Bad week

Mostly I'm finding my therapy sessions very helpful, but the last one was really hard (it was my fourth session) and I struggled through it talking about things that have caused me pain in the past and fears I have for the future. Afterwards I felt like my head was spinning, almost like I had had a few drinks! This continued on into the next day, I just did not feel like I was really present - depersonalised(?) and I had to fight with myself to attend a social function (I refuse to let anxiety stop me from doing things as it has done in the past, but it's such a battle) which completely wore me out! I managed to relax over the weekend, but since Monday I've been feeling terrible again, physical symptoms of acid reflux and chest pain that are my "signature" high anxiety feelings have flooded back, which feeds the health anxiety even more and I've resisted running to the doctor / hospital and keep reminding myself that I'm not sick.. also not easy!

I have another session tomorrow, which I hope will help me move past this, it feels like I've walked into a wall or something, anyone ever experienced this with therapy too? I know its hard work, have been through it before, but this time it feels especially tough.

11 Replies

  • Hi Colani, I definitely get that feeling in my head after having therapy. And mine is phone therapy. I find myself holding the phone tight, shallow breathing and sometimes feeling like I'm put on the spot. It's not easy talking about issues that have gotten us to where we are today. Sometimes solutions tend to bring the anxiety to a high level. And yet therapy helps us see what we need to do to reduce our stress levels. I found CBT was more demanding on me.. It is wearing both physically and mentally but in the long run does pay off. These feelings need to be expressed, we can't cover them up. It is hard work, no doubt about that. I thought I was the only one who felt worse after a talking session but I guess not.

  • I find that during the sessions I start to get a numb / tingling feeling in my fingers too. Its almost like my body is physically reacting to me getting my thoughts out, its a very strange sensation! I'm in face to face therapy, I was initially put down for CBT, but on the first phone session the counsellor decided that my problem wasn't suitable for that treatment so I got referred again to the therapy I am having now. Maybe it's the process of digging things up that I have kept mentally buried and unable to talk about coming out into the open, I just hope I can get past this point now!

  • It is an uncomfortable feeling and does bring up anxiety whenever we talk about issues that are disturbing to us. You will get past that point. I try incorporating deep breathing while talking with her. I have a tendency to babble through the session not allowing her a chance to say much. That's when I notice the head feeling more so. Don't forget we are talking with the therapist when already under stress. There were a few times that I was more calm but then I felt guilty after that because it cost me money to say I was fine. Good luck Colani in the upcoming sessions. Just remember to slow down your talk and breathe :)

  • Oh I do the same, I babble on and go off on tangents all over the place and also without giving her the chance to say too much to me. That's great advice about slowing down and doing some deep breathing, I will try that tomorrow. Thank you for your wise words on this and good luck for your future sessions too!

  • Thank you for sharing. I think I'm going to plan ahead with my therapy cos I get the same as you do sometimes. This week I got to talk about something disturbing that happened to me. So I'm going to go to the gym after seeing my counsellor so if I feel bad I can get it out and be around people. I will probably let you all know if that helps. It's just an idea I have I'm going to test. That's basically cos I'm having a lot of things to do with my career i have to catch up on so I need to be ok after my therapy so I can work after it. (And yes it was my abuse that made me to get behind with my career).

  • Going to the gym afterwards sounds like a good idea, I hope it works for you, let us know how it goes? Currently, my sessions are in the morning before I head to work, so for the first hour of being at my desk I'm struggling to catch up with what it is I do for a living while trying to appear like I'm fine. I'm wondering if it might be better to see if I can arrange sessions for the end of the day instead so I can do something else afterwards too, especially if, like you, I've been talking about something disturbing.

  • I will definitely post update to let everybody know if it works! Yes I purposely arrange my sessions for the morning cos I don't work for an employer. But if you do I can imagine how awful that is! Yes I think it could be a good idea to change the time if the sessions do you can do something other than work afterwards!

  • Tell your counselor about your feelings and when this happens write them down in a journal so you have a record for later. It is normal for counselling to raise some heightened feelings as we face and deal with things that scare or have traumatised us in our lives. However, over time it will get better.

    I've been in counselling since last October and have had a few of those bad weeks as I came to terms with stuff. Initially I left counselling feeling raw, tired and weepy almost every time but these days I am struggling less and less and most if my physical symptoms have gone and only crop up at certain times of the month or after a particularly stressfull parenting drama (I have 3 teens). Even then they are considerably diluted compared to what they once were and I now know them for what they are so can work through them much more effectively.

  • Im glad to hear that your physical symptoms are becoming much less frequent.. teenagers are hard work, I get you with that one!

    I told my therapist about how I was feeling at my session this morning, and that I had been feeling terrible all week. Then we returned to the subject that had made me feel so strange and speaking about it some more made me mentally feel much better! It's taking a while for the physical symptoms to disappear (chest pains and stomach acid), I did cave in an run to my Dr about it for reassurance.. And yes they are just a stress response. I'm looking forward to working through these more effectively.. hopefully sooner rather than later, but am taking it one day at a time :-)

  • Thats great. I've that the more I've come to recognize and accept my physical symptoms for what they are, the less often I experience them and the less intense and controlling they are.

    The turning point for me was when my counselor went through a check list of physical symptoms with me and showed me how many of the physiological symptoms I was worried about were in fact just symptoms of anxiety and the resulting excess adrenalin.

    The next big help after that was taking up daily physical exercize which I admit was hard at first. These days I go for a brisk 45 - 60 minute walk every morning and afternoon. As low motivation was something that impacted me, it helps that it is something I can't back out of as the reason for the walks is a puppy that would trash the house if he doesn't get his daily quota of exersize.

  • I struggle with the motivation to exercise, hearing how it has helped you make me think I should at least try to incorporate something more into my day. I walk a fair bit as I don't drive (never got around to learning!), but not as much as you do. I work full time at a desk, I know how bad this is for me, coupled with slouching or hunching which just makes things worse :(. Weekends I'm more active as there's things to catch up on in the house/garden and getting out and about, I do notice symptoms will start to subside more then, maybe because I am more relaxed too.

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