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Counselling for PND is making me feel worse

(15 Posts)
Namethattune Thu 16-May-13 09:39:31

I was diagnosed with PND shortly after DC1 was born, nearly a year ago. The GP offered me antidepressants at the time, but I turned them down, so he referred me to talking therapies. I had some CBT, which I didn't find particularly helpful, so now I'm having counselling. I've had 3 sessions so far, and it seems to be making me feel worse. I was wondering what other people's experiences have been? Should I persevere? Will it make me feel better in the long run do you think?

working9while5 Thu 16-May-13 09:46:12

I think it's par for the course unfortunately!

I am doing a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course at the moment and I am feeling much more rubbish ever since I started it. I just know now that is sort of part of it as I had 25 sessions of CBT this year and it will improve so I am persevering. It's just frustrating with postnatal illness in particular I think as you are so desperate to get to a stage you are enjoying being with your baby.

You know they've started doing all these brain imaging studies on therapies and basically, just like antidepressants, they actually change how your brain is working. So the same way that many people feel initially worse on antidepressants but this settles, therapy can be very tough at various points. Usually when it's working in some ways!

Keep at it, you'll get there. Three sessions is nothing at all. On the other hand, counselling never really worked for me as I don't like or see the point in dwelling on the things that cause you pain or even understanding them much. I found CBT good but I had a very good practitioner (head of service in our area I found out) and also had weekly CBT for so long as was in secondary care, and they incorporated what are called "third wave elements" so focusing on what you value and on being mindful and compassionate of your suffering rather than just trying to prove your feelings are unhelpful.

Good luck!

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 18:12:14

Have you completely ruled out the possibility of antidepressants? Some people find they can help in conjunction with the counselling, or are more effective than counselling. It just depends on the person.

Namethattune Thu 16-May-13 18:22:40

In retrospect I wish I'd just bloody taken them when the GP ofered them at 10 weeks. Then I might actually have enjoyed the last year of my daughter's life. I just never thought I'd feel this bad for this long. The counselling has actually made me decide to give in and take them, but I can't get an appointment with my GP until next week.

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 18:40:35

I'm glad you'll be going to see the GP, although it's frustrating to have to wait for appointments, isn't it. It's not "giving in" to use this particular medication if you need it, any more than someone with a different condition takes medicine if it helps them feel better. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Namethattune Thu 16-May-13 19:26:30

Thanks Decoy

alienbanana Thu 16-May-13 19:33:30

Counselling can do this initially - things can feel like they're unraveling a bit in the early weeks but stick with it. It probably would be helpful to take ADs alongside as it can help you deal with it.

I had counselling and citalopram when I had PND and it worked wonders. Was hard initially, but I found it enormously helpful

Salbertina Thu 16-May-13 20:05:29

You know this doesn't sound good. Theres a difference between things being worse before they get better and just bad all the time. Counsellors are not all equal there are some inadequate individuals practising imho change to someone else before they really do damage.

I tried 3 different (differently awful) cbt therapists and have now been seeing a psychotherapist for a year now. The difference in expertise, breadth of experience and techniques is immense. Trust your instincts!

Namethattune Fri 17-May-13 09:44:44

You know what I was thinking last night? That having the counselling is like someone holding up a mirror to all your fault and going "look what a shit person you are. And you never even realised!" My counsellor has never done that, but it's how it's making me feel. Probably just my negative interpretation of it.

Plus it's NHS counselling, and you only get 6 sessions on the NHS. I don't know how much it is if you want to pay, but I very much doubt that I could afford it. And I doubt that I'm going to be feeling better after 3 more sessions, so it all just seems a bit pointless really.

Waferthinmint Fri 17-May-13 09:55:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Decoy Fri 17-May-13 10:02:40

Maybe tell your counsellor what you've said in your previous post, about the mirror being held up? My view would be that perhaps the "mirror" isn't being quite as accurate for you, as for someone without PND. You may feel that you're a rubbish person but it doesn't mean that you are.

Namethattune Wed 22-May-13 12:58:50

Been feeling really low the last week. Had another counselling session on monday and was too tired to even talk. I pretty much just sat there and cried for 50 minutes. Have my GP appointment this afternoon, but I've read that ADs can make you feel worse. I really don't think I can cope with feeling worse. I'm getting to the point where I don't want to be left alone with DD, as I'm scared she'll cry and I won't be able to cope.

alienbanana Wed 22-May-13 13:41:20

Some ADs can make you feel worse initially, but that doesn't always happen and it's usually for about a week or two. Not all do though, so if that's something you're particularly worried about, mention it to the GP.

Whichever ones they are, they will take a while to start working (2-4 weeks I think).. so give them some time smile


Decoy Wed 22-May-13 15:14:31

Hope all goes well at the GPs. It's unlikely antidepressants will make you feel worse, and you could always raise this concern with your GP. If you haven't mentioned this today perhaps you could phone them to ask, if it would put your mind at rest.

It's far more likely that ADs will make you feel better. They do take a couple of weeks to work, and that's a difficult stage when you have to take one day at a time, but it's well worth it once you feel the effect.

MumWithCamera Fri 24-May-13 00:07:52

I would second telling your councillor that's how you feel. don't make the mistake of thinking they will take it personally. they might be able to explain why you are feeling that way, and even suggest further sessions - unlikely I know with the nhs, but don't ask, don't get!

I've had years of therapy at various times and completely agree that sometimes it does make you feel on edge, exposed, uncomfortable with what you discover, and ultimately bad about yourself. the work is yet to come to build from there to use what you have uncovered to build a new you, and work out how to feel better long term, and change yourself for the better, become happier with yourself overall.

its such a complicated process which I have only started to understand the workings of after years of talking therapies.

good luck op. I've been there know how you feel x

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