Does Anyone Else Feel Sick Before and After Therapy?

David1959

Confident
Yesterday I had my regular weekly appointment with my T. I found that I was sick to my stomach (IBS Acting up) on Sunday most of the day. My appointment is at 12noon each week and all morning yesterday I was also sick and could not concentrate on work. After my session I felt like I had jsut run a marathon and was totally spent.

I realize that we are beginning to mine some very deep and dark feelings and events but I am wondering, does this get easier? She wants to try and work on addressing what went on and has been probing that. This has opened up a flood of memories, I know that is the point but it makes me feel sick.

Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions on how to deal? No matter how bad I feel I am on a journey to uncover the truth
 

Friday

Moderator
Yep.

The longer the gap between my appointments the longer I tend to be sick before/after.

1x per month = 3-7 days of being violently ill (shakes, shits, pukes) on top of panic attacks, nightmares/insomnia/hypersomnia, and just general uselessness. Typically however many days I’m sick ahead of time, it’s about half that afterward.

3x per week = maybe an hour or two of being sick ahead of time, but how long I’m a wreck afterward, and in what way, depends on how the session went. I might go sleep for 20 hours, or go beat the crap out of something for 20 minutes and be fine. So the lead up is predicitble, but the hangover is variable.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Yesterday I had my regular weekly appointment with my T. I found that I was sick to my stomach (IBS Acting up) on Sunday most of the day. My appointment is at 12noon each week and all morning yesterday I was also sick and could not concentrate on work. After my session I felt like I had jsut run a marathon and was totally spent.

I realize that we are beginning to mine some very deep and dark feelings and events but I am wondering, does this get easier? She wants to try and work on addressing what went on and has been probing that. This has opened up a flood of memories, I know that is the point but it makes me feel sick.

Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions on how to deal? No matter how bad I feel I am on a journey to uncover the truth
It will get easier!

This is exaggerated anticipatory anxiety. I would imagine that the more you keep returning to therapy, the less this will effect you. It's similar to a fight or flight response in that your body is saying, "I don't want to do this. Flee!" Your bowels are preparing for flight.

Since you are in therapy, you might suggest telling your therapist about it. That alone will likely help some. Then your therapist will likely give you some good ideas for dealing with and overcoming this horrible feeling.

You can diminish this. You will heal.

Hang in there!
Woodsy
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, I used to get anxiety before and after therapy but it just became normal to be honest. I didn't have it all the time. Sometimes I used to have specific things (themes) that I knew I wanted to talk about but other times I used to go in and would just let the conversation flow and see where it took me. I always wear a watch aswell so that I can glance at it and see how much time I have left. It helps me structure the sessions so I don't start talking about another 'Big' thing with only 2 minutes left in the session.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Yes, anxiety-induced unsettled stomach – whether it's feeling nauseous, actually throwing up, having stomachache/upset, IBS flare ups...

I still get it sometimes – usually if I'm feeling more stirred up anyway eg if I have been triggered/dysregulated or if I'm planning on bringing something up that I know will be difficult. But I get it lass now than I used to. I've been in therapy with the same therapist for about 6 years and I generally have less angst now.

I still often feel tired after sessions and it's not unusual for me to have to take a nap, especially if we've dug into really difficult stuff.

Agree with Woodsy that if you can share this with your therapist, you may find that things settle a bit, just by having named it and told her about it. I remain amazed by how often that happens...that just by saying something and putting it out there, it can really dial things down.

Also, telling your T about how you're impacted in this way may help her to understand better where you're at and how the pacing of the sessions is working for you right now.

I guess my only other thoughts are to try to find ways to soothe the anxiety before and after your sessions. Perhaps try to put some time and space before and after your sessions if you can, to try to settle things a bit. Breathing exercises, perhaps? Going for a walk? Whatever grounding/self-soothing tools are effective for you.
And, if you have IBS, just trying to support your gut more around these times and trying to avoid other things that trigger your IBS symptoms eg any foods/drinks that tend to cause a flare up.

Hang in there. It's difficult work you're doing in therapy. Every week, you're stirring up a lot of hard stuff. And the fallout (including physical symptoms) is hard too.
 

MrMoonlight

MyPTSD Pro
After emdr or heavy processing it normal to feel adverse physical effects. I think it means you are doing heavy work...you are doing really well. We have to get it out somehow... I look at it like these are feelings I won't have to feel in the future. I'm getting them out now.

I would have to take 1 or two days in bed feeling ill.

Sorry you are going through this but happy to see that you are working hard in therapy.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Yesterday I had my regular weekly appointment with my T. I found that I was sick to my stomach (IBS Acting up) on Sunday most of the day. My appointment is at 12noon each week and all morning yesterday I was also sick and could not concentrate on work. After my session I felt like I had jsut run a marathon and was totally spent.

I realize that we are beginning to mine some very deep and dark feelings and events but I am wondering, does this get easier? She wants to try and work on addressing what went on and has been probing that. This has opened up a flood of memories, I know that is the point but it makes me feel sick.

Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions on how to deal? No matter how bad I feel I am on a journey to uncover the truth
The night before therapy, if I know that things are likely to be challenging.....I can't get to sleep at a reasonable time, if really bad.....I'm in the bathroom at least 6 times and before all is said and done, I have to take an antihistimine with some carbs (like mashed potatoes), and magnesium and zinc......and sometimes herbal tea....and journaling, and a trip here.......then, maybe by 2 am....I might could sleep. Good thing my appt isn't till the afternoon!
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Always. It's worse some weeks than others, but it's always there. I get anxious because I don't want to talk, I don't want help, I don't trust MH professionals, I don't want to connect with them...I could go on.

A decade in to fairly intense MH treatment and its still pretty consistent. I don't doubt it gets easier for a lot of people...

Key thing though is despite it? It's still helped me immensely.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
In first 18 months or so of therapy I used to crash in to bed and fall asleep when I got home. Then only after particularly difficult sessions. - it’s tiring but not totally depleting usually. Right now I’ve had a couple of quite difficult sessions in a row that have made me really glad it’s via zoom so that I can merely go into my bedroom to crash . Yes to nervous stomach too- I get that before lots of things though.

I think part of the job of therapy is almost learning to handle these physical manifestations of stress in a supportive but not stress free environment - so that we can better handle stress with its manifestations in life ?
 
L

Lynsey1984

I had my fourth session yesterday and feel really nauseous today and feel like I can’t get out of bed. Does anyone have any tips to manage this? At the moment the therapy is taking up 2 days a week.
 

Friday

Moderator
I had my fourth session yesterday and feel really nauseous today and feel like I can’t get out of bed. Does anyone have any tips to manage this? At the moment the therapy is taking up 2 days a week.
Sleep does help... emotional exhaustion is a very real thing.

To soften the blow & limit the spiralling anxiety & adrenaline crash? Ideally, I do something physical both before & after the appointment (to help burn off all those chemicals swirling in my blood), plus food, hot’n’cold showers, and sleep.

Anti-anxiety meds & anti-nausea meds are another option.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I had my fourth session yesterday and feel really nauseous today and feel like I can’t get out of bed. Does anyone have any tips to manage this? At the moment the therapy is taking up 2 days a week.
All Friday said is right on target. I plan positive things after therapy.....diversions, that have nothing to do with trauma, and will grab and keep my attention and focus on a positive and make me feel like I accomplished something. Usually they are mentally challenging, a project, time with a friend, a puzzle I can focus on, or a home project that I need to do.....like making and fixing home made meals and freezing, cleaning or organizing, but I always set a goal for after therapy. Sometimes it's visiting my elderly mother in law in the nursing home. Having a "job or goal" you make yourself complete diverts the attention away from the feelings for a while.

I also walk out of the office with the intent to leave the feelings in the office and that mentally unloads the strengths of the emotions. Not that I don't go home and think about it......but "leaving therapy in the therapy office" has been helpful.....to reduce wallowing in it all week. So, close your eyes for a sec at the end of therapy and imagine yourself putting the hot issues in a box, and leave them in a corner of the office......imagination can help reduce internal pushback.
 
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