1st therapy appointment, kinda feel worse

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Chelz, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    I had my first therapy appointment today. First of all, why do they need to ask you if you are married? have ever been married? have children? been convicted of a crime? Do illegal drugs? Drink Alcohol?

    I felt like I was being judged. Maybe it's just me, probably is. I felt uncomfortable in the waiting room with other people there. I clammed up a bit when he asked me why I was here. Oh geeezzzz, where do I start?

    Well, I did start with my FM, and he was familiar with it, but not really. He asked me if there was anything that I have EVER done in the past, that has helped me with my FM, I told him back in 2000 when I was walking an hour in my local park, that helped a bit. BUT, I can no longer do that, I can't walk at a steady pace for more than 10 minutes now without suffering the consequences.

    He wanted me to try to walk everyday for a few minutes. I apologized and said "I can't do that", if I'm not being honest, what is the point, right?

    He said he was going to do research on FM, and I have another appointment in two weeks. I honestly don't expect to "feel" better after one session, I am being realistic, but I felt very awkward and I felt more down after I left.

    He wanted to know how I felt emotionally the past few weeks, well, again I was being honest. I felt alone, don't fit in, and I felt that my friends, co-workers, other people in general have more than I do, and I don't have anything. He didn't dismiss me, but he looked at me in a surprised kind of way. I regret telling him that, but again, what is the point if I can't be honest, right?

    I am not putting down this appointment, it was only the first one. I was in pain while sitting there, and I didn't get very good sleep the night before either, nobody's fault, just the way it is. When I told him I didn't have anything, he said to me "well how did you get here" you drove right? Again, he wasn't being mean, but I knew what he was getting at, it didn't make me feel better or worse, just "there". I'm not venting, just needed to post my feelings this first time. Hugs, Chelz.

  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    The first session, in fact, the first few sessions are more about the therapist getting to know you. You might go in there thinking that "a" is the problem, whereas the therapist after a few sessions might realize that infact, it is "b" that is the problem.

    The fact that you don't feel that you have anything tells the therapist a lot and gives him some direction to go with you. It's no use censoring your answers as it doesn't help you because the therapist doesn't get an honest picture of who you are.

    Therapy is a process; you don't go to one session and work everything out immediately and feel wonderful. There is bound to be some pain as you explore certain issues, however, once they have been truly dealt with they tend to fade in importance and don't impact your life on a daily basis, a lot of the time unconsciously.
  3. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    if you do start to feel judged as it goes on, like they dont seem to believe your limitations or push you too hard get anew one
    There is that danger with cfs and fm that some therapists and docs think its all psyche and that u need to exercise more

    Also if you could supply them with some of the research because what if they read stuff supporting the idea that its all in yr head

    there are good and bad therapists just like any field
    also there is alot of misinformation out there, dont assuem they will find the right info on their own, what if they find people like reeves and wessley?

    I am not trying to worry you it may go fine but just be empowered to help steer the ship, with this stuff in particular, sadly you cannot just sit back and hope the "experts" will know what to do all the time

    but if its a good therapist even if they dont understand yr situation or read research implying its a psychosomatic thing, if they are good they will not judge you and just try to help you form the goals you want and try to help you see whatever positive there is to be found in your situation while also validating what is hard for you
    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2010]
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hi Simone - I'm assuming that Chelz is going into therapy for more than CFS/FM. Maybe I got it wrong? I agree that if you feel judged after a few sessions then you and your therapist probably aren't a good fit and you need to move on to the next one.

    Unless a person is going to therapy to learn how to "live" with CFS or FM, then I don't see that CFS/FM should even be an issue at therapy sessions. If the therapist wants to harp on these illnesses being psychosomatic, then it is definitely time to move on and find a new therapist.
  5. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    i meant to direct that to chelz
    but agree to agree
    i just have a little experience on both sides of the couch....:) and it really hurt me when one counselor bought into the idea that the right antidepressant might fix everything, that was super hurtful, i had really liked her for some time fora good support just on life issues too but after that i closed the door on her,even though she tried to apologize when she saw how it had effected my trust in her, i think a therapist should trust their patients experience and not listen to some one elses theory about what might work over my intuition......unless I was acting super derganged or something, hah which I dont think i was, pretty sane really,but then again when yr nuts is cus you can't see reality clearly so.......
  6. quanked

    quanked Member

    The questions are the beginning of an assessment. These are very common questions--in fact when I worked as mental health clinician they were just part of the drill. It helps the therapist form a sense of the client's world.

    Being honest is good. I am not sure why you regretted telling him you didn't have anything. Did you tell him that you were in pain in the waiting room? If he is not clued in about FM then you might consider that you are there to educate him.

    I am not sure why you are there but your dd's are a big part of your life and who you are right now. Unless you are there for a crisis matter that you just want to get through then your dd's are part of the picture and cannot be left out.

    On feeling judged--I think that this is a common reaction when beginning therapy even if one has already had therapy. We never know when others are going to judge us when we open up our private lives for someone to peer in. Unless you, in general, feel juged most of the time you might just want to see your discomfort as part of the process.

    I do not know what your life experience is but if you fit well with this therapist it may turn out to be the first time in your life when you will feel heard and respected for what you feel--honored I suppose.

    I will check back and see how you are doing. Seeking therapy is very courageous and the pay off can be satisfying even if the process can be difficult. Do not stop being honest.
  7. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    Hi all. The main reason for going to therapy for me was my FM, and also my lonliness issues, not fitting in etc. Having the FM is most definately the biggest part for me. I also have stressors at home, lost my father, have bigger responsibilites caring for my mom, I'm 45 and feel that life has passed me by.

    KJM, you had said that when I said I had "nothing" and that it was a general global statement, you are right, never thought of that, it wasn't specific enough and maybe was too much for ther therapist to process so soon, I will take that into considertion next time I generalize too much, it was just the first thing that popped out of me, just a start I guess.

    Simonedb, I had a similar experience as you when I went to therapy back in 2002. I had told the therapsit back then, that antidepressants that I had taken in the past, have ruined me. I don't like those medications, and the side effects her horrendous for me. She dismissed me and told me I would "never" get better without them, that was the end of that session, because like you had said, she did not really "listen" to me or take what I said seriously, it would have been better if she had just wrote down what I said, thought about it for the next session, then give me her opinion, but she did not listen to me all all, that is not what therapy should be all about, not caring about my opinion is detrimental to me, so believe me, I do understand why you didn't go back either, just like me. That was my second and last session with her.

    Quanked, I hear what you are saying. I am overly sensitive to everything right now, but then again, I pretty much always have been, just more so now. I'm feeling overwhelmed and yes, it was hard to open up to somebody. I do think taking that first step to therapy is courageous, I just don't give myself any credit for it, so thank you for saying that, because it is true. I did tell the therapist that I was having pain sitting there, I didn't dwell on it, but did tell him. I'm not quite sure he believed me, but again, he does not KNOW me yet, so I have to take that into consideration as well and be fair to that as well, I suppose. Thanks to all, Hugs, Chelz.
  8. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    It really doesn't matter to me whethr these drugs are classified as SNRI, or SNRI's or ones like Elavil, a TCA. The problems I had on the ones I took we numerous and they totally outshined my FM. In other words, I kept going back to so many doctors because of the severe side effects and the withdrawal of these drugs, that I almost forgot I had FM, that is how severe it was.

    I lost my job back in 2002 because of problems with these drugs. Granted, I worked for a company that didn't have any heart or sympathy for anyone who was sick, but in a way I didn't blame them. I couldn't function at my job. I had to see a gynecologist because the Paxil and Elavil packed on so much weight, that my menstrual cycles were dangerously off, horrible bleeding problems that sent me back to the doctors over and over. I was at least able to function, although not very well, but at least function enough to do my job before these drugs were introduced to me.

    When the Paxil and other drugs were stopped, and I went through withdrawal, (horrible), my periods went right back on track and have been fine ever since. I also lost some weight just by getting off the drugs and not doing anything else. Blurry vision was so severe I almost had to go to an opthalmologist, add one more doctor to the misery. The blurry vision was from the Elavil.

    Also, I have heard of so many people who have tried Cymbalta, the newer drug, but had to stop because of similar side effects just like Paxil had. For example, when I withdrew from Paxil, I had these horrible zaps going through my head, doctors didn't believe me, I hear the same stores about Cymbalta. Paxil came out in 1992, Cymbalta came out a few years ago, I would think and hope that they would have improved after so many years, but they haven't. I also hear the same thing with Clexa, Effexor, and so on. The brain zaps are common, but the doctors didn't want to pay any attention back then, to my and so many others disadvantage, but I think they are listening now, they don't have a choice, it is happening too frequently

    With so many physical problems resulting from the drugs, and having FM and TMJ on top of it, for me it only makes sense that I need to try much different approaches.

    I used to work in Behavioral health, medical records in a hospital. I also know a few psychiatrists, and I know that a few of them (not all), are willing to try some natural approches first, because of the severe side effects of so many of these drugs, I have experienced it first hand, and have also seen it in my job.

    These drugs all have their own side effects that only a psychiatrist, a good one that is, will understand the unique chemistry involved with these various drugs. I also hope they would understand that if someone has had so many miserable side effects and problems with these drugs, that they would understand not wanting to go on them ever again, regardless if it is an SSRI, or SNRI or a trycyclic like Elavil. Hugs, Chelz :)
  9. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    NOT A CHANCE. 100 pound weight gain was enough to ruin everything, and then some. Period.

    If I want to gamble, I will go to a casino :) LOL. I might be broke, but I was broke from the drugs, plus they ruined my health even more.

    Casinos are just plain more fun................

    PS, go to askapatient.com and put in various names of AD's, they will give you THEIR honest opinion.............warning it's scary. Thank you anyway for responding, hugs to you, Chelz :)
  10. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    thanks for sharing your story. it sounds like a mixed bag with your first appointment. prob too early to tell it this therapist will be a good fit for you or not. and that is perfectly normal. i am sure that most people who go to therapy feel unsure and sorta freaked out by the whole thing. that is how i felt the first time i ever went. so you are OK!!! and in time it will be more clear if he is good fit for you. this is all part of the process. its hard and scary to try to find our way with these terrible illnesses. but remember you have all of us here who understand and can listen and try to help.

    i know what you mean about feeling like you dont fit in, but other people cant believe you feel that way.

    i also know about what a 100 lb weight gain can do to a person. grrrr!!!!! you are not alone! mine weight gain also started after going on prozac. 10 lbs a year. i also have eating disorder so hard to tell if prozac played a role in the huge weight gain or not. (i am simplifying a long long story.)

    i am finally losing the weight slowly. finally! thought it would never happen. just the basics- eat healthier (real food- not processed "food"), eat less than before, when possible get exercise/movement- but not overdo it at all, drink lots and lots of water. when i screw up and pig out on junk- dont keep hating myslef for it- just move on and get back on track.

    life was passing me by, too-- from CFS, depression, and weight gain. slowly coming back to life. yay!

    hugs to you chelz
    hang in there!


  11. quanked

    quanked Member

    Sounds like you have given drugs an honest try. It is your choice for sure. I think these drugs come at a price for most people and I do not mean monetary costs. I started with Zoloft in 97 and about 5 years ago or so I wanted off of whatever it was then--effexor I think. I tried twice--the stopping was a nightmare. I still take lexapro but I feel I do not need it and there are side effects. For me it is more about my ability to experience emotional highs and lows--I really do not have any. There is more to this but that is not why I am responding.

    In the therapy process he is getting to know you but YOU are also getting to know him. ?There is nothing wrong with asking him questions like--when I tell you I have pain do you believe me? Find out what he knows and thinks about chronic illnesses--especially ones that are controversial.

    It does get lonely sometimes does it not? Once in awhile I feel that way and I think it is more about not having anyone in my life who really knows what these dd's are about and what they take from an individual. But I like a lot of time alone. Really, alone. I have not had that in so long.

    If you are so inclined keep us posted. Take care.
  12. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    I am with ya chelz on that one too, antidepressants all categories suck for me! Dr Cheney explains that and if you google him and provigil he explains how its dangerous. I tried provigil and got photophobia horrible eye pain and headaches that lasted for ayear and cymbalta gave me long lasting headaches too, this was after trying microdoses of that crap for short periods.

    in fairness i will say that a microdose of serzone did help for awhile in the 90s but problem is a lot of us have mcs so cant tolerate a lot of drugs.

    to me its related to xmrv and the cdc scam on the public of holding back viral research the last 20 years and pushing psychiatric meds on us instead of antivirals ----sure sure i know psych meds work for some of you some of the time just like they might for someone with cancer who is bummed out about it or any other illness where feeling bummed about being sick is appropriate,but it shouldnt be their first line of defense just like it isnt in aids or cancer


    Press release on NIH study on xmrv this spring:


    nytimes july article about study hold by dhhs:


    primetime cfs primer, not much has changed since 96:

    newsreporters documentation on history of cfs and cdc:

    Harvard physician with cfs and xmrv blog:
  13. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    aussie, that wasnt directed at you per se, hey anti-ds helped me too in some ways in the past, in very small amounts cus of my mcs
    but they also caused some new probs and they stopped working and they arent really the heart of the problem with cfs is all I am trying to say
    but for some folks as an adjunct sure
    just imho though and experience
    we are all dif
    but Cheney does have interesting views on them, esp the stimulating ones although he likes doxepin, one of the tricyclics was one of his mainstays for long time to use for sleep, but for me the tricyclics like that one bother my heart though....
  14. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    where are u moving?
  15. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    oh is it that place you wanted to make a cfs commune? you buying then? alberta?
  16. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    congrats, shoot me a note or thread if want to tell more
    sounds very exciting
    haha I didnt mean like a hippy commune but that cfs community idea you had was cool but did sound hard to organize
    good luck with new place......

    any keep us posted chelz on what you decide, sounds like you know how to advocate for yourself, I think a good therapist is priceless, just like a good car mechanic, but the empahasis is on GOOD
  17. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    Don't be sorry, I enjoy you guys so much...................hey this is part of therapy too, right?
    This is the reason I posted about my therapy appointment in the first place because I knew I would get a lot of interesting responses, viewpoints, opinions, advice, etc.

    Sometimes threads can go slightly off topic, that's okay. I liked your "no rednecks" comment, made me laugh. Again, thanks to all, you guys are all my "mini therapists". I read everything and take it in. Hugs to all, Chelz.

    I will keep you posted, of course, that is if I don't bore you guys. :)
  18. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    well when I think about it depression can definitely be one of the side effects with cfs, the brain getting effected so if someone is lucky enough to tolerate them i spose it helps the symptomif not the real illness

    I think most mental health will boil down to viruses infections when research gets more advanced
    environmental stuff is just another igniting factor along with genetics

    and chelz yr not boring, yr a cool cat


  19. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    first aussie, sorry about the house, hope ya find another soon!

    and about antidepressants, I will write more later when more time, I dont think I spent enough time earlier explaining my position, so my apologies if it works for you. I dont like to see people suffer so thats good. I have tried them all numerous times and sometimes for more than a year at a time in the 90s so I gave it the college try, I just have too much mcs for them to work right,

    I tend to think though that there may be a classic cfs that is from a retrovirus, and a lot of people who think they have a classic sort of cfs dont do well on antidepressants, dr cheney explains well why he doesnt reccomend ssris snris and stimulants for cfs and I think he knows a certain type of cfs very well. I was assuming the audience i was writing to was classic cfs.

    I will post more later but there is good evidence that there are several components to illness, some of us have all of them some have one. genetic, environment (like upbringing nurturing etc or later trauma like a vet) and bacterial, viral infections and chemical noxious stuff like mold or for some medication or drugs (which antideps for some could be toxic for others not).
    I have good info about this will come back later this week to this thread and share.
    but I may have posted how that scientist he was on npr the one studying criminals with mri found out he had criminal brain per mri yet he was fine cus nice childhood so he changed from being strict genetics believer to also putting importance on upbringing/environment.
    what has beeen neglected in cfs info from our doctors and the cdc is the viral component and perhaps a chemical one too (like something noxious you were exposed to at some point).

    oh but finally, I do believe that many illnesses will be found to have a viral cause/component, including "mental health"problems, I actually don't think psychology should be separated from bodily illnesses.....it causes a stigma, I think its all the same, everything is caused from a chemical of some sort, I am suspecting that it could turn out that using antidepressants will be found to just be treating symptoms not causes....like if you have cfs and you have a retrovirus and you are depressed, than the retrovirus could be causing your "depression" its just another problem the virus causes like pain, fatigue or brain fog or edema or whatever w/cfs and perhaps if you would take ampligen or some better antirviral it would get rid of all of the problems and you wouldnt need prozac, see what I mean? but yea in the meantime I spose taking ssri's is only thing available til we know more, but if someone has true cfs/me an antidepressant is not going to cure it, at least not in the long run, and Cheney thinks it does more harm than good in long run, google around you can read what he says on it, sort of like why cocaine is fun at first but hurts in long run, that is my worry for folks w/antidepressants.

    great now I really better get to bed
    [This Message was Edited on 08/04/2010]
  20. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    awwwwwwwwwww, thanks for saying that, you guys are cool cats too. Needed to hear that.

    Big (but soft) hugs, Chelz :)
  21. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    I'm the original poster. First of all, I was put on AD's way back in the 90's. I should make this clear, when i was put on AD'S, back in the 1990's, it was not for FM. I wasn't ever diagnosed with FM, but was constantly going to the doctors for the symptoms of FM.

    Pain being the worst, then sleep problems, fatigue, brain fog, you know the drill :) I will try to make this short. I was put on Zoloft, (not sure why) for 1 week at 50 milligrams. I won't go into details, too painful, but almost went to the ER because of side effects too numerous to count. The drug was discontinued for me. Next came Elavil, my doctor told me it would help with my pain and sleep. I was on that for 9 months a long enough time for side effects to go away, but they didn't, again long story, it had to be discontinued because of rapid weight gain and other problems.

    Next came Paxil, which still confuses me to this day. Never asked for that drug, never been diagnosed with depression................had no idea why this new doctor put me on it. I just took whatever they gave me back then, I was vulnerable, in pain and scared.

    I was on the Paxil for about 2 years, again not just a few weeks. The weight started to creep up, along with a host of other problems that made my FM look like child's play. I got off of that and had to endure the bad withdrawal, that is when I lost my job by early 2002. When I say I had added health problems from the drugs, that's an understatement

    My doctor told me that I should take Wellbutrin while weening off the Paxil. The Wellbutrin was only taken for 2 days because it was like bouncing off the walls, very bad, had to stop.

    MEANWHILE, did any of these doctors try to find out what was really wrong with me? NO, they didn't, it was one drug after the other. Rapid weight gain, a host of other problems, and withdrawal was enough to scare the.................you know out of me :)

    None of the drugs "worked". Paxil made me kinda emotionally numb, like I didn't really care, but the additional health problems from such an excessive weight gain, were starting to tear me down physically. I'm not sure how the AD battle here started, I just wanted to let you know I'm the original poster and these drugs were taken for a while with side effects only getting worse and worse. This happened a while ago, and it still haunts me to this day. Thanks Livvy for asking. Hugs, Chelz.

    PS, I was finally diagnosed in 2002 by a rheumy after an exhaustive 15 plus years of doctors. Darn, this post was long again, I keep doing that, sorry :(