Into the system…

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Therapy Update…

with 4 comments

So I had my second therapy appointment a few weeks ago now, but I haven’t had the chance to post about it yet. I’ve wanted to write a lot over the past few weeks, but for one reason or another I haven’t managed it.

The appointment covered pretty similar territory to the last one really and I am not sure it was all that helpful. I guess it was worth meeting again, if only to let us bring things to a close a little better, but it still felt a bit like a waste of time. It would have felt very rushed if we only had the one appointment though and I guess I may as well make the most of the psychologist’s time whilst I have it.

Unfortunately, she didn’t really have any further information on the future of the therapy service or when I might be able to see another therapist. They don’t know what is going to happen and it is unlikely that anyone else will be joining the team in the near future. It seems there are only 3 therapists working in the service at the moment, which explains why the waiting lists are so long. Two of those are CBT therapists, so are not really suitable, although apparently one of those is “much more than just a CBT therapist”. The other therapist is male and the assessing psychologist thought that a female might be better and more challenging for me (due to my usual preference of dealing with men). They all have full case loads anyway, so wouldn’t be able to take me on, even if they were considered suitable. It was suggested that perhaps the “much more than CBT” therapist could have maybe taken me on, but the assessing psychologist wasn’t sure if she had the space or if she’d really be suitable. She was going to talk to the team manager and discuss that possibility, but she did think that someone else would probably be better. If she can take me on though I wondered if I should just see her. At least there would be a concrete offer of therapy soon, which could mean I would get started before I am planning to go back to work. I am worried that if I have to keep waiting I will miss my opportunity.

The other option is to wait for the therapist that is out on maternity leave until November and hope that she will be able to take me on. She is a psychodynamic therapist and the psychologist I saw thinks she would be best placed to work with me. I am worried that she will decide not to come back to work or that she won’t have room in her case load for me though. Even worse, I worry that I won’t like her or be able to work with her. If I am going to have to wait a few more months, I’d like there to be some guarantee of a positive outcome at the end of it.

Otherwise I will just be waiting for someone else to join the service, although the likelihood of that happening and them being suitable seems pretty slim. I still can’t believe there are only 3 therapists for the whole service. I dread to think how many people they are meant to be covering between them or how many people are waiting.

As well as talking about therapists, we also talked about topics for therapy and what things I needed to address when I eventually get offered a therapist. We didn’t really identify much more aside from the previous session, but we did look at a few things in more depth.

We talked about school and about bullying a little. I never used to think much of the bullying I went through at school. I didn’t think it really bothered me, aside from making me a bit miserable at the time, but I’d been dreaming a lot about some of the main protagonists lately and some of the dreams or nightmares have been really upsetting. They have been less frequent in the past fortnight, but in the weeks before that they were starting to bother me a lot. I would wake up shaking and confused. I don’t know why it has suddenly come up in my dreams. There is no reason for it to be a problem all of a sudden. I’ve had a lot of nightmares in general lately, but school has definitely been the main focus. Some of these dreams are so realistic, they feel like buried memories and I wake up terrified that I’m back at school. Others are strange and convoluted and make little sense. It has made me think about how I felt back then, a little more. I wonder if things were actually worse than I remembered or hurt me more than I would like to admit. There are periods from school that are really clear in my memory, but other times are just gone and I wonder how much of that is me trying to forget the worst of it all. My  memory is patchy these days anyway, especially since the ECT, but my long-term memory is certainly less affected than more recent times.

Specifically we talked about how there were two kinds of bullying I went through and how they affected me differently. I was teased and bullied during a lot of primary and early secondary school. On the surface, most of the bullying at secondary school came in the form of name calling and the occasional push on the stairs from a bunch of lads in the year above. This was annoying, but I tended to brush it off and ignore them, or be pretty mouthy back. I was usually too quick for them..

On the other hand, even though it was less visible, it was the other stuff that got me. There was always a lot of teasing and bitching from most of the girls, many of whom were meant to be friends. There were a lot of things supposedly said in jest, that really hurt and worse of all, they were meant to hurt. People would pretend to be nice, but many of them were pretty damn cruel when they wanted to be.

In the long-term, this side of things has certainly had the most effect on me. I became afraid to get close to anyone, because they always seemed to stab me in the back. Even now I struggle to trust friends and worry about what they really think about me. I get anxious in social situations and never feel good enough. If people are being nice, I always worry they aren’t genuine. I try to come across as confident, but afterwards I always analyse everything to death and worry I came across as an idiot. I have little true self-esteem (although I can pretend), but when it was battered constantly for years, that is probably understandable. The only thing I have much faith in is my intelligence, ability at school/work and the like and over the past couple years that has somewhat taken a knock too, due to being ill.

Anyway, this wasn’t what I set out to write about, but we didn’t discuss all that much else aside from what I wrote about in the last post.

We left the situation with the psychologist planning to talk to her manager to discuss whether “Not Just CBT Therapist” or “Maternity Leave Therapist” would be best placed to take me on. She was then going to call me to let me know what is happening.

I thought she had forgotten about me, but she finally called on Monday. It seems I will have to wait for “Maternity Therapist” to come back. She may not be able to take me on straight away, but at least they will know more then. It could be months before I actually get to see someone now though.

I’m still frustrated by this. To think the wait is coming to an end and then to be let down is annoying. I just don’t know if it will be worth bothering by the time I actually get to see someone.

Oh well. I don’t know why I expected anything better.

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 6th October 2010 at 1:47 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Regarding the bullying, this seems pretty similar to my own experiences. I have always brushed off the fact that I was bullied, it didn’t effect me, I’m stronger than that, I barely even remember it anyway. It was only with the onset of therapy that I started to realise how much it had impacted me, how much it still does impact me and how much I have (consciously or otherwise) forgotten. It didn’t get touched on in very much depth though, and therapy is now coming to an end.

    I hope you get access to therapy sooner rather than later, honey.

    Karita

    Wednesday, 6th October 2010 at 2:21 pm

    • Thanks sweetie.

      It is reassuring to know I am not the only one who feels this way, but sorry to hear you have been through it too.

      I am often asked in assessments and the like if I had any traumatic experiences when I was younger and I always say no. Once someone then went on to specify what they meant by traumatic experiences and they mentioned bullying. I was taken aback by this. I made passing reference to the fact I’d been bullied, but it didn’t bother me and then carried on with the questionning. I don’t like to think of it is trauma at all, as that seems a little melodramatic to me. My experience cannot be put in the same ball park as someone who was raped or abused for example. This woman though tried to convince me though that bullying can be very traumatic, even in a mild form and that all suffering can have a long-term impact. As much as I can see that though, I still try and brush it off.

      Then again, I don’t think it is responsible for how things have turned out. Usually from therapists, there seems a need to find some trauma that caused you to be the way you are and I’m not always convinced there needs to be something.

      I was depressed for an awful lot of my school years and I think the depression actually came before the bullying – maybe the fact I was a bit “different” and could withdraw from others was the seed for the bullying in the first place?

      intothesystem

      Thursday, 7th October 2010 at 10:04 pm

      • I was, and am, the same. I have always been adament that I have never experienced trauma. But now my therapist wants to try me with EMDR with is for traumatic memories. Er…

        And yes, I was a little odd before the bullying began, I was partly bullied because I was odd. The bullying just compounded various issues. It didn’t make them appear in the first place.

        Karita

        Friday, 8th October 2010 at 9:54 am

  2. I feel the bullying sounds pretty similar to my own experiences although I have tried to pretend it didn’t happen or that perhaps it didn’t affect but I guess deep down it did. I was overweight at school and so name calling was common place and whilst I pretended to ignore it, what was often said was hurtful and I use to turn to food for comfort so found myself stuck in a vicious circle – god that is the first time I’ve really admitted that to myself.

    I remember one occasions in my final year at school when a lad in my class in the form room said something nasty and I flipped out, lost my temper and grabbed the big ruler from behind the teachers desk (our form room was a Science lab) and I smacked him right across the back with it – he never called me again!

    I have a school reunion happening later this month, but I’m not going, I don’t fancy socialising with people, at least I don’t think I am going…

    You are right in what you say, three therapists to cover your area is ridiculous, it goes to show how poor the system is still being run. I only hope when the maternity therapist comes back that you and her gel and it’s not too long for the wait for the therapy to begin.

    Ms Leftie

    Friday, 8th October 2010 at 7:59 pm


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