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When therapy hasnt helped <abuse, possibly triggering>

(10 Posts)
Derangedrover Thu 17-Oct-13 12:54:01

I was seriously sexually assaulted within a relationship as a teenager, and went on to have several similar, abusive relationships as a result. I have now been fairly happily married to a good, caring man for some years, and have children, a career, friends and a decent life. Yet I cannot shake the feelings of very low basic self worth, dirtiness and self hatred.

Over the years I have tried counselling, CBT and have had psychiatrtic treatment, but I feel nothing really helps to ease these horrible, dark feelings and thoughts I have about myself. I am diagnosed as bipolar (fairly recently) and have been trialling various medications and done another CBT course, but nothing helps. Outwardly, I am competent and confident, but inside I feel disgusting, dirty and damaged. I dont want to feel like this any more.

How much counselling have you had?

I'm asking because long term psychotherapy is probably going to be the most useful. It's very difficult for someone with strong feelings of low self worth to believe they 'deserve' this as their internal script is too busy telling them they're useless.

I have seen people for more than 300 hours with the difficult emotional issues you describe.

Derangedrover Thu 17-Oct-13 13:13:25

Thank you for your reply, Laurie.

I had twelve sessions of psychodynamic counselling on the NHS about 5 years ago. I found it almost unbearable. I didnt like the therapist at all and felt hideously uncomfortable talking to her. I think I felt worse after the sessions ended, and did not turn up to the review appointment, so they discharged me. I then had six sessions of CBT 2 years ago and another six sessions this year. I totally get the principles of CBT, but it just seems to have zero effect on my thought patterns.

I also received 12 weeks of psychiatric appointments from the NHS when I was first diagnosed as bipolar last year, and was having a very bad depressive episode. The sessions were 45 mins and the problem was, I only ever started to feel 'open' and able to talk towards the end of that time. It wasnt long enough, which may sound self indulgent, but...I just felt rushed and under pressure. It can be very hard for me to get the words out sometimes.

I cannot really afford pysoctherapy privately, but I could try to find the money I guess. My issues are absolutely crippling me at the moment.

Crawling Thu 17-Oct-13 13:16:06

imilar to you was badly abused in a relationships as a teen and diagnosed scizoaffective which all bipolar symptoms and episodes of scizophrenia. I feel pretty similar actually I've had over a year of therapy including psychotherapy and acat therapy. I feel dirty and still have nightmares I also get disturbing psychosis centering around abuse.

It has got easier over time but every time I relapse in my illness my issues come to the forefront again.

Derangedrover Thu 17-Oct-13 13:21:41

Hi Crawling.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

I also suffer with episodes of nightmares and night terrors around the abuse, and sometimes have panic attacks. My feelings also coincide with dips in my mood related to my illness. It is so wearing.

I feel I have nobody who really understands, thats the hardest thing. My husband is very supportive and kind, but I have never been able to talk about what happened to me - to him, or anyone really - in detail because I am ashamed. Of course I know rationally I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed about, but I cannot shake the feeling that I am somehow a tainted, 'abused' person. Its very sad.

It's very, very important that you find a therapist you like - frankly it's the only important thing.

It's likely you need much longer in therapy. I worked for an agency where we offered 2 years therapy - all clients had been very seriously abused. Only a small minority needed longer than 2 years.

12 sessions is really not enough.

You can email all the therapists you like the sound of on the bacp website (apologies I can't link on my phone) - they may even offer assessment sessions for free to see if you can work together (I always do this)

If you need this then you will have to prioritise yourself even if it's expensive. (But obviously try the free services first - depending where you are there may be a waiting list).

I know it's hard to prioritise yourself smile - but try.

Crawling Thu 17-Oct-13 13:26:31

I found this forum useful for discussing my abuse as its got a section just for abuse victims.

Crawling Thu 17-Oct-13 13:27:10

The link is on the I just in case you can't see it.

Derangedrover Thu 17-Oct-13 13:34:17

Thank you, Laurie. I have been putting off exploring more theraoy, I guess, as there is just so much to say and it is so heavy, I know it wont be easy. But I will look in to it again.

Crawling, thank you. I will look at that link now x

murvanutta Fri 18-Oct-13 20:17:42

I agree 12 sessions not enough. I have been in therapy going on 18months now for abuse in my teens. I went private and found a really great guy, it took me a good few months to trust him enough to really let him in. I won't lie, it's hard, it's so so hard, but I've changed so much. Panics are less and my self esteem is slowly climbing.

It can get better, you deserve to heal.

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