I am supposed to be starting EMDR, to be honest I am not sure about it, I know there is another thread about this and Ive read alot of the posts but to be honest it started to scare me more. EMDR is going to run along side CBT, Ive already had 8 months of CBT and i manage quite well, Although since the focus of therapy has shifted Ive been feeling so much worse.... Is Emdr worth going through??? Does it really help??? What is this eye movement thing they talk about, what do you do in the sessions?? When my therapist asked if i had any questions I was so stressed I couldnt think, now I cant stop thinking about it. Some one help..
I haven't tried EMDR....I just wanted to say Welcome to the board, and please try and calm down.....
Beka is with family today so I am not sure if she can get to you today or not. She is one of the regulars that has done EMDR. From what I know about EMDR, yes it is draining. It can emotionally wipe you out. It brings you right into the trauma again....BUT.....In order to get BETTER ALL therapy can be scary, exhausting, tiresome, and in some bring you right into the trauma to experience it again. You HAVE to face your fear, walk through it, experience it(in a safe manner and zone) in order to get over it.
Therapy consits of many different approaches. EMDR is one of them, talk therapy is another, regression is yet one more. ALL of them can cause great stress at the time, but YOU HAVE TO DO it in order to get healthy.
So calm down...There is nothing to be afraid about...Ok..
I just popped in for a moment and read your post. I would love to chat with you about EMDR. Yes, it's hard, but so far - in my limited experience- it has helped. I don't have time to have a lengthy chat right now - although I would like to, but I wanted to let you know that I am here and will post more thoughts on this later. I was really scared about starting EMDR, too, so I can understand your stress.
I will post just as soon as I can!
I don't know if every therapist does EMDR differently, since I've only been doing it for a few months with one therapist. I guess it was discovered by Francis Shapiro - rather by accident. While she was working with PTSD, she noticed that as the clients would relay their traumatic experiences, their eyes would dart back and forth. Somehow, that was part of the processing. Some therapists move two fingers back and forth and have you visually follow them. My therapist basically puts me in a very relaxed state with my eyes closed. Then, instead of moving her fingers back and forth, she lightly, rapidly taps my knees - right, left, right, left. During the session - when I'm recalling and processing the traumatic memories, I can feel my eyes jerking back and forth involuntarily. Before I started, my therapist asked me to choose a traumatic moment and focus on one frame of it. Then, I had to choose a negative thought that went along with that image. I chose the mental image of me being abused in a basement room and the negative thought being, "I am not in control." I also needed to chose a positive thought to counteract the negative thought. Once I had all of that in place, we began. Like I mentioned, my therapist helped me to fall into a very relaxed state. Then she asked me to picture myself being abused and think the words, "I am not in control." It took a little bit of focusing, at first, but once I allowed myself to relax and go with it, it was AMAZING the memories that came flooding back. Some of it was really hard to get through because it's common to re-experience the trauma with all of your senses, so you almost feel like you're there going through it again. But, my therapist kept talking to me throughout and she watched really closely to see if I needed a break.
I have to admit that after about 3 sessions of this, I felt totally depressed. I recalled a few blocked memories that were more traumatic that what I had originally remembered. My psychiatrist and my therapist work out of the same office and collaborate a lot, so during this time, my psychiatrist upped my SSRI a bit. That helped a lot with the depression. I have to tell you - on the 4th or 5th session, I had the most amazing experience. I focused on the image of abuse and the words "I am not in control," and about 2 minutes into it, the image suddenly got very small and seemed to shoot off, then it came back very suddenly with UNBELIEVABLE clarity. Instead of focusing on the abusive situation, though, it was if I was walking peacefully around the room, looking at all of the pictures and items in the room. I had such a peaceful feeling - and was seeing all of the things that I remembered and loved as a child. I even mentally went into the closet, turned the light on and saw with detail all of my favorite games that I used to play as a child, stacked on the shelf. Incredible detail. All the while, the abuse was happening, but I was not focused on that at all. Now, when I think of that image that was once so traumatic for me, I am flooded with these wonderful feelings of nostalgia and peace. It is seriously the strangest thing I have ever experienced, but it has made such a difference to have the anxious, dreadful feelings that were once so prevalent, just be replaced with something that feels wonderful. I had completely blocked the details of that room out and when I was a teenager, my parents gutted it out and remodeled it. But, when I was doing the EMDR, the room appeared exactly how it had been when I was a child.
I've been taking a break for a few weeks from the EMDR sessions. I've been working on some positive coping strategies so that I can manage a little bit better. I start back next Thursday with trauma #2.
I don't know if I could recommend EMDR to everyone, but I think it's at least worth a try. If you become overwhelmed, you can stop - or take a break for a while. Discuss your options with your therapist - but, remember that throughout this therapy, YOU are in control. If you need to stop and take a break, do it!
The best of luck to you! Please post often and let me know how you are doing.
Sorry to write such a long post, but I have family visiting and they are sleeping in my computer room. They are gone at the moment, but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post over the next couple of days, so I wanted to tell you as much as I could in one post!
sorry ive taken so long to post. I have been going round in circles all week!!! It has taken me this long to calm down, and i saw my therapist yesterday
Beka thankyou for your posts!!! you freaked me out a bit, but i know im freaked at the moment anyway..
I havent started emdr yet, my therapist wants to get into cbt a bit more first, its been nearly a year since my last cbt, and my coping strategies are not too great, in fact therapy has made me worse again... Ive been avoiding everything for the last year and now its smack in my face, and i feel soo bad.
Every time i think of the accident i relive the whole thing emotionally, ive been doing it for years....
I want to try emdr im at a point where i will try anything to live a normal life, i just want to be able to take my daughter out and spend time with her without freaking out!
Beka sorry if its a bit personal but did you take the ssri before the emdr?
I was wondering because i have tried meds but felt i could work out my problems without it, and i was thinking that this emdr may be that hard, id end up with no real choice. Ive had anxiety and depression for about 8 years and 2 years ago had a car crash which apparently gave me ptsd, ( it wasnt a bad crash, the car got the lot but would have been fatal if we hadnt been wearing seatbelts) i was thinking that maybe i could cope with anxiety but if emdr for this ptsd is that bad.... i dont think i can cope with trying to live life and dealing with these problems..
I feel like a complete idiot... i dont see how ive got to the point where living life has become such hard work....
beka thankyou for listening i will be here more often than i have the last week.. its just.. well actually ive been yet again trying to avoid dealing with my problem
I'm glad you posted! I was beginning to think that I had said too much about EMDR and put you off it for life! What part of the description freaked you out? If you'd like, we can talk about it. To answer your question - yes, I was taking the SSRI prior to EMDR. I have been depressed and anxious most of my life and after the birth of my last child, I developed post-partum depression and required an SSRI. That was 6 years ago. I have been on multiple meds and in and out of therapy, but was diagnosed with PTSD only a few months ago. I feel like I've made by far the most progress during this past few months.
I think you are very wise to strengthen your coping strategies before starting EMDR, but I definitely think it's worth a try. For the first time in my ENTIRE life, I actually see a small light at the end of the tunnel. It's given me a lot of hope. I understand what you mean when you say that you'd do just about anything to live a normal life. That is the point that I reached before I started EMDR. I just can't live like this anymore - so, now I'm really working on it. EMDR is really hard work and can be emotinally exhausting, BUT it can really help to minimize that anxious, dreadful feeling that follows you around everyday. I hope I'm explaining this in the right way to you - sometimes I don't explain things very well.
One more thing - please don't feel like an idiot - be pleased with yourself for seeking out help and wanting to make your life better!!
Its the reliving going through it over, ive done it so many times ( of course without the help of the therapist) Im completely drained.... i suppose talking to someone in depth and reliving it without me being able to really run away from it! WOW i summed that up!!
Its like i dont feel like i have been through a real truama but seriously i thought i should have been dead, at least my daughters throat slashed by her seatbelt! I feel so dramatic i dont want to relive it with someone else... to be really scared and not be in total control ( i feel in control if im alone)
You are great!!! thankyou
You are not being dramatic - trauma is trauma and your feelings are valid! I know what you mean about not wanting to relive the trauma with someone else. It took me weeks and weeks of working with my current therapist before I trusted her enough to tell her things. I had never put a voice to the details of my experience. She is the only one to this day who knows the whole story. It's hard, but keeping it all locked up inside of you is like a form of torture. I never really knew how much that was so, until I FINALLY told my therpist all that had happened. I was so scared to begin this process, I think those are very normal feelings!! But, telling my story and seeking help to recover as much as I can has given me a feeling of control that I have never felt before. Layla, as you think about which way of therapy that you want to go, follow your gut instinct. You'll know what to do.
Sorry its taken ages to respond, the extended weekend gave my dd free reign of the pc:rolleyes
Thankyou so much for your kind words, My therapist also says that my feeling are valid, and i know that they are i just feel that its stupid and pathetic that i do, I cant help but tell myself to grow up. Im sure its because nothing really bad did happen and Ive been through a hell of a lot worse, so its hard to shake off the notion that i really shouldnt feel this way, because honestly i believe that i shouldnt. ( abuse and neglect of all sorts are rife through my family and I managed to get through that, )
My gut instinct tells me to run and hide, that i didnt get hurt so to just grow up, the what ifs are irrelevant as they didnt happen.
You talking about the emdr and what its done for you makes me think that i should do it, at least try it. Hopefully it will make me see the whole thing as it was and not just the parts im focused on.
Beka you appear so strong and so focused, how do you do it?
Yes, the "grow up" and "stop being so silly" phrases had a permanent place in my mind for a long time, too. The fact is, if we want to get better, we do have to "grow up." But, "growing up" doesn't mean sweeping our issues, fear, guilt, etc... under the rug and pretending like they don't exist- or even dwelling on them to the point that we can't think about anything else. It's pulling them out, facing them and kicking their butt (or bum ). It takes an enormous amount of energy, but when it's all said and done, imagine how good it will feel. When I was growing up, I heard so many times from my family that I was depressed and anxious because I was selfish and immature. That was ingrained in me for SO long. But, what made me want to change is realizing that I can never be the kind of mother that I am determined to be, without dealing with some of these issues. That is why I started on this journey - I'm still on it to be a better mother, BUT what I've discovered is that it's worth staying on this journey for ME, too. I like the feeling of being stable and of making good choices for myself. It's motivation enough to keep on going!
I had a session of EMDR on Thursday, and I have to admit that it wiped me out for a few days. But, today, I'm feeling so much better. It really has been a very amazing experience for me. I hope it continues to be.
Good luck Layla... As Becka said, please let us know how you got on.
I've never tried EMDR, though it was discussed as a possible therapy. Something I have tried and has worked for me is EFT. It's incredibly wierd and new age, but all I can say is, I tried it and it worked for me. It's also a lot gentler if done by an experienced practitioner. It's all about tapping accupressure points whilst repeating a phrase regarding your feelings about something.
Last year, I had three one hour sessions with an EFT master here in the UK. We worked on the nightmare I've been having for almost 20 years about my friends murder. Basically, at the beginning of the session, the second I thought I might have to recount the story, my chest tightened, my heart went mad and I was sweating like I had a fever ( not to mention wanting to run away ! ). She did one round of eft on the feelings I had, and they subsided. Over the next three sessions, she gradually homed in on the central image of the nightmare, always circling round it and doing the tapping. Each time she tapped the anxiety lessened. At the end, I was able to tell the whole story without any of the anxiety I previously experienced. Since then, I've never had that nightmare again, and even though the memory is unpleasant, that's all it is. It doesnt cripple me anymore.
I believe it's a bit more popular in the US than here since it started over there. The founder claims to have had amazing successes with PTSD sufferers, including Veterans, sufferers of abuse and many other causes. ( damn... sound like an advert for it. Sorry. ) It's actually beginning to find it's way into the armoury of the Mental Health Services over here now, so it seems to be taken more seriously by healthcare professionals.
Anyway, best of luck. I wish you success !
Last edited by moderator2; 05-08-2007 at 02:00 PM.
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Had a much better therapy session on tues, we going to start the emdr in the next few sessions, speaking to you in between has helped me focus on what my the underlying problem was and we covered that this week, so now she believes im more focused and we should work on it.urghh!!!
I know what you mean when you say you need to do this for the kids, its the only reason im putting myself thru it, I feel so guilty as i dont really go out alone... or too far from home, i feel i really let myself down sometimes! but hey life is a learning curve!!!!
How are you getting on beka? Beka with your strength and compassion I believe you can achieve anything you desire!!!
Mark that info is great i will definatly be looking it up!!
Have you managed to get rid of or at least control your anxiety since you went thru EFT? I really need to control my anxiety so i can live like a normal person!!
I hope you are both well, thankyou so much for your support
I am so glad that things went well for you on Tuesday. I don't think you'll regret at least giving EMDR a try. You are right - life is a learning curve. It's good to look at it that way and try to avoid the guilt that runs along with the "shoulda, woulda, couldas." You'll make it, Layla - you seem to have great determination.
Things are okay here - been a little bit off today, but got some great support from the people here at "PTSD Healthboard Central" and things will be okay.
Keep us posted on how you progress. When you start EMDR (and even before!) remember that I'm here and will help you in any way that I can.
Sorry to hear your having an off day, your a great person and also full of determination, you wouldnt have got here otherwise. Know that you are truly and sincerely appreciated
if you ever want to talk i am here for you too