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Cdav

How to explain withdrawal to therapist who doesn't understand

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Cdav

Hi!

 

Any ideas on how I can make my therapist believe me about withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Is there an article someone could refer me to directed to counsellors/therapists so they can give the appropriate help?

 

My therapist (Gestalt therapist) has helped me with many things about my life. But she believes my depression is a chemical illness I have to accept and take control of forever with medication. She still does not believe many of my problems in life have stemmed from withdrawal. She doesn't even understand what withdrawal is. When I complain about withdrawal symptoms, she thinks I am exaggerating or that it's in my head. When I've told her I have suicidal thoughts, she dismisses it as me being too dramatic. 

 

I've tried other therapists, but they are even worse. 

 

Any suggestions?

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dalsaan

Hi Cdav,

 

My first response is to say walk away.  That is because I have a very low tolerance threshold for ignorant practitioners that want to reassure me I am misguided in my understanding.  I walk into appointments and tell them the support I want and If they dont want to engage that I thank them for their time.

 

But, if you do want to keep working with this person you could provide them with copies of or links to the some of the literature that is now available eg - http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/medication-stopping-or-coming-off/planning-withdrawal/#.VGq8F_SUfbw

 

But, be prepared to cut your therapist from the plan if she is not on board.   The chemical imbalance theory is so discredited now. 

 

D

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Cdav

Hi Dalsaan, thank you for your advice and the link you provided. 

 

Yes, my last session left me so frustrated and angry I am thinking about walking away and keep looking. But since she has helped me with many issues about my past.  I wanted to give it one more try and see if she is open to understand my condition and try to support me once I show her more information about withdrawal syndrome and explain her the kind of support and reassurance I need. Because I do believe many of my problems in life right now are due to withdrawal (or magnified by withdrawal). 

 

If it doesn't work out, well I'll just take the good things I learned from her, and try to move on and find support somewhere else. 

 

Thank you for the advice. 

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alizarin

The only experience I had was with a single therapist. She, too, thought my problem was a chemical imbalance and refused to 'help' me unless I was put on an anti-depressant. This is actually how I ended up on Remeron. So I'm sorry you have to deal with that but dalsaan is right. Just walk away. They're probably not going to be open minded enough to at least, broaden their perspective a bit.

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mammaP

I would recommend 'Anatomy of an epidemic' by Robert Whitaker to her, if she reads that she may think differently.

On the other hand she might not want to read such a book because she believes in the chemical imbalance theory.

My therapist had experience of being a psychiatric nurse and had seen people in withdrawal so understood what I

was saying to her. I managed to educate her a little which was great but when I moved away she said I should

register with a doctor immediately in case I had an episode and needed to go into hospital! She obviously didn't take

it all in but did understand withdrawal better after seeing me! 

 

If she cant give you what you need then I agree you should walk away, just be glad for what she did give you but there

is no point in staying if she is going to 'feed' you junk 'food'!

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Cdav

Thank you Alizarin and mammaP, for your advice. 

 

I went to my appointment and explained her everything, showed her some information. And she did believe me now. I know she can't understand the complexity of the whole thing, but she's trying to help me keep my thoughts positive and live this day by day. Because I do get overwhelmed and very pessimistic sometimes, and she helps with that. 

 

But stil this site and forums has been godsend. Just knowing there other people going exactly through what I'm going, and sharing help and support, has helped me a lot. 

 

Thank you

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NewMe

Forgive me for asking - but this isn't this stuff she should have learned somewhere along the way?. She may need to crawl out from under the rock from which she is living in denial from. It almost seems ironic to have to offer a primer on such a deep topic that requires quite a bit of knowledge on. She already attended school. You can offer some insight but that is a lot to have to teach the teacher. I hope she pays you for the visit! Considering SI dramatic is a slap in the face and flies in the face of respect. I could not find an ounce of reciprocal respect for such a person. I would look elsewhere. The "help" she gave you in dealing with past issues is not worth your mental health as you move through this now. Its like the classic "bad boyfriend (or bad girlfriend). You don't stay with a person just because they were helpful once if they no longer serve you now. She has a long way to go IMO. 

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Altostrata

Truly. The best doctors of any sort listen to their patients and learn from them.

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Wildflower0214

This is what I have been dealing with. My counselor now has yet to educate himself on the topic. He believes me, but has done no research. He just takes my word for it. But, I want to find another therapist, but I honestly do not have the energy to explain it all again. This guy has been there for the whole ride, over ten months.

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Blackstar

There is no way to explain withdrawal to them. In their eyes, they're the doctor and you're the patient. If they don't believe it in the first place you won't be able to convince them otherwise. The more you try to convince them of something they don't 'see' the more they'll brush it off. That's my experience.

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erer

I cannot imagine where to even begin to try and convince a therapist in wd existing. I truly believe that in my hospital file (that my new therapist I'm going to see on Wednesday has access to) has it written in block letters and glitter marker "PARANOID ABOUT DRUGS! BE AWARE!".

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Altostrata

If you cannot communicate with your therapist or feel that he or she is condescending to you, you need to find another therapist.

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erer

If you cannot communicate with your therapist or feel that he or she is condescending to you, you need to find another therapist.

I only wish it were so simple. For example, here in Estonia there are no, none whatsoever, doctors who admit or believe AD WD exists. Same goes for therapists. To my knowledge the information that such a thing even exists has not reached them. Even if it were they would say what I was constantly told in hospital: anxiety can cause those symptoms. This is what they believe.

 

Also there are not many affordable therapists to choose from. The one appointed by the hospital is covered by my insurance. Some holistic therapist who practices a more alternative approach could be found (but not easily), but I cannot afford them.

 

I will just have to try and avoid the subject of meds with this new therapist. Doesn't seem like a good basis for a therapeutic relationship, not being able to talk about what influences my life the most, I know.

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rapunzel2

I cannot imagine where to even begin to try and convince a therapist in wd existing. I truly believe that in my hospital file (that my new therapist I'm going to see on Wednesday has access to) has it written in block letters and glitter marker "PARANOID ABOUT DRUGS! BE AWARE!".

LOL. it would be funny, if it wasn't so awful.

I hope it all changes... one day. it has to. 

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Altostrata

You don't need to convince your therapist about withdrawal to have a therapeutic relationship. For example, you can start a "what-if" discussion: "What if my perception of what's going on in my own body is correct and the doctors are wrong?"

 

This can lead into how stressful it is for you to maintain your self-respect and autonomy in the face of institutional opposition. Your therapist should be able to speak honestly and intelligently about that.

 

Please also consider this adage: "Stop looking in the garbage can for your supper."

 

Could be your therapist simply cannot give you what you want, whether it's validation, emotional support, or re-parenting. Discussing this with your therapist could lead to real existential breakthroughs for you. You will be faced with "How can I get what I want?"

 

There are ways to make time with even a stupid or hostile therapist into a productive learning experience for yourself.

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bluebalu86

That's the main reason I haven't gone back to my therapist since the WD fiasco. Her husband works for drug companies and researches meds and she is pro-meds and thinks they're safe. She'll never believe me and tell me this is all anxiety and paranoia and that I blame all my problems on drugs. If I go to therapy, I will have to look for someone else. And I know I need therapy. 

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freespirit

 

There are ways to make time with even a stupid or hostile therapist into a productive learning experience for yourself.

 

Maybe so Alto...but it's the last way I'd want to spend my money. The best learning experience under those circumstances for me was walking away..and finding far better ways to create what I needed.  

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Tilly

 

 

There are ways to make time with even a stupid or hostile therapist into a productive learning experience for yourself.

 

Maybe so Alto...but it's the last way I'd want to spend my money. The best learning experience under those circumstances for me was walking away..and finding far better ways to create what I needed.  

 

I absolutely agree, Free. Just because a therapist is certified, or maybe precisely because they are certified, they have the power to do much more harm than good. If a therapist is bad, inadequate or providing a generally poor service, vote with your feet & purse and go elsewhere.

 

Would you stay with a bad hairdresser / car mechanic / dentist in the hopes of gaining a good outcome (eventually)? I think not.

 

Our emotions are much more fragile than our other 'service needs' and need to be treated with care & skill. Follow your instinct. Let your therapist prove themselves worthy of your care taking before you entrust any part of your psyche to them. 

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Altostrata

Very true, Tilly and freespirit! That may be the life lesson one needs to learn -- walk away from a situation that gives you nothing, instead of trying to make it work.

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ColdTurkeyinBoston

Suggest they spend some time browsing through this site.

 

 

Earlier today I sent this to my talk therapist:

 

You likely know of it, but last night I discovered an amazing resource, survivingantidepressants.org

 

It’s international, very supportive, and seemingly has some quite knowledgeable people.

 

Their primary focus seems to be how to slowly get off stuff and deal with withdrawal symptoms.  After reading some of the histories I feel fortunate indeed.

 

==>>  It’s possible that doctors dislike (distrust?) web forums, but I see the main benefit as being info from people who have actually dealt with the medications prescribed by the same doctors who have no first hand experience of them.

 

 

 
 

 

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Mort81

I agree to walk away. It only compounds the problem trying to convince a stubborn therapist or doctor. Often these so called professionals just label you even worse. Hopefully you can find someone knowledgeable but if not dont waste your money.

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Martina23

Therefore I am afraid to go here to the therapist. In the best case they dont know that the drugs cause the problems and in the worst they can be even dangerous as they can cause also your admission to the hospital if they believe that you can harm yourself or others. I find the whole idea ridiculous. When I have to teach the therapist on my diagnose, what is then the therapist for?

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Mort81

My opinion is that if you dont find a therapist educated in WD than its very counter productive to go to a therapist. However I am sure there must be some that are not educated about WD but willing to learn and support the emotional side of it. But my fear is you might have to go to 50 different people before you find one.

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Rockingchaircat

What I learned from Therapists- that there are junk Therapists just like there are junk Doctors. And unfortunately, all too often, Medications are the easy way out for them.  Luckily I managed to stumble across a Therapist who was a non-prescribing Therapist. 

Which was of the criteria I used in picking one out. He wasn't easy to find- but he's as good as gold.

 

Finding one- it's like a Princess trying to find her Prince: "You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince."  Keep looking until you find one.

 

The nice thing about it- not only was he a non-prescribing Therapist, he was against prescribing anything. He felt that meds, were part and parcel of the problem. And as such another phrase comes to mind: "When your only tool is a Hammer, all your problems start to look like a nail."

And THAT is the problem with the Psychiatric folks.  They're all too used to dealing with depression by prescribing a pill. Anything that doesn't include a pill is often derided as "New Age-y", and as such is often ignored or belittled. Perhaps it's time to find one of them?

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Mort81

Ya they do exist but they are difficult to find.  Hopefully websites like this can provide people with options.

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Theon

When I went to my therapist telling him that prozac had caused me apathy, he told me that I was just depressed and that I had "too little dopamine in my brain"... I told him that my initial anxiety problems were nothing like that and that I felt that the prozac had been the cause and he told me that that was not possible since I was already 2 months after stopping it and that I could get on another ssri..... I didn't come back,

 

He is too arrogant and doesn't stop talking about dopamine and serononin as if peple are just a bunch of chemicals mixed together and everything could be explained by the "too much of this neurotransmitter causes this and too little causes that",, 

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Phoenix76

Hi Cdav,

 

My first response is to say walk away.  That is because I have a very low tolerance threshold for ignorant practitioners that want to reassure me I am misguided in my understanding.  I walk into appointments and tell them the support I want and If they dont want to engage that I thank them for their time.

 

But, if you do want to keep working with this person you could provide them with copies of or links to the some of the literature that is now available eg - http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/medication-stopping-or-coming-off/planning-withdrawal/#.VGq8F_SUfbw

 

But, be prepared to cut your therapist from the plan if she is not on board.   The chemical imbalance theory is so discredited now. 

 

D

I agree. When I quit Paxil for the third time, my doctor more or less hinted that there was no way I'd stay off them and that I was destined to use them for the rest of my life. But that was 4 years ago :) . I have re-joined the site as I now want to help my mother get clean of prozac.

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