Is it normal to feel mentally exhausted after therapy

999FnR

New Here
Hi, recently started therapy and meds and had 3rd session today (one a week) and I seem to get home and feel mentally drained and lower than normal.
I am due to start edmr in my next session and today she went through the breathing and relaxing exercises and staircase to my safe place, when I left I felt very zoned out and strange I was due to get back on the underground train back home but couldn’t face it so I went and sat in the pub on my own for two hours (probably not a great idea I know) until I was ready to travel home, and now again I feel mentally drained and quite low mood does anyone else feel
Like this?
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Oh ya.... i call it my emdr hangover. It usually takes me about 24 hours to get my brain to go back into my head where it belongs and to stop floating around the damn room. I've (finally!) learned that pre-planning for that is how I'm gonna get thru - so I just plan on taking the next day off and do non-important stuff that doesn't require any brain cells.

It sucks, but it's totally normal.
 

999FnR

New Here
Oh ya.... i call it my emdr hangover. It usually takes me about 24 hours to get my brain to go back into my head where it belongs and to stop floating around the damn room. I've (finally!) learned that pre-planning for that is how I'm gonna get thru - so I just plan on taking the next day off and do non-important stuff that doesn't require any brain cells.

It sucks, but it's totally normal.
Thanks, yeah a hangover is a good way of putting it I guess will make sure future appointments are not around times when I’m busy as feel like I just need to be by myself for a while, I could have sat in that pub on my own all day just thinking
 

Friday

Moderator
Ooooooh yeeeeeeah.

Massive therapy hangover.

I also tend to double down by stressing the f*ck out up to a few days before therapy, and then being simply shattered after therapy.

I can minimize both by doing StressCup stuff to blow off as much stress both before and after, but? For me that’s like eating before going out drinking, pounding water during, and then waking to a greasy breakfast. It doesn’t eliminate the effects of a few too many, but it sure as hell makes life infinitely better to be smart about it.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Yep, therapy hangovers. Horrible.

I scheduled a 'no meeting day' the day after therapy in work to reduce the number of meetings I had to help me function, during the harder times in therapy.
No I find that having meetings the day after helps.

So maybe build in things for the next 24 hours that help stabilise you.
 

Friday

Moderator
ETA… It’s also something that makes sense, when one stops and thinks about it… about why trauma therapy is so much more like reconstructive surgery & physio (walk in, wheelchair out, suffer through months of pain… to be able to not just walk but run/jump/climb); IE it gets worse before it gets better. Meanwhile most therapy for other disorders/problems people start feeling instantly better.

People with PTSD aren’t just remembering the past, we’re reLIVING it. So, for a time we’re not only deliberately existing in two places at once… but our physical/mental state that made total sense back when? Is what we’re reliving now. So

- if after clearing bodies out of rubble for 15 or 72 hours, I could curl up on the softest, most lovely, blissful piece of asphalt, to sleep myself out?
- Or needed to go out & get f*cked up, get in a few fights, get laid, etc. because my adrenaline is still screaming through my blood, just to begin to calm down & clear my head?
- Or just had to sit and stare out at infinity, until I was done, wracked with too many emotions or none?
- Or am buckling to the ground to shake/cry/puke my guts out?
- Or desperately need a hot shower, cold beer, and to go for a run / start a construction project, get filthy productive & active, then repeat the hot shower cold beer
- Be left alone, FFS.
- Be surrounded by others, that I trust and rely upon, in as much physical contact as possible… conversely…feeling lost, empty, like there’s a hole inside me, impossibly lonely without the camaraderie and understanding needed in that moment to feel like ME.
- Et Cetera?

It ALSO makes sense that reliving the times that brought me to those places would bring back being in THOSE places.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hiya, yep I feel like that frequently, but then you get used to it and then it doesn't really matter and lessons. Revisiting past traumas and bad memories in detail takes ALOT of mental and emotional energy!!! Your going to feel Zapped! But have faith in the process. 😊
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
it's normal for me.
at the other extreme is the breakthrough high. the breakthrough sessions are not so normal for me, but they can keep me pumped indefinitely and settle into unlimited growth and direction.
 

Charbella

MyPTSD Pro
am due to start edmr in my next session

Therapy hangover, yes, though not always just when something seems to be extra hard. Sometimes I even go home feeling relief.

I noticed you said you haven’t started EMDR yet. EMDR certainly amplifies this effect. I hope you’re letting your T know what’s going on AFTER therapy so they can help you.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Oh, absolutely. I vacillate between exhaustion and energized. Either way, that's how I know it was a good, productive session. It's like exercising, it releases that cocktail of hormones. Adrenaline and norepinephrine and cortisol and endorphins.
 
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