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CBT - how do you go about saying 'well, I think I'm better now, goodby and thanks for all the fish''

(14 Posts)
BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 06:51:20

I've been having CBT on the NHS for about three months now I think and every time I fill out the form at the end about how anxious / depressed etc you are I always put 1s and 0s. The CBT has helped me hugely with anxiety and life and my phobia about balloons (to the extent that I was popping them willy nilly last week) that I think I need to let someone else have a turn as I know there are so many people out there who need the help and it is so effective. I'm starting to feel really guilty now as there is an 18 month waiting list. How do I go about saying 'well, this should be it now' or is that something the therapist does? I've never been in this situation before so I have no idea how you 'graduate'. Any one got any advice / experience? I don't want to finish because, partly and totally selfishly, I really enjoy the sessions. BBL

madmouse Tue 19-Jul-11 10:01:11

It's open to you to broach the subject. Say to your therapist that you are starting to wonder whether you are ok now and that you're not sure whether you need more sessions. Don't stop too soon though, you've waited long enough for this. Make sure you consolidate the progress you have made before you stop.

BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 10:39:14

Thanks madmouse that's good advice, I will talk to him today (off on my bike in a couple of mins) and see what he thinks.

MovingAndScared Tue 19-Jul-11 11:09:40

for me it just seemed to be a natural point - but what I did was book a few further apart - eg 2 weeks, and then monthly for a while - I would have liked a way back in if things went downhill - although my therapist did say I could get referred back to her if need be although I think would have taken some time

BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 13:24:17

Well I'm back and he said they usually do eight sessions and I've had ten. He wants to do one more at least with exposure to balloons and popping them and then perhaps we might be about done. We did a lot of summing up today about what I've learnt and I actually had forgotten how much we focused on my sleep issues at the beginning. It all seems so strange now. I have learnt so much. CBT rocks.

supergreenuk Tue 19-Jul-11 13:32:48

I'm not belittling what your going through because I doubt they would have refered you if it wasn't absolutely necessary. How on earth did manage to get this on the nhs for fear of balloons when my husband never got to that stage although he was refered for OCD which eventually was ditched due to nhs funding cuts.

onadifferentplanettoday Tue 19-Jul-11 13:39:31

I am having CBT having been referred for panic attacks and agorophobia. Our local NHS offers 12 sessions up to 15 at the therapist's discretion. Have had about 8 so far and was feeling a lot better so started having less frequent appts and then took a huge step backwards, would suggest at least a couple of further appts once you think you have cracked it.

BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 14:29:34

Supergreenuk I was referred for anxiety and insomnia and I had to wait 18 months. By the time my time came up I was a lot better but decided to give it a go anyway since I'd waited for so long and I happened to mention during the third or fourth session that I had a phobia about balloons and the therapist said 'oooh I can help with that' so, he did. I imagine that different local authorities are different anyway on how you get referred, what for, and how long you have to wait, etc. I do feel extremely lucky to have been given the chance to have CBT on the NHS.

jeunemaman Tue 19-Jul-11 15:40:20

Hi Becky,

I just wanted to ask you, did you have pnd when you suffered from anxiety and insomnia? I have had pnd for nearly 6 months (since a couple of weeks after ds was born). The main symptoms are anxiety and insomnia and i am also on a waiting list for nhs cbt so related to your post. I am slowly getting better, sleep has improved a lot and i recently had nearly a whole month of 'good days' but on the bad days it still feels like the anxiety will never properly go away. i am taking ads and trying to do plenty of sport, eat well etc to take care of myself. Am basically looking for reassurance that i will be properly back to normal one day. I am going to try the cbt as will try anything that may help but am not sure how it will help as there is no real reason for my anxiety apart from the overwhelming resposibility of first baby etc. Any help or advice you can give would be much appreciated, thanks.

BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 17:20:20

Hello Jeunemaman yes I did have PND to some degree with anxiety and insomnia as the main symptoms (I didn't feel depressed at all really so avoided taking ADs but I admit I was very ignorant then about what they can help with). I am sure you will continue to improve definitely if that is what you have noticed so far, I found my improvement came in waves, so like one long wave going up with little bumps along the way. I found that if I had a bad night or two the anxiety would come back and I'd start thinking 'oooh nooo it's back again'. The CBT really helped my way of thinking so to teach me to think 'a bad night is not a catastrophe, everyone has bad nights now and then, the anxiety is not going to last for ever, it does go away,' and it really helped and I would find myself sleeping normally again in a night or two and the anxiety would go away. I also use hypnotherapy on my ipod (Paul McKenna) and I have found that really helpful too. I drink herbal tea every night and take Magnesium OK tablets and omega fish oil, I am sure they have helped level my mood and anxiety. But it does get easier as time goes by. The responsibility of being a parent doesn't get easier but the way you handle the downs does get better I think.

supergreenuk Tue 19-Jul-11 19:03:49

He was refered and went on the waiting list but CBT therapy local to us was one of the first things to get cut so they simply don't do it anywhere local so that's it. Something so required and important and now no longer available and I'm sure there are people much worse off.

Sorry I made you feel you had to share details. So glad it has worked so well for you. X

BeckyBendyLegs Tue 19-Jul-11 20:03:23

I don't mind sharing details. I think the fact they cut the CBT in your area is tragic. I'm sorry to hear your husband's story. I was talking to the therapist today and he told me that here (Shropshire) they are actually expanding their services and they are going to offer more one-to-one therapy and more group therapy, which I think is excellent because I am convinced by CBT and think it would save the NHS lots of money in the long run (if they want to look at things in pure economic terms).

jeunemaman Wed 20-Jul-11 18:44:39

Becky,
Thanks for your reply. I think I have pretty much the same as you experienced, it is more postnatal anxiety than depression but it all gets put under the umbrella of pnd by the medical profession. I can completely relate to what you say about getting better being an upward curve with bumps along the way. My sleep has already improved a lot from having private hypnotherapy sessions but the anxiety keeps coming back although probably not as strongly as in the first few months. I adore my much-wanted baby and have never felt anything but love for him, I know that i am taking good care of him, my dh is extremely supportive and we do not have any relationship or money problems or anything else to be upset by. I therefore really do not understand why i am suffering like this with the anxiety, i have no previous history of it or insomnia whatsover. The doc tells me no point to search for reason why it happened but to focus on treating the symptoms and that I will definitely recover completely but it can take time (months but not years with treatment). I am going to see a NHS CBT therapist on Friday so will see if it does any good, I need to calm down about sleep or lack of it to manage the anxiety so am hoping it will help with this as it did you. Thanks again for your comments, I feel encouraged. x

BeckyBendyLegs Wed 20-Jul-11 18:49:38

Jeunemaman if it helps I think personally a lot of my issues were hormonal. I had a lesser extent of post-natal anxiety after DS1 and DS2 as well and in each case it got better with time making me think that hormones had something to do with it plus having a baby is huge change in lifestyle. I think it is very hard to come to terms with especially when you feel so happy to have this new person in your life, so its so unfair to have these other symptoms making life more difficult. I never really had insomnia before DS3 either except the odd bowt during times of high stress such as exams. I wish you well, there is an insomnia thread here which I have found hugely supportive x

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