Therapy hangover, anyone else? Any tips for managing them?

sshernobyl

New Here
hey yall,

I'm pretty new to this forum, but I joined because I need to figure some stuff out on my own, in addition to therapy. I was wondering if anyone else here suffers from a therapy "hangover"? I don't know why, but after a particularly heavy session, for up to three days after I am extremely erratic, and I can't seem to calm down, sleep or eat. Sometimes I feel like I can't sleep or eat enough. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this kinda thing, but I really need some reassurance.

If anyone has experienced this kind of thing, how do you deal with it? Kind of at my wit's end, not being able to articulate how I am feeling, and having the people I am around getting tired of my seeming bitchy when I just can't help it. Of course, it doesn't help that they don't have too much insight about what's going on but still, if you have any tips I'll take them.

Apologies for the subtle rant, and if you made it this far, thank you.

TDLR: I suffer from heavy therapy hangovers, and I need tips on how to better manage them because the people around me seem to not understand that I cant control this behaviour.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome!

And: yep, totally. It's really frustrating.
I have therapy on a Thursday and found that Friday's are just a difficult day. In work I have tried to make it a 'no meeting day'', which I have put in my diary. What that does is actually reduce the meetings I have because people still book them, but at least it has cut down the number of people I need to see the next day. That has helped on a practical level. Is there something you can do to help reduce interaction with people who don't help or situations that you need that emotional resilience for a day or two after?

Also, I have tried to learn to accept it. And I try to work out 'why'.
I also spoke to my T about it, and she said she needed to hear that. (We have also decided to go a bit slower in therapy so the last few weeks we've changed what we talk about, that also has really really helped).

Sorry the people around you don't help.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I am the opposite. After therapy I sleep the rest of the day. I'm tired for a few days so I don't make plans for those days. Not just tired, like walking through syrup tired. I ask my family to let me sleep. Can you ask yours to give you space so you can control your angry feelings? I would try to talk to them when you aren't recovering from a session, and explain how you normally feel after a session.

It is worse after therapy, but having a feeling doesn't mean you have to express it. Otherwise, no one would hold down a job, or have friends, etc. You can control your behaviors even if you feel you can't. Do you think you can talk to your therapist about how to distract yourself from these feelings?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Yes I used to get this frequently. Making sure I ate properly and being kind to myself was a priority. And naps in the day was normal. Like others have said, maybe talking and explaining to those around you what your having to deal with would help. Therapy can be very hard when talking about painful subject matter and it's hard on us psychologically and emotionally so it's normal that this happens. Hope you feel better soon. 🙂
 

Sues

Confident
What DharmaGirl said. Since starting EMDR, I get tired and want to do nothing. The talk therapy didn't hit me like that, but some days it wore me out. My therapist always tells me as I'm leaving to rest, do self care, and to remember my tools to help myself if needed.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
First thing I do after therapy session is dump as much of it as I can recall in my notepad on the iPad. Then throughout the day as odd phrases pop into my head I add them to the note. This helped me place it somewhere so that I’m not running it through my head. I have therapy on Friday and am in fairly good shape by Monday so even though I jot note most of it to give it a place to be I have those two days of funk, fatigue, depressed mood. Awareness of how long it last helps. Lately I’ve turned a bit of a corner and have been doing other things to leave it behind. Having a soothing art project on the goal has helped because it is one thing that will excite me, make me happy, calm, content. I look forward to my evening of continuing that.
 

sshernobyl

New Here
First thing I do after therapy session is dump as much of it as I can recall in my notepad on the iPad. Then throughout the day as odd phrases pop into my head I add them to the note. This helped me place it somewhere so that I’m not running it through my head. I have therapy on Friday and am in fairly good shape by Monday so even though I jot note most of it to give it a place to be I have those two days of funk, fatigue, depressed mood. Awareness of how long it last helps. Lately I’ve turned a bit of a corner and have been doing other things to leave it behind. Having a soothing art project on the goal has helped because it is one thing that will excite me, make me happy, calm, content. I look forward to my evening of continuing that.
I have therapy on Fridays as well, and I think that I'll try what you do. I seem to be in a smaller funk by Monday than I was right after therapy, but I have a feeling that you could be on to something.
 

Friday

Moderator
The only way I can avoid a therapy hangover is by falling into the ocean or getting into a bar fight / street fight (or similar) immediately after. Explosive full-body instinctive reactions + massive expension of energy. The ocean I’m reacting to the waves/currents/tides, in a fight I’m reacting to the other person. By “or similar”? I don’t mean downgraded, but in parallel. For downgraded things? Like swimming in a pool, or meeting up with a sparring partner? I’ll still have a therapy hangover... but it IS lessened. In both duration & intensity. It’s ALSO lessened to exactly the same degree if I do those things before therapy. Which just makes more sense to me. Because I can double up if need be, or crash, if “I’m done now.” Cheque please. Faceplant. Win/win.

Since I’m in the fawking cold north, with a 15 minute survival time in the sea... swimming is out. And my fighting days might not be over, but as I am NOT in keen enough condition to not end up in the hospital (an angry 4yo -or indignant house cat- could prolly kick my ass these days)... those (and most similar activities) are out. At least for now.

So my best secondary line of defense is to go for a swim in a pool, or check a scull out of the boathouse, and go blow off a bunch of stress beforehand... and eat/sleep as soon as, after.

((The best food is -unsurprisingly- comfort food! There’s a vegan cafe with the BEST French fries (or mac’n’cheese if I’m up to using a fork, not a guarantee), a sushi place, & a whiskey bar all within a few blocks of where I meet my therapist. My last therapist was practically across the street from a VooDoo Doughnuts. The sheer amount of weight I lose in therapy? With any/all of those things a regular part of my diet? Reeeeeeally speaks to how much energy anxiety/stress burns. Because, nope! I don’t always make it to the pool/boathouse beforehand. Or even often, if I’m using the panic of being late to get to therapy by the skin of my teeth. Just because it’s my best secondary line of defense, doesn’t mean it’s as routine as I’d like.))
 
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sshernobyl

New Here
The only way I can avoid a therapy hangover is by falling into the ocean or getting into a bar fight / street fight (or similar) immediately after. Explosive full-body instinctive reactions + massive expension of energy. The ocean I’m reacting to the waves/currents/tides, in a fight I’m reacting to the other person. By “or similar”? I don’t mean downgraded, but in parallel. For downgraded things? Like swimming in a pool, or meeting up with a sparring partner? I’ll still have a therapy hangover... but it IS lessened. In both duration & intensity. It’s ALSO lessened to exactly the same degree if I do those things before therapy. Which just makes more sense to me. Because I can double up if need be, or crash, if “I’m done now.” Cheque please. Faceplant. Win/win.

Since I’m in the fawking cold north, with a 15 minute survival time in the sea... swimming is out. And my fighting days might not be over, but as I am NOT in keen enough condition to not end up in the hospital (an angry 4yo -or indignant house cat- could prolly kick my ass these days)... those (and most similar activities) are out. At least for now.

So my best secondary line of defense is to go for a swim in a pool, or check a scull out of the boathouse, and go blow off a bunch of stress beforehand... and eat/sleep as soon as, after.

((The best food is -unsurprisingly- comfort food! There’s a vegan cafe with the BEST French fries (or mac’n’cheese if I’m up to using a fork, not a guarantee), a sushi place, & a whiskey bar all within a few blocks of where I meet my therapist. My last therapist was practically across the street from a VooDoo Doughnuts. The sheer amount of weight I lose in therapy? With any/all of those things a regular part of my diet? Reeeeeeally speaks to how much energy anxiety/stress burns. Because, nope! I don’t always make it to the pool/boathouse beforehand. Or even often, if I’m using the panic of being late to get to therapy by the skin of my teeth. Just because it’s my best secondary line of defense, doesn’t mean it’s as routine as I’d like.))
Living in Raincouver (Vancouver), and being a competitive water sports player I totally understand the calming effects that the ocean and or pools have, and combat sport is something that I once really used to enjoy, but because of PTSD I feel like I can no longer continue. Because of this stupid virus, both fighting and pools have been taken away from me, and so I've started to run and unsurprisingly it has helped. It doesn't help with the tiredness or wiredness that I experience after therapy, but it DOES make my mind a lot more calm. I can't say that food is too comforting for me immediately after therapy, but after I wake up I feel like I can't eat enough. I'm actually really glad that someone is able to relate in terms of coping mechanisms.
 
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