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Is It Normal To Feel Like Crap After Therapy?


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#1 lostanddelirious

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:43 PM

I know my therapist is very good and experienced. and she has helped me a lot but, for me, it is very hard to deal with.
After some sessions I feel sooo depressed, etc., etc...
Have any of you felt this way after a therapy session?

Edited by lostanddelirious, 14 April 2008 - 08:19 PM.

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#2 jenesaisquois

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:42 PM

I've felt pretty horrible after therapy. The first few months were a bitch. It's gotten better, but every so often I come out of a session that made me want to find a nice place to hide for eternity. I think its normal to have those crummy days.

Somewhere in my psychology textbook it says that therapy may have an effect on the amygdala. I can't find any articles off hand that explains it better, but it might be an interesting thing to look up when you have some time to kill.
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#3 anywho

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 04:10 AM

LND, What type of therapy are you doing?
CBT made me feel better for the most part after each session because I was learning how to think and approach things differently. However once my life wasn't a weekly train wreck and it shifted more into talk therapy, delving into the past is where it went off the rails.
The type of therapy you are doing is almost as important as the type of meds you are taking.
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#4 In_Remission_Hallydakotacheyene

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 04:45 AM

I used to always feel good after therapy. I liked my theraspist, and things were helpful. then I went a long time with out going, but then started to feel like I was having some problems. I went to see her, and she just dismissed all my problems, and said all of it was normal. I left the place feeling really bad, angry, etc. I never went back to her again. I'm seeing a really good psychiatrist now, that spends an hour with me each time. It's a better situation altogether.

#5 lostanddelirious

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 05:02 AM

Well I feel like sometimes it is good and sometimes I feel awful after. The past 3 times it was really good but yesterday I was Very depressed. I felt like I got nothing out of it. Or maybe I did. I started talikg about unrelated stuff and didn't make sense. She seemed more out of sorts then I did. Maybe because she just got back from vacation??? I don't know. Or maybe I am just sensitive. Sometimes she provides a lot of feedback but yesterday she didn't. We talked too much about my meds that I don't take every day. I felt like we were making progress but yesterday I think she forgot to look at her notes beforehand or something. Cuz I had told her somethinast week and wheb I brought it up this week she forgot about it. She usually remembrs everything.
I will try and just chalk it up to her coming back from vacation.
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#6 VAL

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:05 AM

Therapy often didn't "feel good" to me and it isn't necessarily supposed to leave you feeling great afterwards. Though I agree that it would help to know what kind of therapy you're getting. Sometimes, before you get better, you feel worse for a time depending upon what your issues are.
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#7 Artemisia

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 01:29 PM

I sometimes felt depressed after therapy, but that was because painful stuff was discussed during the session. My "therapist" (a clinical psych grad student) warned me about it beforehand and asked whether I was at a point in my life when I could deal with the extra depression.
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#8 lostanddelirious

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:01 PM

I know my therapist is very good and experienced. and she has helped me a lot but, for me, it is very hard to deal with.
After some sessions I feel sooo depressed, etc., etc...
Have any of you felt this way after a therapy session?


I guess this really depends on what type of 'ground' you're covering, your dx, your personality, etc.

Finding answers can be a powerful release for some people.
Some people don't want to know the answers because it causes too much pain.

jook

Thank u. Very true plus I am extremely sensitive to how she responds.
I think I feel a little bit of both. Release AND pain.
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#9 rkontos

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:13 AM

I know my therapist is very good and experienced. and she has helped me a lot but, for me, it is very hard to deal with.
After some sessions I feel sooo depressed, etc., etc...
Have any of you felt this way after a therapy session?



Quite often in fact. I think it probably depends on what you are dealing with in therapy. I am dealing with trauma so often times I am in a bad way. It seems to me therapy brings it out and then you are left to assimilate it and put it away. Like cleaning a closet, you are left with stuff to find a place for. I guess for me, it is not always a settling thing to deal with and I grapple with thinking it is what I want to do. I question my decision to continue a lot. I have trust issues and it is hard to go to the places the therapist says I need to go. But then again, some of the places I think I need to go to. So yes, I often feel like crap. I often need to nap afterwards.

I did not understand the nature of therapy. I have realized that although you have a therapist their role at least to me is one of supervisor and you do all the hard crap. It is a lonely journey really. But I do have some where I feel better afterward. Those don't happen often at least not in the beginning. But now they happen a little more often.

Still I am unsure about therapy in general. but not ready to quit. Maybe in all, it is a necessary evil for some of us. You are right. It helps but it is hard to deal with.

rsk

Edited by rkontos, 16 April 2008 - 08:13 AM.

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#10 creepy

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:30 AM

Absolutely, all the pain from that awful stuff needs to be drained like an infected wound for it to heal properly.
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#11 In_Remission_Rach

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 08:00 PM

I know my therapist is very good and experienced. and she has helped me a lot but, for me, it is very hard to deal with.
After some sessions I feel sooo depressed, etc., etc...
Have any of you felt this way after a therapy session?


Quite often in fact. I think it probably depends on what you are dealing with in therapy. I am dealing with trauma... It seems to me therapy brings it out and then you are left to assimilate it and put it away. Like cleaning a closet, you are left with stuff to find a place for. I guess for me, it is not always a settling thing to deal with and I grapple with thinking it is what I want to do. I question my decision to continue a lot. I have trust issues and it is hard to go to the places the therapist says I need to go. But then again, some of the places I think I need to go to. So yes, I often feel like crap. I often need to nap afterwards.

I did not understand the nature of therapy. I have realized that although you have a therapist their role at least to me is one of supervisor and you do all the hard crap. It is a lonely journey really. But I do have some where I feel better afterward. Those don't happen often at least not in the beginning. But now they happen a little more often.
rsk


I honestly couldn't have expressed it better. As I delve deeper into a lot of the long term baggage that's been tucked away as a result of my illness, I find myself angrier and angrier and experiencing more intense emotions than I ever have as part of the therapy process - and going home and being extremely violent. That's not to say that that's a good way of dealing with it... but nonetheless... It's the assimilation of what's been talked about that week, the week before, what happens in between sessions - it all comes together. I spend a lot of time thinking abou stuff, writing... trying to make sense of what's going on in therapy to try and be insightful about it.

If you feel like crap, tell your therapist - call in between sessions and leave him/her a message if you have to - saying as much. It might be that the approach to how you discuss issues needs to be addressed, or maybe you need to change the frequencies of your meetings or something... I know that I did that with my therapist, and it helped... Your therapist won't know how much you're suffering unless you express it.

#12 She of the metaverse

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 06:59 AM

I always feel like crap after any of my "treatments", I do however blame myself because I walked in saying "Take of the kiddy gloves, dont pander to me".

That was however my own personal choice, thinking back to when I actually started with counselling though..I didnt come out drained or wrecked as a kid, but then I never really took any positive out of it.

I do think it depends on what you are actually working on too, some things that may be semisettled for example wont be a draining as other events that havent been faced before.

So in reply I would say it is probably "normal" to feel like crap if you have been turning over some heavy duty issues, but perhaps not so "normal" if you leave feeling crappy because you felt you were neglected or totally misunderstood.
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#13 Bipolar Bear

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:51 AM

I'll weigh in here.

My therapist is AWESOME. And this is one of the reasons why.

I was pretty much dragged into therapy kicking and screaming. And when I got there, I showed up curled up in a ball on the couch staring at my therapist like he was a bomb about to go off.

We spent the first three months doing CBT type stuff. Sort of. It was relaxation exercises and stuff. Pretty much a lot of "here's how you get back to 'good' after a rough emotional thing." I had been having anxiety attacks and such, so it was helpful at the time. What I didn't realize at that point was that he was setting me up for success later on.

For the first year I scheduled therapy at the end of my day- when I didn't have to go to class or go to work afterward. If I needed to, I had time to just go "deal." And yes, there were many days where that was the case.

I guess the answer is yes. Sometimes it hurts more after a session, but there's probably a good reason for it. A good therapist prepares you for the fallout.
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#14 Darknessiss

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:08 AM

I know my therapist is very good and experienced. and she has helped me a lot but, for me, it is very hard to deal with.
After some sessions I feel sooo depressed, etc., etc...
Have any of you felt this way after a therapy session?


I feel bad for the first month or so but I would feel no worse than I did prior to getting in with a therapist. It takes awhile to get out of the negativity and to actually trust my new therapist, after I begin to work on my core issues I start feeling a little more optimistic and then begins the "natural high" after each session.

I have had great success with therapy but currently I can't afford it due to lack of cash flow and no insurance :mad:


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#15 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 03:14 PM

Absolutely, all the pain from that awful stuff needs to be drained like an infected wound for it to heal properly.

Yes, and also for us Bipolars if you aren't facing your demons in therapy, IMO you're doing something wrong. I do not want to admit and make amends for all the shit i've pulled and pained i've caused, but I have to if I want to get healthy. In therapy I want to own up to every bad thing I did because of my psych- or biology issues, admit and acknoledge the pain I caused and do my best to 1) Make amends with those hurt and 2) Prevent it from happening again. Easier said than done, but I guess what i'm getting at is that "a normal person in therapy" doesn't necessarily have to own up to being in a violant rage or stealing a car or having sex with 5 people in one day -- someone who is Bipolar probably has done those things or more, and you need to work through it at some point. I know i'm sounding very ominous just trying to be realistic -- but keep in mind that the more stuff you work through, the better you will feel (overall) and the better person you will be :mad: Seeing yourself treat those around you fairly and yourself with respect is really important, so you may feel like shit for a day or week but you gotta look @ the big picture.
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#16 In_Remission_Calliope

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:16 PM

I'll weigh in here.


\

We spent the first three months doing CBT type stuff. Sort of. It was relaxation exercises and stuff. Pretty much a lot of "here's how you get back to 'good' after a rough emotional thing." I had been having anxiety attacks and such, so it was helpful at the time. What I didn't realize at that point was that he was setting me up for success later on.

For the first year I scheduled therapy at the end of my day- when I didn't have to go to class or go to work afterward. If I needed to, I had time to just go "deal." And yes, there were many days where that was the case.

I guess the answer is yes. Sometimes it hurts more after a session, but there's probably a good reason for it. A good therapist prepares you for the fallout.


So true! I know when it's time to take a rest now, even if I don't do it quite right. In the long run, the anger and frustration can get better. In the past, I walked out of a session knowing full well that I HAD to take charge of some things and acknowledge others.

I've recently been back in therapy and have felt, maybe a day later, all sorts of regrets. Ended up calling my therapist to mention these feelings of remorse and angst. I leave a message, write it all down, and make sure to address it the next time.

My hardest question is, "How do you feel about...?"

#17 therapeuticbrigg84

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:24 AM

specially when you have a therapist how is like so dramatic and serious, it sucks to have one of those. you can care and still not be so serious.

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#18 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:33 AM

I thought i'd put in my 2cents after now being in 3 therapy sessions a week for the past 8 months or so.
I strongly believe that the answer is No -- I have not personally dealt with sexual abuse in my past, nor PTSD events such as rape or war trauma or major hospitalization, so I honestly can't comment on those. However, whilst working through my many amounts of personal bullshit acquired over my 25 years (yeah i'm young deal with it! :)) and also dealing with other issues such as sexual addiction, drug addiction, and major fuckups like having sex with people other than my girlfriend, saying terrible things that can't be taken back, and acting like a total fucking doucheface to people I care about, I can say that No, you should NOT feel like crap after therapy. At least not regularly. Taking responsiblity for the shit you've pulled is paramount (http://www.crazymeds.us/12step.htm) but the pain and shame and regret from that shouldn't last too long -- the point here is to OWN what you are and who you've done (EDIT: lol! meant to say own who you are and what you've done, but I suppose this works too for many of us), LEARN from it, MAKE AMENDS, and CHANGE. No where in there is "feel like a worthless shitbag" :mad: A friend of mine firmly believes that what's keeping us from being happy and enlightened 24/7 (not the MI, just people in general) is Guilt. Think about it, many many issues for MI or Normies can be traced back to guilt about something. I try to apply that to therapy -- being guilty and shamed and angry at yourself is natural, but it doesn't get you anything to hold on to it. Feel like a worthless piece of shit for a while -- some of us DID act like a worthless piece of shit, or worse, have been repeatedly treated like one. But the whole point of therapy IMO is to move past that. Fix it, forgive, yell at monkeys, make donations, whatever you need to do, do it, but therapy shouldn't make you feel more depressed or more guilty. I would say if that's the case, you are looking at Wrong Meds or Wrong Therapist. More often than not when I leave therapy, I feel great. I have a glow and a sense of peace and love, and want to call my friends and text I Love You to my girlfriend. THAT is a therapy session :)

Footnote: You may feel uncomfortable, I sure as shit know I do when working through all the weird shit in my past, but once you break through the stuff that makes you really uncomfortable, it feels great. Good therapy is liberating and makes you feel awesome.

Edited by Sduibek, 19 May 2010 - 08:35 AM.

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#19 In_Remission_Dosey-doe

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:55 AM

I have not been fond of therapy. Perhaps I have the opinion that I haven't found a good one yet (maybe one).

On the one hand, it is good to get things off your chest. On the other - too much focus on the shit, guilt, etc, depresses me. Cultivating friendships is most helpful, but not the whole ticket. Balance, support from many sources, best for health?

Isolating and keeping things too close to the chest - rx for depression, anxiety. thus the need for more meds?

this forum seems to help me. Nice to find a group to relate to. Hard for me to try to relate soley to folks who don't know first hand.

NAMI has been a good source of help and hope in that regard.

#20 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:53 PM

Dosey-doe, might want to check out CrazyBoards too :mad:
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#21 inOr

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:11 PM

My 2cents based on years of therapy:
The most important thing in talk therapies is to talk! My unhappiness and distress after therapy is usually a result of something that happened during the session and my way of interpreting it. If you are getting uncomfortable with something that's happening in a session, say so. Don't feel you must have it all figured out before you say it. Don't feel you must stay on topic if the topic makes you uncomfortable (eg. angry at the therapist, ashamed, guilty) or your mind wanders. Letting these issues lie can block the process. What's happening in the moment during the process is important, and it takes mindfulness to identify your feelings of discomfort as they come up. In other words, one of the purposes of therapy (group as well as individual) is to develop mindfulness.
In particular, shame gets in my way in therapy and in life, generally. When I sense that a behavior, present or past, is going to create shame, fear sets in and I avoid that topic, or lie, or censor myself. In order to get over this problem, I need total acceptance from my therapist, and I think that's probably true of most folks.
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#22 3jane

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:52 PM

Oh, yes. My first few sessions with the university counselor made me so uneasy afterwards I had to leave class. Unfortunately, the only time she was available was directly before my first class of the day. It's not that she wasn't accepting or she made me uneasy- she was very charming and I definitely felt comfortable with her. Its just talking about the things I needed to talk about dredged up some nasty emotions that bugged me all day.
I think it's pretty normal for the first few sessions with someone new (or your first few sessions ever) will be kind of... uneasy like that because you don't know what to expect.
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#23 bergsonisme

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

This is common. BUT -- this is significantly [citation needed] more common with the psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapies, which are all bunk, and sometimes harmful. Watch out for what kind of therapy you're getting.

I don't do therapy, but I get to talk for 40-60 minutes (after med checks, physical check-up, etc.) about my life prospects, whether I'm achieving my goals, whether they're realistic or there's something in the way pdoc2 thinks that can be corrected. It feels really good, if only because I'm talking about the wider needs, which really really few people get (why do you want to understand differential geometry 'better'? Why do you want to build a second robot? Why are you still using film for photography? What's with this DJ stuff now?) in the context of the limitations that the disease gives me, whether in a good or bad phase. Helps me focus, too -- no Big Bayesian Model of Urban Traffic yet, I figure.
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I'm off the bus. I randomized my password punching the keyboard and copying-and-pasting it.

#24 forgetmenot

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:52 PM

I've definitely felt like crap after a therapy session but more often than not, I feel better. I guess it's natural!
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current rx: wellbutrin xl 450 mg, lamictal 300 mg, Haldol 0.5 mg, Saphris 5 mg

 celexa, prozac, navane, xanax, klonopin, vistaril, effexor xr, lithium, abilify, benztropine, buspar, risperidone, trazadone, cogentin, latuda


#25 Manic Monday

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:07 AM

I would almost always feel depressed, cry, go home and curl up on the couch etc after seeing my doctor/therapist. It still happens sometimes, but no where near as much or as often.
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Bipolar II with rapid cycling (diagnosed 05/2010), OCD, PTSD
Current meds: Paroxetine, Sodium Valproate
Past meds: Moclobemide, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Duloxetine, Quetiapine
Also: PCOS, Lactose Intolerance


#26 MsNoir

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:57 AM

Why keep therapy with just the therapist or Dr. I believe it is "therapeutic" to go for a drive and listen to music and sing my lungs out. Go fishing and get in touch with the sunrise and nature. Cook something like a really good pie and have a piece b4 dinner instead of after - or break some rules.
Yes I have spent years in therapy and have a great therapist and a new P Doc that seems to be working out but lets not limit ourselves to them

Yes I see the ? was about therapy in the sence of therapist - but I am trying to think outslide the box. Once your in the "box" and 6 feet under - there is no thinking at all - :mad:

Ms Noir

Edited by MsNoir, 28 March 2012 - 09:59 AM.

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#27 facelessbelief

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

I think it happens to all of us. I think sometimes when you are forced to look at the things that hurt the most, or make you think the most. Those are the times that you may feel like crap after therapy. But that is part of why we go to therapy, is to face those demons that haunt us the most.

MsNoir, you are right about doing things you find therapeutic to help yourself also.
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Good news. The only scientific ways I know of to spread my brain cooties are for you to become my child.

This is my fight. The disorder may have won a few battles. But I will and have to win the war. For it is a war against the worst kind of enemy..... Myself.

Previous Meds: Lamictal 200mg, Tegretol 200mg, Paxil, Trazodone 200mg, Wellbutrin, Prozac 20mg, Geodon 120mg.

#28 whackthatquack

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

yes omg I so often feel like crap...but I also often feel like "god I'm glad I talked about that" or relieved that she understands/cares about me. It definitely goes both ways. Sometimes at the same time.
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#29 fitfrenzy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:37 PM

Yes.  Therapy can be very draining.  I call them "scab picking sessions."  Rip off the wound so you can work on those sore topics.

 

One time I had my hour long psych session and the only other time I could get in with my therapist was after the psych session. Two hours of different types of therapy.  I was exhausted and slept for several hours after that.

 

Sometimes I feel beat down after therapy, other times I feel upbeat. Just depends.


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Current Med Cocktail:

 

Lithium 1350 mg,

Depakote 1000 mg,

Seroquel 400 mg,  

 

Levothyroxine 137 mcg.

 

Finally off the benzos and the propranolol!


#30 Red shoes

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:24 PM

Yes. Last week I was so relieved when she said 'time's up'! Went to the nearest restroom and splashed my face in water.
I find it's helpful to sit somewhere afterwards and write about what came up. I find it can help clarify things a bit - finding the conversation difficult can trigger things (hopefully in a good way!) and make me go 'ohhhhh of course...'
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