Does anyone think that you can do too many therapies at one time? My pdoc and tdoc have me starting a DBT group in a few weeks which is a 17 month program and incredibly intense, it's once a week, I have to do this to treat my Self Harm/Self Injury and my Suicidal Intentions/Idealities. So that's pretty scary and intense. My tdoc is starting EMDR therapy one on one in 2 weeks that starts with me having to bring all my past trauma up front and into the NOW and then work it out and put it in its place. This terrifies me as the thought of having to think of things that happened in the past detail for detail seems like just too much, on top of this we will continue with our normal "life stuff/crap" therapy. Both my pdoc and tdoc say this is not too much at one time, as they all link up with each other, but I'm not too sure.... Maybe it's just my fears of everything coming to the surface and I'm trying to find excuses not to do some of it...I'm not sure my head seems confused about it.
That does sound like an awful lot at one time. If you're not doing much else, maybe, but it seems to me IMHO, this is overload and might be too much for you.
You need to sit down with yourself and know your limitations. If these are too much to handle, your wise mind will know that and let you know. If your anxiety level is too high, you won't be able to absorb and use these therapies.
I'm sure they'll be helpful, but how about telling your docs that you need to take it slower, pace them out. The EMDR might be all right, since its aim is for you yes, to bring up the trauma, but the EMDR technique will get you out of it.You'll bring up the feelings memories, trauma, and doing the EMDR at the same time will defang them.
I'd suggest you try a few sessions of each, bearing in mind that you know yourself best. I think the DBT is just great for you, and perhaps you want to get into that before starting the others.
I tend to like the idea of starting one thing at a time, just like adjusting meds. If you adjust 3 meds at the same time, you've no way of knowing which one is doing what.
You've had such a beating to your nervous system recently. Take it a little easy, and just tell them it's too much at once and you need to work at your own pace so you don't fall apart.
If you think the EMDR might throw you into yet more SH, tell them that. Stand your ground. You direct your therapy according to your needs, they just are there to guide you and provide the therapy.
I think you're pretty in tune with yourself here. Let us know what you decided. Don't get pressured into too much. But do take the DBT.
As usuall your wisdom is such a comfort to me, I appreciate your input. I have to do the DBT, I have no choice, since I had to get stitches again 4 weeks ago, my tdoc said either I do this or she can't work with me anymore. That's the 4th set of stitches since July and she's worried that she's not effective enough to get this under control. She also pretty much knows that I'm not going to go to another tdoc, so I went through the evaluation met with the DBT tdoc and will start the class in mid-april. My pdoc is also behind this 100% he's been trying to get me to do this for months, when he found out my tdoc finally got me to go, he was like, why didn't I think of that. I know they both have my best interest in mind and when I got pi**** at both of them, they were actually very proud of me, as they put it at least I was taking my anger and distress out on them and not on my body...it made sense when I thought about it. The main thing I'm terrified of is being in a group, there's something in my head that I can't reach from my childhood that has to do with a group setting....I think it may have something to do with when my mom forced us to go to the prison every weekend to see the S.D.who calls himself my father....I think I used to panic sitting in that room with all those scary men and such, so I just have to get over it I guess.
I must admit the EMDR scares me most, but my tdoc said we'll take it slow..I'm going to talk to her more about it and see if I'm really able to do it right now, I'll let you know how it goes.
Simply put if you feel it's too much then it is. Docs mean well etc but they don't feel what you do do they? Too often docs try to order us to do things we feel we ain't up to and they usually fail because we feel that way for starters.
I'd definitely try to defer or at least stretch out the second course of treatment to give yourself time for adjustment and learning. Too much too soon is indeed overload and you end up learning nothing at all. Except it was too much!
It is natural to fear digging through your deepest feelings especially when they are bad and hurtful memories and so on. No question at all on that. And we all try to hide them as deep as possible in an attempt to make them disappear.
But they don't do they? The thoughts just keep popping up and scaring us before we push them back down again.
We are all scared of digging them up but one thing I can assure you of. That is once you get them out on the table and look at them, so to speak, you will tend to say "Is that what scared me?" Not immediately of course but after a short time having those words and feelings said and shared will feel so much better. No instant cure mind you as the things that happen don't change, just how we feel about them and how we deal with them.
Makes sense, as for the DBT I realize also that I've got to the point where I don't have a choice. I've had 6 suicide attemps, 4 trips to the Urgent Care for stitches since July due to self harm, and cut pretty much everyday. So the DBT is to learn alternative ways to deal with the Self Harm and the Suicidal tendencies/idealities....I have to get these under control and I realize that, before my 10 yr. old son doesn't have a mother to raise him, and it will be a long process and incredibly hard work, but I've made my mind up to do it and I will. All 3 of my docs are behind me and will support me and help me along the way. They aren't the way you describe docs, I have excellent relationships with all of them.
I'm not sure about EMDR, I may not take that on right now.
Kudos for you for taking the DBT! It's really valuable. I understand your fear of being in the group...but here is an opportunity to work on that fear w/your tdoc and desensitize yourself. It will take a while.
Maybe it'll help if you tell yourself you can leave the room any time you need to, or call your doc or a support person if you panic. Would pdoc prescribe a prn to get you through the first few sessions?
Also, you can be sure that half the people there will be as terrified as you are. You can go to the instructor, too, and explain how you feel, ask what he/she suggests.
I am so very glad you are going to do this. Put the others off if you need. I tend to think one major therapy at a time is all we can handle.
I didn't think of asking my pdoc for a prn med for the first few sessions, I'll check into that. The psychologist instructor of the DBT class is known all across the state for being the best DBT therapist. She has been excellent so far, she emails me once a week so that we can get to know each before I start the group in a few weeks.
You've been through hell, a number of times. You deserve the best and your docs sound like they are exactly that. I didn't criticise them you know, just said that they don't know what we feel. They can't, but the better docs take our word for it while the not so good take their advice from a book.
I'm of the opinion that having supportive docs who listen and never give up are a huge part of recovery. When we feel like giving up the good docs do not. I have such a doc, he's been my rock for nearly a decade.
I've not been involved myself with the self harm you describe but to me all depression is self harm. It's our thoughts hurting us day in and day out and it's really just a matter of how each of us reacts isn't it in regard to how we harm ourselves. I drank for a long time, but only while I was awake. Self harm it was until I finally woke up, a year before I met my current doc.
There are many ways we hurt ourselves Katlin and I'm sure you know that as well as anyone.
Despite your history and everything that's been thrown at you though I see a light shining through.
The first thing we need to stay alive is finding a reason to live isn't it. You have. Your son. You've said you'll do it for him and I know you will. Sometimes going through this awful horror can result in a much stronger person with a lot of purpose in their lives. I found some.
I too was suicidal years back now and would not go through that again for anything. It's terrifying. Just constant pressure to stop the pain.
I found two things that helped me, apart from the doc and meds of course. One was my children. I have 4 but only had 2 when I was suicidal like that. It was 24/7 for about 3 months. Open my eyes in the morning and it started and stayed there hammering away until I finally slept again.
The other thing I started to do was each morning when I awoke I'd go to the mirror in the bathroom, look myself in the eye and just say "If you want to suicide then why not wait until tomorrow? What's the hurry? Have a day without worry (as if!) and see what happens."
After a couple of weeks of doing that the idea started to sink in. Do it tomorrow. Keep deferring it. Until the meds and time kicked in and I felt better.
I wish you every success with the therapies and more importantly, your son.
Your words are very sweet and comforting. I wish I could say that my last suicide attempt was years ago, but in truth is was just this past September and I was put in psych ward for a week.
My tdoc actually does know some of what I go through, I am a Chronic Pain patient, right now as I type my hands are killing me due to the damp cold weather. My tdoc is actully a chronic pain patient herself, so that part we share together. So she does actually know part of what I go through each day and how that adds in the the BiPolar Depression.
I'm a bit confused. I read Been's post over again, and I'm not sure how your's correlates with his. I've pretty much made my own decision thoough and just have to verify one or two things with my pdoc and tdoc. Right now the DBT therapy is the most important, and the EMDR can be put on the back burner for a while if need be.
Here's the part of Been's post that I was responding to:
"I'm of the opinion that having supportive docs who listen and never give up are a huge part of recovery. When we feel like giving up the good docs do not. I have such a doc, he's been my rock for nearly a decade."
I was making the point that my old pdoc never listened to me when I told him I was rapid cycling or manic. As a result, I was unstable for 1.5 years.
My new pdoc, on the other hand, takes my treatment seriously, allows me to be an active participant, explains the reasons for his recommendations and is willing to try different avenues to achieve stability.
Does that help clarify?
P.S. I wasn't referring to you specifically. I was talking about my own case and the importance of finding a good pdoc who is willing to do everything they can to help you feel better.
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN
Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-14-2009 at 08:04 PM.
Okay, I understand now, sorry it's been a really bad day, for some reason I've been crying off and on all day, and sleeping on and off all day and just feel like a fell off a cliff into a really dark hole, so my brain isn't working to well.
but i know how you feel about your docs, as I wouldn't trade mine for anything in the world, tdoc or pdoc.