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Why Does Therapy Have to Hurt Before It Helps?

It doesn’t matter whether the therapy is for your body or your mind; it seems that it always hurts before you can get better.

Physical TherapyAthletes who tear a leg muscle or something have to endure excruciating physical therapy sessions as they heal up so they can get back in the game. My mom had to suffer through occupational therapy after she was in a car accident last summer that left her right hand in really bad shape. I watched as she did her hand exercises in between therapy sessions, more than wincing with each move, because she didn’t want to be told she’d lost the use of her hand forever. It will never be “right” again, but at least it’s not useless now. (It’s all the more bitter because the driver who was responsible for the accident fled the scene, so no one’s paying her medical bills.)

And then there’s talk therapy. That’s the only one I have personal experience with.

If you’ve ever had a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other type of mental health counselor, you know it’s not always pleasant. As a matter of fact, it’s probably not doing you much good if it is pleasant all the time.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’ve been pretty much dreading my bi-weekly appointments because we’re getting into stuff that is very painful for me to talk about. It’s stuff I haven’t written about on my blog and won’t be writing about on my blog. (Don’t try asking me about it. If you don’t already know, I don’t intend to share it with you.) It’s also stuff that should be ancient history, but because of the way my brain is wired, I can never seem to let anything go. It’s not enough to just talk about how I feel, but why I feel that way – which is hard to determine most of the time – and how to do something to change how I feel so it stops hurting so badly. I guess this is why I avoided talking about it for so long.

I’m trying not to ask for a medication increase as we struggle through this stuff, but it’s really hard. Post-therapy depression has been lasting for a day or two every other week, and this week, it either prolonged a CFS flareup I thought I was over that morning, or it triggered a new one. I’ve been exhausted and dragging since then, and feeling generally unmotivated. I’m so grateful my husband is always there for me, because I’ve needed him. For his part, he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty.

So…pain. It ends eventually, right? If you’ve gotten to the other side after the crap side of therapy, would you give me a shoutout in the comments section?

Christina Gleason (864 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.


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