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How to access professional help? Who?

(11 Posts)
chchchangedname Sat 31-Dec-16 11:24:58

I'm sorry this post is really long and boring, and full of self-pity, so no need to read it all. I just need to know how I can get some help. I can pay so private therapy is fine. But do I need a psychologist, psychiatrist, some other type of "talking"therapist? I'd be really grateful for suggestions as I really need professional help.

I have been struggling for years so this is not a new thing at all. I was diagnosed with PTSD 6 years ago after GP referral to a Psychologist who assessed and diagnosed me. I was then referred to another Psychologist for EMDR treatment which helped with flashbacks etc but did not help with self-loathing, anxiety, exhaustion, low mood etc etc

I've been on and off various anti-ds for about 10 years and about 7 months ago managed to wean myself off a particularly nasty drug (which although it had had a decent effect for the first 18 months had begun to make me feel very unwell and internet searches led me to discover this drug is nasty long term and there is class action underway in the US.
Just take the occasional propanalol when anxiety is acute.

I don't want to take anti-ds again. I don't think they work very well in my case. I know why I feel like I do. It's due to an actual traumatic event exacerbating a genetic disposition towards melancholy. I've been getting through the years by promising myself I can "leave" (life) once my DC are grown and flown. It's like the carrot at the end of the stick. But I actually don't think I can keep going much longer. I don't have any option, would never leave while my dc need me and am scared of dying and leaving them, but at the same time it's so painful to be here. It's like a constant internal battle. I have never told anyone this before but for years now I have imagined nooses in the woods when I walk my dogs. I know which trees I would pick on various routes. I can feel the rope. I know that sounds really bonkers. I would never do it I promise, I just think about it all the time. It's like my dirty little secret. Again, this is not new. It has been going on for years.

I'm so tired. I'm crap at everything. I'm fat and disgusting to myself. My house is a mess (I manage to keep the "public" rooms tidy and cleanish but everywhere else is a disaster). Everything with me is very much hidden, so what people see from the outside is not at all the truth of what is going on inside (this is true of my mental states, my physical being, my house, my car, my everything). The truth is I do the bare minimum to keep up appearances. Absolutely the bare minimum. But I'm slipping, standards getting lower and lower each week. I'm drowning. Maybe I have already drowned?

So New Year's Resolutions and All that. I need to do something. I can't do it by myself (tried many, many times to give myself a proverbial kick up the butt and failed of course). I don't want to go through my GP. I just can't. I lie to them. Say I'm doing fine and feeling better. I have funds to pay for private help so that is what I would prefer, just need to know what is best for me and where to find it.

flowers to anyone who made it through that lot!

AnxiousCarer Sat 31-Dec-16 14:11:59

Hi, I am also recovering from PTSD, mine only started about 6 month ago so I'm still new to it, and really don't have the answers. I'm lucky that I had quick access to help through DHs MH team and through work but Am still its still early days with regards to treatment with the psychologist. Whilst I was waiting to see the psychologist I had a session with an nlp master practitioner that I know, it was really helpful and stopped the flashbacks immediately (for a while anyway until the psychologist stirred them up again, though not nearly as intense this time) I have done a fair bit of nlp (neurolinguistic programming ) in the past and found it life changing. If I had to pay for a therapy I would go down this route first. I would look for a qualified master practitioner personally.

chchchangedname Sat 31-Dec-16 14:46:57

Thank you  I'm not familiar with NLP so will definitely do some research into that. It's very heartening to hear you have found it helpful in the past and describe it as life changing as that is really what I am hoping for.

AnxiousCarer Sat 31-Dec-16 15:03:08

I did the nlp foundation diploma which is 4 days I think which was amazingly useful, then went on to do the practitioner training but didn't graduate as DH became ill and I couldn't manage the written componant whilst caring for him. There were some people on the course who were familiar with cbt and said there were some similarities. It was definately life changing and made me more resiliant to the challenges life throws at us. It also teaches you a lot of techniques that help with difficult emotions. I've used them to help me cope with the PTSD.

HelloNormal Sat 31-Dec-16 21:32:31

An NLP practitioner might have only had a few weeks' training, in a rather dubious pseudoscience. Personally I wouldn't risk my mental health that way.

AnxiousCarer Sat 31-Dec-16 23:38:37

Thats why I reccomended a master practitioner, my practitioners course was a part course over the course of a year and furnished me with the basic tools but a master practitioner will have much more experience. I would trust the 2 that taught my course completely with my MH. Its a way of thinking with similarities to cbt and is being used in the NHS. One of my tutors worked worked for NHS England and my course was commissioned by the local NHS Strategic health authority for NHS staff. I would definately reccommend finding an experienced practitioner though.

HelloNormal Sat 31-Dec-16 23:48:47

This Master Practitioner course takes nine days hmm

It's a load of wibble. It works for some people because everything works for some people.

When something is claimed to be as extraordinary and revolutionary as NLP is touted to be (e.g. achieving results in fifteen minutes that other methods take months to do), it's usually a scam. I'm sure there are many people doing NLP who are very good at helping people and who help people improve their lives but it doesn't mean NLP is any cop.

I bet that for the same money OP can get consultations with trained, registered professional psychologists. She's already experienced improvement from seeing a psychologist before, so that can only help, in terms of being able to go into this knowing some of what to expect and having some confidence in the potential efficacy of treatment.

AnxiousCarer Sun 01-Jan-17 12:37:11

Obviously its upto OP what she decides to to. My thinking was that she has seen and been disscharged by psychologist, so might want something different. If you've always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got. I have had a very positive life changing experience with nlp. The master practitioner course is ontop of the foundation diploma and practitioners course. My practitioner course included 16 taught days with clinical practice inbetween and written papers and case studdies as well as oral exams. Both the master practitioners teaching the course previously worked in NHS mental health services using conventional methods, and there were many CPNs and psychologists on the course.

I have not had many sessions with my psychologist yet so am interested to see how it progressess, so far the biggest improvement was from the 10 minute nlp session which imediately stopped my flashbacks and pannick attacks which have not returned with anywhere near the same intensity. I use what I've learned from the nlp courses everyday at home and at work, theres not that many courses I've been on that I can say that about.

Whichever route OP goes down someone who is experienced in treating PTSD is a good start. As I've said I know there are psychologists and other MH proffesionals who use nlp.

HelloNormal Sun 01-Jan-17 13:07:07

Yes, and 9 days plus 16 days plus a couple for the foundation course is, as I said, a few weeks. What I am saying is that with NLP you don't have protected titles, and you don't have someone registered with the HCPC. This doesn't mean that there aren't some very good people working as NLP practitioners, or some people who have other qualifications and other Frameworks to draw from, or that it doesn't work for some people - just that there's no guarantee they've had much training (or any at all).

If you've always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got.

This phrase annoys me because it's patently bollocks. You can never step in the same river twice and all that. And anyway, what OP has done before is to go to a psychologist who gave her a treatment which is specifically indicated for PTSD, which helped with her PTSD. Now she could do again what she's done before - go to a professional experienced with her problems to work on a specific problem she's having - because last time it worked.

I'm not saying "don't go for NLP", I'm saying "be very careful". With an unprotected title like that, be thorough in finding out exactly what training they've had, how much they've had, what experiences and results other people have had from that therapist (and not just testimonials on the person's website), what bodies they're registered with… You should ideally do some of this with any professional you go and see, but with something like NLP you need to be much more careful.

I didn't want the only responses to OP's thread to be "find someone who practices in what is known be a dubious framework that makes implausible claims for itself, who may have had only a few weeks' training".

OP, I would go with finding a qualified, experienced clinical or counselling psychologist, who seems like a good "fit" when you meet them, who is experienced in working with people with PTSD, but will now work with you on those issues beyond the PTSD. Who may or may not have been trained in NLP (more likely not).

AnxiousCarer Sun 01-Jan-17 13:08:43

Also for the price of an hour with a psychologist you can do the 4 day foundation diploma in nlp. Based on my experience so far with the psychologist I found the nlp foundation diploma much more helpful. Just look at the advert first as you don't want one focused on comerciality and sales which some are.

HelloNormal Sun 01-Jan-17 13:15:29

for the price of an hour with a psychologist you can do the 4 day foundation diploma in nlp

Perhaps there's a reason for that.

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