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Internal Family Systems therapy - anyone have experience?


Onmyway
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I have recently been quite fascinated by Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS). I haven't yet done it with a therapist but I have read the original book, the Skills training manual and the Self Therapy book (listed below). I find the approach quite interesting. The idea is that each of us has multiple parts inside and a Self that is the leader of the system of parts. I am wondering if anyone has experience with this. 

 

Becoming Whole: Healing the Exiled & Rejected Parts of Ourselves | Richard Schwartz, Soren Gordhamer - YouTube

 

 

Internal Family Systems Therapy (The Guilford Family Therapy): Amazon.co.uk: Schwartz, Richard C.: 9781572302723: Books

Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse: Amazon.co.uk: Anderson, Frank, Schwartz, Richard, Sweezy, Martha: 9781683730873: Books

Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition: Amazon.co.uk: Earley, Jay: 9780984392773: Books

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Hey there @Onmyway 

You probably know and have read more than me about IFS as I’m just about to read more.  I have however been seeing a therapist who implements this quite a lot in her practice, amongst other things. So this is my tuppence worth from a therapy client perspective.    

 

I have so far found it to be an accessible, common sense, non-pathologising approach and one that has helped me immensely.  Probably more than any other approach or technique.  For example, just the simple understanding when in a distressed state that this is a part of you, not all of you and  therefore is not defining and you can unblend yourself from it, make some space and look to understand it has been a life saver for me.  It took me a while to get over some of the language (inner child etc) which made me squirm a bit 😂 but again doing that deeper work too is so revealing, unexpected at times and very healing.  The IFS approach has completely switched something on in my head that has allowed me to have compassion and curiosity for all my experience and given me tools to then manage situations and change my perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to put the work in and I’m at the very beginning but as a self development tool in itself I think it’s amazing.  It just makes sense.  I think it has allowed me to go deep, quickly but have full autonomy and control over the pace and depth of the process.  I find it has also worked in a way that I am becoming my own healer, so to speak, rather than the therapist being the expert or feeling a huge dependence.  Though the relationship, her guidance and skills are absolutely expert the approach is just so self affirming and confidence building.  As you can see I’m a fan. 😊

 

I could probably waffle on forever about bits of it but I’ll just end by saying for me it just makes sense and is facilitating some major shifts and changes that astonish me.  It’s like I had blinkers on before. If you can DO IT that’s all I would say. 

Take care 

SL 

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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Thank you for the thoughtful response @ScottishLass. That was my initial feeling as well. I have read A LOT on various psychological techniques and have tried a bunch (I like EMDR, CBT so far) but IFS has really helped shift my understanding of myself and others. I can only do so much by myself and have scheduled a first meeting with a therapist.

 

As you have said, I like the non-pathologizing and hopeful approach - we all have it in ourselves to be whole. This also allows me to get some compassion for myself at times, which for me has always been hard. I do find it to be hard work - the unblending from the protectors for example. But am hopeful that I can make some progress with it. 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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You’re welcome. Can I ask what you thought of EMDR if that’s ok.  I have been referred to a trauma centre and awaiting appointment. Have you had it? What was it like? Do you rate it. 

Thanks 

SL

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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6 minutes ago, Onmyway said:

. I do find it to be hard work - the unblending from the protectors for example. But am hopeful that I can make some progress with it. 

And yes.....I’m not sure I’m quite there but even being cognisant and noticing these parts is valuable and a step forward...and it’s sooooo interesting. 

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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12 minutes ago, ScottishLass said:

You’re welcome. Can I ask what you thought of EMDR if that’s ok.  I have been referred to a trauma centre and awaiting appointment. Have you had it? What was it like? Do you rate it. 

Thanks 

SL

 

I'll jump in there quickly - EMDR let me resolve serious root and other trauma.  It's also proven effective for subsequent things that have emerged, including working through family issues and the effect they've had on me.  

 

Overall it took me from lifelong anxiety to resetting my foundations to what they should've been, thoughts and emotions being in sync, a lot of noise gone...I could go on, but it let me out of the dark.  My intro thread has a fair bit early on I wrote about it if you want to read my experience, link's in my sig.

 

Probably the key aspect for me is a remarkably competent and compassionate trauma-informed clinical psychologist who's guided me through this.  If you can find somebody like that who you're comfortable doing this sort of work with, give it a spin I reckon.

 

Cheers

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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@hayduke

thanks so much for that.  

2 hours ago, hayduke said:

 

I'll jump in there quickly - EMDR let me resolve serious root and other trauma.  It's also proven effective for subsequent things that have emerged, including working through family issues and the effect they've had on me.  

 

Overall it took me from lifelong anxiety to resetting my foundations to what they should've been, thoughts and emotions being in sync, a lot of noise gone...I could go on, but it let me out of the dark.  My intro thread has a fair bit early on I wrote about it if you want to read my experience, link's in my sig.

 

Probably the key aspect for me is a remarkably competent and compassionate trauma-informed clinical psychologist who's guided me through this.  If you can find somebody like that who you're comfortable doing this sort of work with, give it a spin I reckon.

 

Cheers

I will definitely have a wee read of your thread.  I’m a little unsure of what, where and who (probably more important) I’ll be offered via trauma centre referral and at the minute will continue with private therapist (as finances dictate).  I have seen a lot written about it though. Thanks again. X

SL

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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23 hours ago, ScottishLass said:

You’re welcome. Can I ask what you thought of EMDR if that’s ok.  I have been referred to a trauma centre and awaiting appointment. Have you had it? What was it like? Do you rate it. 

Thanks 

SL

Sorry for the delayed response, I just saw this @ScottishLass late last night. 

I tried EMDR because a few friends saw remarkable results with it. I was skeptical because it sounds too good to be true. My first try with it didn't go well - I just couldn't focus at all. You are supposed to take an intrusive image and just follow it (in a way) but I couldn't. The moving dot (from youtube) was distracting me. This was done over Zoom so was different from what a therapist would do in face to face meetings. Apparently it is not uncommon. You can do the bilateral stimulation visually, through headphones or physically (tap shoulders). If you have seen Prince Harry's pictures - he's doing the latter.  So we tried that and then it worked incredibly well with a recent trauma - to the point that after the session it felt like a huge burden had been lifted off. Something that had troubled me for a long time just left and it doesn't bother me right now at all. I tried it for something more from my childhood, however, something that is not incredibly distressing but background impacts me and I couldn't focus - I just got bored and couldn't focus (protectors?) I am going to try it again for something more recent and see how it goes. I have heard some claiming that it is a sort of exposure therapy as well. For the friends that had told me about it, the effect was similar to what I had experienced with the lifting of the burden. 

 

I think it is worth trying and being perhaps a bit persistent if it doesn't work the first time. I think a combination of IFS and EMDR might work even better (if you can get the protectors to relax).

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway thanks for your response. Really helpful. I’m glad it worked for you too. X

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 7/31/2021 at 10:14 AM, Onmyway said:

I have heard some claiming that it is a sort of exposure therapy as well.

 

I think it's distinct from exposure therapy, which I'm not convinced is terribly helpful. 

 

With EMDR you might get full somatic recall of a trauma.  And you do have to effectively relive it.  Yuk!  Really though, only for a few moments.  After that it stops ringing your alarm bells, your amygdala passes it safely into long term memory.  Your nervous system knows you are really safe again and that it's in the past.  Yeah echoes and emotions will follow, but you don't have to relive it any more.

 

Exposure therapy seems more like "if you go and sit next to the garbage dump for longer periods, you'll get more used to sitting there for longer".

 

For me I would rather hold my nose, find the smoking gun in the garbage dump, then jump in the shower and spend my time somewhere that isn't the garbage dump.

 

Hope that's a useful analogy.

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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1 hour ago, hayduke said:

 

I think it's distinct from exposure therapy, which I'm not convinced is terribly helpful. 

 

With EMDR you might get full somatic recall of a trauma.  And you do have to effectively relive it.  Yuk!  Really though, only for a few moments.  After that it stops ringing your alarm bells, your amygdala passes it safely into long term memory.  Your nervous system knows you are really safe again and that it's in the past.  Yeah echoes and emotions will follow, but you don't have to relive it any more.

 

Exposure therapy seems more like "if you go and sit next to the garbage dump for longer periods, you'll get more used to sitting there for longer".

 

For me I would rather hold my nose, find the smoking gun in the garbage dump, then jump in the shower and spend my time somewhere that isn't the garbage dump.

 

Hope that's a useful analogy.

@hayduke I love that analogy. 👍☺️ 

Prozac  60mg ( 1998-2014).  

Also between (1998-2000) Short instances on Lithium, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Lamictal. Off all antipsychotics in (2000).  Prozac stopped and switched

Duloxetine(2014-Feb 2021) - after failed withdrawal from Prozac- misdiagnosed as 'Relap

2015 - approx 3 mths  Lamictal 

Duloxetine:(Feb 21) Tapered from 60mg of Duloxetine over approx 6wks. (8th April 2021) Reinstat Duloxetine (1mg)

16/05: Updose Duloxetine (2mg) 6mg Diazepam prn 

20/06: stopped Duloxetine.

Started On 10mg Fluoxetine12/07: Updose 20mg

6/08Switch to liquid fluox 4.5ml/18mg. 20/09: 4ml/16mg

Supplements:Omega,Vit D.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator
On 8/11/2021 at 3:53 PM, hayduke said:

 

I think it's distinct from exposure therapy, which I'm not convinced is terribly helpful. 

 

With EMDR you might get full somatic recall of a trauma.  And you do have to effectively relive it.  Yuk!  Really though, only for a few moments.  After that it stops ringing your alarm bells, your amygdala passes it safely into long term memory.  Your nervous system knows you are really safe again and that it's in the past.  Yeah echoes and emotions will follow, but you don't have to relive it any more.

 

Exposure therapy seems more like "if you go and sit next to the garbage dump for longer periods, you'll get more used to sitting there for longer".

 

For me I would rather hold my nose, find the smoking gun in the garbage dump, then jump in the shower and spend my time somewhere that isn't the garbage dump.

 

Hope that's a useful analogy.

@hayduke, sorry I missed answering this - I think some claim that it is the exposure to the original memory (not the exposure therapy of anxiety) rather than the bilateral stimulation that does the trick with EMDR. I think that there are studies that show that it is more than that but even if it is just exposure therapy, as long as it works, I don't care. And in my case it worked amazingly well. 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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On 7/30/2021 at 11:08 AM, ScottishLass said:

Hey there @Onmyway 

You probably know and have read more than me about IFS as I’m just about to read more.  I have however been seeing a therapist who implements this quite a lot in her practice, amongst other things. So this is my tuppence worth from a therapy client perspective.    

 

I have so far found it to be an accessible, common sense, non-pathologising approach and one that has helped me immensely.  Probably more than any other approach or technique.  For example, just the simple understanding when in a distressed state that this is a part of you, not all of you and  therefore is not defining and you can unblend yourself from it, make some space and look to understand it has been a life saver for me.  It took me a while to get over some of the language (inner child etc) which made me squirm a bit 😂 but again doing that deeper work too is so revealing, unexpected at times and very healing.  The IFS approach has completely switched something on in my head that has allowed me to have compassion and curiosity for all my experience and given me tools to then manage situations and change my perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to put the work in and I’m at the very beginning but as a self development tool in itself I think it’s amazing.  It just makes sense.  I think it has allowed me to go deep, quickly but have full autonomy and control over the pace and depth of the process.  I find it has also worked in a way that I am becoming my own healer, so to speak, rather than the therapist being the expert or feeling a huge dependence.  Though the relationship, her guidance and skills are absolutely expert the approach is just so self affirming and confidence building.  As you can see I’m a fan. 😊

 

I could probably waffle on forever about bits of it but I’ll just end by saying for me it just makes sense and is facilitating some major shifts and changes that astonish me.  It’s like I had blinkers on before. If you can DO IT that’s all I would say. 

Take care 

SL 

@ScottishLass I finally started working with an IFS therapist and while it's still very early and I can't say that it has made a huge difference yet, I am glad I am doing this work. What the therapist is providing is the language of compassion and welcoming of all of the parts which does provide a shift. Self-compassion has always been hard for me so compassion for 'parts' seems more doable. 

 

I have noticed recently that withdrawal symptoms after dose lowering bring on feelings of guilt/shame/regret in me as I wake up - part of the morning terrors and I then attach the feelings to various situations rather than the situations causing these feelings themselves. It has puzzled me quite a bit. As I continue thinking of this in terms of parts I am trying to understand what is happening in the  brain and have read a bunch on DID (multiple personalities) in the brain. To me DID is just an extreme version of the parts that we all have. DID is not well studied and neither is withdrawal so it is proving hard understanding this through those lenses. My current hypothesis is that withdrawal triggers the amygdala into overdrive and it is then looking for things that are threatening and hence puts the protective parts in high alert. 

 

I am wondering if other people's experience is similar - do you feel like the feelings come first and are then attached to a problem/behavior?

 

Edited by Onmyway

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone.

 

I recently started reading the Self Therapy Book by Jay Early and let me say that so far it has been a life changer for me. I have not finished reading it and I'm in the middle of learning how to work with exiles.

Like some have mentioned it is like a switch just flipped and now I´m able understand my mind differently something in me just changed. So far only by understanding the role of the protectors has given me a whole new perspective and tools to help myself.

So far I have been able to trace every emotion and psychosomatic discomfort I’m experiencing (even neuro emotions) to a part. And I have come to think that all this neuro emotions are just deep hidden trauma wounds that are being exacerbated by withdrawal.

The work is painful though, in an ideal world maybe it would be a good idea to recover from withdrawal before working trauma with IFS because it requires to go deep and search for very painful and triggering memories in order to heal them and withdrawal seems to make the emotions like 10x more painful, but I feel like I have no other choice and this is the only thing that has helped me find at least some kind of relief and the extreme emotions are seemingly starting to respond to this kind of therapy better than anything I have ever done before.

 

@Onmyway

 

I’m experiencing the same thing in the morning and after examining myself right then and there through IFS in bed as I open I my eyes I have discovered for me that the discomfort I’m experiencing when I wake up can be traced back to actual parts.

 

I have a couple of hypotheses too one of them is that it could be product of cortisol spikes, which might trigger the high alert mode in the mornings, but that activates actual parts.

In this case I was thinking too that the feeling came first and then the problems became attached to it. I had morning terrors and after analyzing myself I also found that I woke up with too many conflicting parts activated

But either way as I mentioned I still have not found any discomfort that cannot be traced to a part be it a protector or exile.

 

As for EMDR I would really like to try it since it seems to have so good very results for treating trauma flashbacks which I’m experiencing a lot right now but Im having a harde time finding a therapist who works with this technique.

 

And by the way I have been doing the IFS sessions by myself because I have not been able to find an IFS therapist in my country but I would really want some help so if anyone knows of any IFS therapist or CPTSD trauma informed therapist that can offer online international sessions please share!

  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2019: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!
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2 hours ago, PapayaShake said:

Hi everyone.

 

I recently started reading the Self Therapy Book by Jay Early and let me say that so far it has been a life changer for me. I have not finished reading it and I'm in the middle of learning how to work with exiles.

Like some have mentioned it is like a switch just flipped and now I´m able understand my mind differently something in me just changed. So far only by understanding the role of the protectors has given me a whole new perspective and tools to help myself.

So far I have been able to trace every emotion and psychosomatic discomfort I’m experiencing (even neuro emotions) to a part. And I have come to think that all this neuro emotions are just deep hidden trauma wounds that are being exacerbated by withdrawal.

The work is painful though, in an ideal world maybe it would be a good idea to recover from withdrawal before working trauma with IFS because it requires to go deep and search for very painful and triggering memories in order to heal them and withdrawal seems to make the emotions like 10x more painful, but I feel like I have no other choice and this is the only thing that has helped me find at least some kind of relief and the extreme emotions are seemingly starting to respond to this kind of therapy better than anything I have ever done before.

 

@Onmyway

 

I’m experiencing the same thing in the morning and after examining myself right then and there through IFS in bed as I open I my eyes I have discovered for me that the discomfort I’m experiencing when I wake up can be traced back to actual parts.

 

I have a couple of hypotheses too one of them is that it could be product of cortisol spikes, which might trigger the high alert mode in the mornings, but that activates actual parts.

In this case I was thinking too that the feeling came first and then the problems became attached to it. I had morning terrors and after analyzing myself I also found that I woke up with too many conflicting parts activated

But either way as I mentioned I still have not found any discomfort that cannot be traced to a part be it a protector or exile.

 

As for EMDR I would really like to try it since it seems to have so good very results for treating trauma flashbacks which I’m experiencing a lot right now but Im having a harde time finding a therapist who works with this technique.

 

And by the way I have been doing the IFS sessions by myself because I have not been able to find an IFS therapist in my country but I would really want some help so if anyone knows of any IFS therapist or CPTSD trauma informed therapist that can offer online international sessions please share!

Hi @PapayaShake

it is so great that you are seeing a shift with IFS as well. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been recommending this method of therapy to anyone and everyone I know :)

 

You can find practitioners of IFS here: IFS Directory | IFS Institute (ifs-institute.com), I'd suggest picking someone who also has other psychology background i.e. not just a coach or a mediator etc. and someone who has worked in the field for a while. I think the EMDR training institute also has a directory of people who have been trained in EMDR. For some of these there may be an overlap. That is how I found my therapist who I like quite a lot. 

 

I have combined EMDR and IFS in exile work as my therapist is trained in both. 

Most of these people provide therapy online because of Covid, you'd just have to find someone who speaks your language or speaks English, if you speak comfortable in English. 

 

There is am EMDR 'self therapy' book by Francine Shapiro which is written in lay person terms called Getting Past Your Past. I personally like to read the training manuals. But doing EMDR on yourself is probably not a good idea especially if you have big trauma. It might be OK for small wounds like - 'my school friend ignored me once' but not for processing death or abuse or assault, for example.

 

For IFS I liked Richard Schwarz's books better than Jay Earley's but it may be down to preference. Jay Earley's is more practical and applied. Did you find the workbook for Jay Earley's book? It is free on the website.

 

I liked the original Internal Family Systems Therapy book and You are who you have been waiting for by Schwartz. The latest book - No Bad Parts I did not particularly care for. I also didn't like Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors by Janina Fischer but you may. I think she misinterpreted/reinterpreted the idea of parts a bit. 

 

I understand the idea to wait until WD has passed but sometimes the intrusions are so strong that you just have to try to heal. The alternative is to live in constant torture. 

 

Your interpretation of the spikes and emotions in terms of parts resonates with me as well. I guess WD just causes general dis-harmony and polarizations. 

 

Hope you find some healing and relief, 

OMW

 

 

 

 

Edited by Onmyway

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway

 

Thanks for the suggestion about looking on the IFS Directory I'll be checking to see if I can find someone!

I would definitely like a therapist to help with EMDR as well as IFS as I'm dealing with a lot of past trauma issues and I’m hesitant to uncover all that without any help.

 

Can you please share how has your experience with the help of a therapist been so far? do you feel it has helped you out? 

 

so far discovering the IFS system has been revealing and I feel I’m on the right path, but doing it myself is getting a bit tricky,

sometimes I feel like I can't access inside or that there are just too many concerned parts and I’m having a hard time handling that,

or sometimes I feel some withdrawal symptoms or I'm in a wave that makes starting a session almost impossible and I feel I have to wait until I calm down or the wave passes.

 

Do you have a similar experience? or have you been able to work through those issues if you’ve had them? 

 

 

 

On 9/27/2021 at 5:51 PM, Onmyway said:

 

I understand the idea to wait until WD has passed but sometimes the intrusions are so strong that you just have to try to heal. The alternative is to live in constant torture. 

 I basically feel the same, the pain I'm experiencing now is torturous and I feel like this might be one of my last resorts, to at least try to resolve the issues and ease the heightened effects these emotions are having on me as a result of withdrawal

 

About the books, thanks for the reviews I was thinking about reading  Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors by Janina Fischer but some of the reviews said something similar to what you say so maybe I will pass and instead try the original Internal Family Systems Therapy book. I was also interested in You are who you have been waiting for but it seemed to me That it is more focused on relationships so I don’t know if I should wait since I feel I need to work on myself before I can even get back on relation to someone else or if it has valuable information that could be helpful right now. 

 

Wishing you healing and relief too!

 

  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2019: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!
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Hi @PapayaShake,

so far so good for me. I have a long trauma history and a lot of the issues have been activated by recent events and withdrawal itself. As I said earlier I combine IFS with EMDR. I asked my therapist to switch to EMDR at some point because I was getting tired of the number of protectors/managers that I had to deal with before reaching the exile, a problem that you are encountering yourself. But sometimes I have gone blank on an EMDR session because of protectors/managers so addressing those has helped by allowing the EMDR to proceed. At other times EMDR set up (identifying the memory itself) has led to exiles we have then addressed using IFS. I like to think of EMDR as a process of unburdening of an exile when that exile carries a traumatic memory/belief. A part of me thought of the unburdening process idea in IFS as 'hocus-pocus' with imagining the child etc. so I think that was another reason I wanted EMDR. BUT having said that, we unintentionally reached an exile once and after the whole process, the image was of a happy playing child. Literally. I had read it in the book and thought that sounded just cooky. So I guess there you go. 

 

The part that a good trauma therapist is essential for is 1) direct access to parts when you are fully blended (therapist speaks to parts directly) and 2) grounding you when traumatic emotions are running high. I think the latter must be especially helpful in WD as we tend to get into emotional spirals. The direct access has been also helpful because at times the therapist is acting from Self even when you can't so parts can trust and move aside. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't use IFS yourself - I think it's an important skill to practice accessing Self and identifying protectors, just that you may not want to deal with important and big for you trauma on your own. The risk there is that you will be activated and may not know how to get out of the loop/flashbacks.

 

Can't say that it is all smooth sailing but I like the goal orientedness of IFS and EMDR. I like that I have set to resolve specific issues rather than to chat about current gripes (i.e. bitching sessions) which hasn't really helped me before. I also haven't found much help in retelling and rehashing trauma outside of these processes. And insights I have made through analysis have not resulted in change.  The common thread between EMDR and IFS is the process of distancing yourself from the hurting parts/trauma. Trauma is usually hard to heal because it absorbs you - takes you back into the midst of an awful experience with the accompanying overwhelming feelings. These two modalities help you keep some distance so that you can integrate these experiences into the sum total of your other experiences. They are not jumping out of the canvas any more, but are blended having found their space in the overall paining. A couple of events that I processed through EMDR or through IFS have lost their emotional salience for me. At times I worry about it since as a writer I dig into deep emotional wounds and the rawness of these has led to some exquisite prose. But it's a tradeoff I'm willing to make. 

 

I think I would be in much worse shape had I not been doing therapy right now. These neuro-emotions can really kick my behind and I have had some intense and debilitating emotional spirals. In my sessions I have always addressed something that is currently distressing rather than looking to find things in the past to heal. So, for me, therapy in withdrawal has not been a search for healing from past trauma but a necessity to deal with current issues that have their roots in past traumatic experiences. How quickly those issues have resolved has depended on the various aspects of the current event. If someone assaults you walking home (just an example, not something that has happened to me thankfully) there would be issues of helplessness, issues of safety, issues of shame perhaps, issues of trust etc. If you had prior unresolved issues in those domains you would need to address each one. So it's a long and arduous work for someone like me. But then again, I don't feel like I have a choice. Until therapy makes me worse or I run out of money, it will be a priority for me. And at this point in time I like IFS and EMDR. That can change and if it does then we will move into whatever new comes up. 

 

Btw, I forgot to link this: 

Therapists specialising in IFS within 10 miles of your current location | BACP

 

It is a list of therapists in the UK (since you speak English) and many offer EMDR or IFS. Some might also use IFS and EMDR  together - you will have to look through the profiles. You can search for these keywords. You can also increase the search radius. My therapist is 100 miles from me but we do everything on Zoom anyway. I don't know if all of them have official training/supervision in those modalities if they are not registered in the official IFS/EMDR directory and you have to decide if it is important to you. Most of these will offer a free 15-30 min 'taster' session to see if you like each other. 

 

Regarding books: I would strongly recommend the original Schwartz book that I mentioned earlier and the Skills Training manual if you want to do self work.  Even though they are targeted at potential therapists I like to know the principles behind the tools so the latter (skills training manual) helps me understand why we are doing certain things. I don't know if you are like that too, seems like you are :) Some like to just eat the sausage not know the nutritional information or how it was made which is just fine as well when you are hungry. 

 

Regarding the "You Are ... ," yes, it is targeted at romantic relationships and if you are not interested in those now (or ever), it may not be worth your time. Having said that, it was such an easy to read book that I finished it in half a day. It explained to me what happened in many of my relationships and deepened my compassion for the people I had been with in addition to allowing me to forgive myself for mistakes that I had made in those relationships. I think it was a great source of learning for me beyond the other books. I am trying to decide if it can be applied to regular relationships as well. I think it probably can. 

 

Hope this is helpful and healing @PapayaShake

 

Hugs and good luck, 

OMW

 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Hi @Onmyway !

 

I'm glad to hear the therapist has helped you. I can relate with you when you say that the trauma issues have been activated by recent events and by withdrawal itself. For me it’s like all those issues were buried deep down but withdrawal makes them a lot worse. I have also encountered the same situation, I find too many protectors and it makes it hard to get to the exile. I also thought everything was a bit woo-woo but the process has proven itself useful with the few exiles I have encountered and it has also been much more effective and long lasting than any other thing I have tried.

 

I finally got a reply from one of the therapists I contacted on the IFS Institute directory, I’m still in the process of scheduling my first appointment which I hope I can succeed at, she also has EMDR training so I hope I can get some results from both techniques. I searched someone from Spain since my native language is Spanish, but I guess if I can’t find the right therapist I´ll have to start looking within English-speaking ones. So far, I have only been able to contact one from Spain and searches from other Spanish speaking countries come back with no results, seems like the method is not very popular there yet :(

 

I find funny how you refer to talk therapy haha. Bitching sessions, I think it’s a very appropriate way to call them, until last week I was seeing a therapist whose main method is talk therapy and that’s basically how I feel, like I just go there and talk about my week with no goals and I feel like its not helping at all.

 

Everything you say resonates a lot with me too, the neuro emotions are throwing me to deep debilitating spirals to the point were working is becoming almost impossible, I become dissociated for big portions on the day and get triggered into emotional flashbacks that, like you mentioned make me feel absorbed and take me back to awful emotional states. I always thought I was just anxious and bit into the chemical imbalance theory, but the intense distress I’m dealing with right now, also triggered because of current issues, has made me realize that those emotions and pain are not there just out of the blue, there is trauma linked to this and I also feel the only way to get out is addressing all that. I totally understand the arduous work it carries and like you I also have that feeling that there is no choice. I better address it now or stay in deep pain undefinedly.

 

You are right I definitely like to dig into the workings of things, haha be from food nutritional content to therapeutic techniques, etc. So I have the original IFS book on my list of books to read. (By the way, I don’t know what kind of trauma you are dealing with and I hope I’m not being too intrusive, I will just mention I’m also reading this book: Complex PTSD: From surviving to thriving by Pete Walker, not IFS related but has helped me understand a lot of my emotional behavior due to trauma so I’m throwing it in here in case it can be of some help, I have also investigated a lot, and it seems trauma is also stored in the body so looking for somatic healing is also of great help when dealing with trauma since it is also stored in the body)

 

As for relationships, I do hope I can get into one sometime hehe, just not right now, I just feel like I need to address a lot of internal issues and heal, but it will definitely be a good read for the future.

 

Thanks a lot for the insightful response, reading about your experience has been helpful .

 

I hope you can keep getting more and more relief!

  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2019: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!
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I'm so glad you've found someone @PapayaShake and especially someone who also does EMDR, hope that she is good. I think the reason why IFS is not yet popular is that there was a scandal with it where someone used it in the early days for some nefarious purpose and so people stayed away from it. It's a pity because it can be a very useful tool. 

 

I am familiar with Pete Walker's book - it had a huge influence on me, specifically the idea of an emotional flashback. It has changed how I look at trauma. I can't remember, did you say you had read The Body Keeps the Score? If not, you should - that's how I got introduced to IFS. It's  the most comprehensive book on trauma and I think it has singlehandedly changed the conversation on the subject. I love that you are interested in the guts of the process :)

 

Withdrawal presents a challenge to the system in many ways but the most significant for me are the neuro-emotions. My attitude to certain things changes drastically between windows and waves and when I am holding vs tapering. I can look at a problem calmly and it seems solvable or completely be overwhelmed by it. It is such abject torture! 

 

Have you read the first post in this thread? What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

This is regarding benzodiazepines so the focus is on GABA which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter but which is impacted by serotonin and itself impacts serotonin. They are so interdependent that the idea that one does a specific thing is silly. And if you are withdrawing from SSRIs then your serotonin system becomes unbalanced as well. Your system had adapted to the increased levels of serotonin facilitated by the drug by turning off some of its sensors and now you have sensors that are not very sensitive and have lowered the volume of drug. Serotonin is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter which means (in my understanding) that it puts the brakes on emotions getting out of hand (among other things). So if you don't have enough of the serotonin for a balanced system because of tapering/cold turkey emotions and other things can go unchecked. So a small irritation can turn into a full on rage, some sadness can take you into despair. Of course the brain is amazing so it adapts by turning up the dials on the sensors but it takes time for that to happen. And if you are tapering, then the deficit at any point in the process is small so the effects will be smaller whereas if you made a large cut or stopped your medicine suddenly, you are in a deeper deficit of serotonin which then impacts tens of other neurotransmitters and hormones which in turn impact other processes in the body. So... chaos. 

 

[Btw, this doesn't mean that we had a chemical imbalance that caused some sort of a disorder in us and needed the drugs to fix that. Everything impacts our brain chemistry - food, exercise, external stressors, trauma, sunshine etc. The idea of a chemical "imbalance" is still beyond stupid. The idea that you can impact a specific neurotransmitter without causing adaptive changes in how it is used in the brain AND impacting other neurotransmitters in the process is even more ridiculous.]

 

In IFS terms exiles may come out when the brakes don't function properly, this will activate protectors and firefighters and it becomes a cacophony in the mind! So there will be lots of trailheads for therapy. I think of IFS as another way of seeing the world - sort of like how physics and chemistry or biology can explain the same thing from various points of analysis. IFS also allows for observing the system in its detachment - sort of a mindfulness, which can bring some sort of a perspective on what is happening internally.

 

Please do update how you are doing and good luck with the therapist! 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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 @OnmywayYeah, I read something about a scandal too somewhere, I don’t remember where though.

 

Same for me About the emotional flashbacks (and a lot of other stuff) I always thought there was something wrong with me and I couldn’t describe it, it was just until recently that I found about trauma and suddenly it seems like my whole life makes sense, I was finally able to put a name to that horrible symptom which I used to called “the hole”. So now I am reading a couple of books and I have various others on the waitlist including The Body keeps the score, thanks for the suggestion, this journey of heling of trauma is just starting for me.

 

I feel the same about the attitude during the waves it’s almost as if there were two of me. Sometimes only for hours I get to feel “normal” and everything feels ok and the world looks ok. But during a wave everything feels like I’m in another dimension where everything is awful, what a nightmare.:(

 

I read the post you mentioned. I can relate to the serotonin putting the brakes on the emotions getting out of control before taking antidepressants even though I had a lot of anxiety I could still feel good emotions and that helped me dim the bad ones or as you say put a brake on them,  it was more balanced, now I feel everything is negative and there is nothing to put a stop and small things make all hell brake loose and I feel like every negative part is activated at the same time!

Since long I don’t believe in the chemical imbalance theory anymore, sadly that was what was told to me when I first went to see the doctor and all I knew at the time :C Now I think I only needed a good trauma informed therapist.

 

It’s very interesting to see withdrawal through the lens of IFS. Before learning about it I just perceived my mind as one big mess with no direction and would spiral down so easily to no end. I can’t say I have solved everything or that I am not in pain anymore but it at least this model makes me see myself separated from all the neuro emotions, and just being able to evaluate the different parts, identify them and try to be in self has been a life changing shift during this process. I have been trying to practice being in self even during the day as a tool to lessen the impact of those neuro emotion episodes and it helps me feel more clear minded and in control of the situation. So, I hope I can introduce it more even in a meditation form to help me deal with the emotional flashbacks and spirals.

 

I will sure update about the therapy session I think I'll have in 2 weeks, so I hope everything goes well and I can stick with this therapist.

 

Thanks!

Take Care!

  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2019: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!
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  • 7 months later...
  • Moderator

Hi @PapayaShake and @ScottishLass

I was looking through the thread again and was wondering how you two were doing. Are you doing therapy still? Are you finding it useful? I was going through some very difficult things and did 2x a week for a few weeks and now my therapist is on vacation so I need to try to do  the self therapy part a bit. 

 

What a challenging journey this is! Hoping you are doing well. 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Hi @Onmyway

 

I'm still in therapy.

 

I've seen a lot of progress, it definitely is a challenging journey but I am at a much better place now. I have been seeing my therapist once a week for around 5 months now. Nonetheless I can say for sure that a lot of improvement has been possible thanks to a lot of self therapy and psychoeducation. I'm mostly working EMDR with her which has eliminated a lot of triggers, and still continues to do so,  but I have also been practicing a lot of stuff from all the reading I've done. Mostly changing my inner self talk, becoming aware of my feelings and learning how to deal with them, talking with my parts and giving them love almost on a daily basis, practicing EFT on my own. Yoga and meditation have also been somehow helpfull. I will never stop promoting @breakingdowncptsd on instagram, her tools and resources have been a blessing.

 

I still have a long road, but I’m getting results so far.

 

  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2019: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!
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