EMDR. feeling shitty after. I’m still feeling kinda bad even after we didn’t do EMDR last week. Help? UPDATE - dysregulated still after two weeks?

The_One

Learning
I did two sessions of EMDR therapy and though it wasn’t the worst feeling it definitely feels bad. I don’t feel like myself after my last session, being on lexapro doesn’t help. I was on 15mg for about 6 months and was feeling like a zombie almost numb but it helped with staying sane at work and finding a new job.
Last week I realized I can’t feel anything and I’m numb after sessions but I also feel bad which was weird. So I came down to 12.5 mg and I feel better and feel like an actual human again but I still feel like raw and strange, sad at times and depressed.
Obviously if I tell her I’m not doing EMDR for a while my target won’t be closed. Will she let me just stop EMDR or is there like a closing session or something? I can’t really believe I am left feeling like this. I mean does this feeling go away in time?
I’m just worried I won’t go back to my normal self.

I can’t tell if it’s from my new job or just EMDR or both. But I really don’t like how I feel.
 

prynne

Confident
Have you talked to your therapist about how you've been feeling after your sessions? I've heard that with EMDR it's common to feel worse before you feel better. The couple of times I tried EMDR, I definitely had an increase in symptoms. Your therapist should know if your reaction is temporary and will improve as you continue EMDR or if EMDR is too much for you right now

Just to clarify, I do believe that the increase in symptoms will go away if you stop EMDR. But I think it would be a good idea to talk to your therapist about what would be the best choice, first
 

The_One

Learning
Have you talked to your therapist about how you've been feeling after your sessions? I've heard that with EMDR it's common to feel worse before you feel better. The couple of times I tried EMDR, I definitely had an increase in symptoms. Your therapist should know if your reaction is temporary and will improve or if EMDR is too much for you right now
I’m gonna talk to her again next week. Last week I told her how I felt after the second session the week previous and we just talked and didn’t do any EMDR. I was relieved. I’m gonna tell her I don’t think I’m ready and I don’t know when I ever will be. I just don’t feel like myself. And I don’t like feeling like this. I guess some things are never meant to be fixed and maybe that’s all my past memories.
 

prynne

Confident
I guess some things are never meant to be fixed and maybe that’s all my past memories.
Recovery is incredibly hard, especially at the beginning, but if you keep pushing your life could be so much more enjoyable than it is now. I'm not sure of your exact symptoms, but I know that for many people pre-PTSD recovery, it feels like the past is determining everything about your present and future. It doesn't have to be that way. You are capable of healing from your past memories.

You know yourself the best and maybe EMDR isn't the best choice for right now. However, I would encourage you to keep trying to get better. Good trauma work can still be done through talk therapy. Don't push yourself so hard that you break down, but keep trying!! 💛
 

Friday

Moderator
Obviously if I tell her I’m not doing EMDR for a while my target won’t be closed. Will she let me just stop EMDR or is there like a closing session or something? I can’t really believe I am left feeling like this. I mean does this feeling go away in time?
Actually, medication changes often require a 6 month stop in trauma processing.

Which doesn’t mean stopping trauma therapy full stop, “just” the processing side of it.
 

The_One

Learning
Actually, medication changes often require a 6 month stop in trauma processing.

Which doesn’t mean stopping trauma therapy full stop, “just” the processing side of it.
Oh okay well I guess then I should not do any EMDR for six months then. I just feel like it really brought up shit which it’s supposed to do but I wasn’t ready for it and now I’m stuck? Or I feel stuck in this. I don’t like feeling depressed like this over something that happened so long ago . I thought I was over it.
 
I thought I was over it.
Yup. We've all been there.

Have you worked on grounding skills? You really need hella grounding skills to get through EMDR sometimes. Mine were stretched to the breaking point and then some, but in general they've held up.

Are you using the container to hold all of your negative thoughts and feelings after EMDR? This is my favorite post-EMDR grounding technique.

If you have to pause EMDR for now, being two sessions in doesn't sound like it will royally mess you up.
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve been doing EMDR for a year now. It definitely can cause some intense dysregulation and/or an “EMDR hangover.”

Sounds like you started on too large of a target. The first few EMDR sessions I did started with small (stressful but not traumatic) targets that resolved in one session. I felt amazing afterwards.

EMDR on the big things can take time (one of my most traumatic targets took about 6 months to finish). Although this was kind of an outlier and many other traumatic targets just took a few sessions.

There are a lot of coping skills that help and EMDR can also be used to instill positive things (resourcing). Which is really awesome.

I know EMDR is not for everyone, but it’s been the #1 most beneficial treatment in healing my trauma. Sometimes it just needs to be slowed down or adjusted with some tweaks. Definitely talk to your therapist about it.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I did two sessions of EMDR therapy and though it wasn’t the worst feeling it definitely feels bad.
Reprocessing is a B*I*T*C*H.......
Best I can say is get your ducks lined up. Make sure you understand the PTSD Cup. Learn Grounding..

What happens is with PTSD you wake up at 5 on the SUDS scale, normally. When you are doing EMDR and reprocessing add 2 or 3. So now you have very little "headroom" or tolerance for added stress. If you are not keeping all the space you can clear - you are bouncing off the top of the scale and life is miserable - really miserable because you overdo it just living life. (I struggled mightily with that too....)

Focus on clearing space in the cup.....and tell your T when to stop adding tasks. You are the only one who knows how full your plate is so you need to tell your T when to stop adding to it.

 

The_One

Learning
I’ve been doing EMDR for a year now. It definitely can cause some intense dysregulation and/or an “EMDR hangover.”

Sounds like you started on too large of a target. The first few EMDR sessions I did started with small (stressful but not traumatic) targets that resolved in one session. I felt amazing afterwards.

EMDR on the big things can take time (one of my most traumatic targets took about 6 months to finish). Although this was kind of an outlier and many other traumatic targets just took a few sessions.

There are a lot of coping skills that help and EMDR can also be used to instill positive things (resourcing). Which is really awesome.

I know EMDR is not for everyone, but it’s been the #1 most beneficial treatment in healing my trauma. Sometimes it just needs to be slowed down or adjusted with some tweaks. Definitely talk to your therapist about it.
Okay I guess that’s the word for it dysregulation. I think I had a few things going on last week that didn’t help with the feeling. First I was like let me go down to 12.5mg of lexapro instead of my usual lexapro of 15. That caused me to have intrusive thoughts that were mostly based on anxiety. I then was on placebo week of my birth control pills and I know for a fact whenevr I’m on the break of those pills I’m not myself.
I finished the break early and went back to 15mg of lexapro and no more scary intrusive thoughts. I talked to my therapist and we are stopping EMDR for now. I guess she said we can do reprocessing without any of the hard stuff and nothing traumatic. Just doing talk therapy or mellowing out with the clicks in the background.
Idk how that’s gonna help. But I do feel better STILL don’t feel like myself though, I’m having a lot of headaches and sometimes I feel so good then feel like crying. I feel like I’m still having a hangover from EMDR. Idk how that’s possible. It’s been more than 2 weeks that I last had an EMDR session.
 

The_One

Learning
Hi I’m back. Last week was bad and I wasn’t feeling good all due to some mistakes I made (lowering my dose of lexapro ) and being on placebo week of BC which is not a fun time for me.
I stopped my bc break early and went back on BC and now I’m back on my usual dosage of lexapro.
Still having some trouble, I don’t know how to explain the feeling in my head like sometimes I can’t think.it’s like something is blocking the thinking. I keep having headaches.
Is this me still processing!?
How am I still feeling so dysregulated after only 2 sessions? I stopped of course and I’m not doing EMDR again. I wasn’t ready for it but I didn’t think I’d still be feeling this way two weeks after.
I’m worried that I might develop another mental illness like schizophrenia or something, is that even possible?
 

Friday

Moderator
How am I still feeling so dysregulated after only 2 sessions? I stopped of course and I’m not doing EMDR again. I wasn’t ready for it but I didn’t think I’d still be feeling this way two weeks after
Trauma processing gets brutal, fast. Regardless of the methodolgy involved.

I knew this.

My trauma therapist definitely knew this (as he at first refused to get me court-ready, as what I needed would destabilize me too much, too fast, when I was already unstable & had no support built in to absorb the blow). The consequences of my NOT being court ready? Changed his mind, after he spoke at length with my attorney. And then with me. So there was some veeeeeery informed consent in play. On all of our parts. As, yes. I knew this would probably blow up my life, and possibly kill me.

2 YEARS is how long I dealt with the after-effects.

But? I didn’t kill myself, or flee the county, or go eyeballs deep in lethal coping mechanisms. There were a few rapid decompensations, but I was able to pull-up out of those tailspins before they killed me.

And? I made it through my court thing.

Shrug.

>>> Trauma Therapy / Trauma Processig is NOT like regular therapy where things get better. It’s infinitely more like Reconstructive Surgery (to repair old injuries that healed badly) followed by Physical Therapy. You’re able to walk/gimp in the door. And won’t be able to even sit up, much less walk, for the next several months to couple/few years. As old breaks are rebroken, and badly healed -but healed, nonetheless- tissue is cut and reattached. The PAIN is going to be miles worse than it was. The effects are brutal. But? The end result is only being able to gimp about, but walk/run/dance/gymnastic about.

“It gets worse, before it gets better.” Isn’t something most people can reeeeally prepare themselves for. X10 for those with trust issues. Whether it’s reconstructive surgery & physical therapy, or trauma therapy. Doesn’t make it any less true, though.
 
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