 21, 2004, at 14:47:52

In reply to Re: Increased therapy making me worse (I think) partlycloudy, posted by antigua on June 21, 2004, at 14:28:08

Glad I wasn't the only one. I "knew" it was going to be hard this year but I stuffed it away. But I was distracted and tired all day and had that tightness/pain ball in my chest. Luckily we were at my in-laws so I didn't have to do much. I realized late last night that it was about Father's Day.

What I have noticed is that anxiety in general is more of a problem as we get near some of the really hard subjects. I know the goal is to unload some of the emotions that surround the old memories so that they don't destroy you when they surface but that seems such a long way away. I think I've "told" most of the really hard stuff now, but I can't say that it isn't all still really emotional for me. And confusing. And sometimes we go down a path that surprises us both with its intensity and pain. I think the description of "Lair of the mind" is a very good one.

I have therapy in 3 hours and I honestly can't think of what to safely talk about today. Of course, I was having the same problem on Thursday and thought I would take the easy way out. I said, "since I don't having anything pressing, is there anything we've touched on that you feel like we should go back to?" I thought he'd say, "let's just see what comes up..." Instead, turns out there was an issue that he felt was really important to talk about and I was completely surprised that he brought it up. (Yes, I had been consciously, highly avoiding it.) So essentially I opened the door for him. *sigh* It was a good discussion but a long way from "safe".

Let's practice:
T: "How was your weekend?"
Me: "Fine."

Think that will work???

 

Re: Father's Day daisym

Posted by antigua on June 21, 2004, at 14:55:19

In reply to Father's Day antigua, posted by daisym on June 21, 2004, at 14:47:52

"Fine" never does it. Geez Daisy, you might have to be more creative than that if you're going to HIDE something from him :). Maybe if you look him straight in the eye when pronoucing "fine," he may actually believe you.

Nope, mine wouldn't either. She doesn't even ask me how I am anymore. She can tell by my demeanor, so it's more like, "o.k., what's going on, what's wrong?"

I'm happy for you that you feel the hard parts are almost all out--let the healing begin!I'm jealous, but since you're such a nice person, I'll forgive you.

Good luck today,
antigua

 

Re: Father's Day

Posted by fires on June 21, 2004, at 18:15:30

In reply to Father's Day antigua, posted by daisym on June 21, 2004, at 14:47:52

Excuse me if you said not to reply to you. I believe it was another poster.

I'm very curious as to why you said:

"I have therapy in 3 hours and I honestly can't think of what to safely talk about today."

Why would one go to a T with whom they can't safely talk. I don't get it. Are you willing to tell me what type of therapy you are in and for what disorder. I'm baffled.

Thank you

 

Re: Father's Day fires

Posted by rs on June 21, 2004, at 20:23:54

In reply to Re: Father's Day, posted by fires on June 21, 2004, at 18:15:30

Some people have very painful things to talk about in therapy. Here if having a hard time might want to go into session to have a safe talk that will not be overwhelming. Does that make sense to you? I deal with very painful things and find it hard but my therapist is very safe. I think that that poster has a very safe therapist but working on some painful things if you were to look at her posts. Also I need therapy for issues. Am I depressed? Yes I am and have been in hospital a few times in which one was a serious suicide attempt. Do I take meds today? No for some personal reasons. Here need to talk and feel. This is all IMO. For one time could you please consider how some of the folks here hurt and therapy is helping them much. If it was not for having a supportive caring therapist I might not be sitting here writing this. Does my therapist care for me? Yes in many ways. Do I feel dependent on him and need his help? Yes in healthy ways. I am a very independent person in many ways but right now in life need the support of someone. I suffered enough in life and now I deserve to be helped to find happiness and peace in my life. Also I might be in therapy for the rest of my life. I think there are many others here that deserve the same and I hope they are getting that. There are bad therapists out there. If my therapist did not believe in DID I would be in serious trouble. I live with this every day and cannot explain how some days the pain that is real. An intense pain. The tears that flow in sessions. Not because of therapy but due to the fact that I was hurt in many ways and attempting to now face and accept it. Attempting to learn how to live a happy life. I deserve that. Sorry to all if this is long.


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