advice on getting "therapy"...((shudder))

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patientspiders
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
So, my best-est friend of 25 years just told me that I should see a therapist. I do not take this lightly. She is of the opinion that I am isolated in my disease, and in denial more often than dealing with it. I "almost died" in August, according to her, and yet I just a keep on chugging without giving it much thought. Maybe she's right? Maybe there is a fine line between "dealing" and "denial"... I dunno. I've had this disease for about 5 years now and you all are the only ones I "talk" to.

--Do any of you guys see a therapist? If you're willing to share, I would be interested to know what your experiences are - good or bad.

--Also, I do NOT want to pay $100 an hour to explain crohn's to someone unfamiliar with it. Is there any "qualification" or tag words I can look for when researching a therapist that might help cut down on this? Are there therapists that specialize in IBD?

I've got a call into the local hospital here and my GI's office, but they both sounded baffled at my questions, so I'm not expecting much help from them.

Any pointers are appreciated! Thanks all.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone


FitzyK23
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I went to therapy for awhile and loved it. You sound exactly where I was. I was having major anxiety issues whenever I tried to leave the house but would still leave the house often. My problem was I always had a smile on my face and everything was always fine. I didn't take time to grieve my diagnosis and realize that life was going to be different from then on... I could do the things I always wanted to do but had to realize I couldn't just expect to feel fine all the time.

Anyway, I found a website and searched for a therapist with experience w/ chronic illness. I met w/ the director of the place and asked if they were familiar w/ crohns. They said they were very familiar and he recommended a particular therapist. It worked out great. I stopped seeing her when I went to school but still think a lot about things we discussed. I recommend it.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


patientspiders
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
chronic illness - that's exactly the kind of "tag" I was looking for. Thank you! Off to search again.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/10/2009 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
You could also check w/ the CCFA.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


belleenstein
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 4/10/2009 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
You should be looking for a psychologist whose specialty area is health. Look for a teaching hospital that has a unit that specializes in gastroenterology and ask them if they have IBD clinics. Many health psychologists work as part of a multi-disciplinarian IBD health team -- in concert with GIs, surgeons, dietitians etc.

You are wise to seek help from a therapist experienced in dealing with people who suffer with chronic illnesses. If you can find a good therapist, with whom you can develop a trust relationship, it will be one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

I've been in your position. It took 30 years with this disease for me to cry "uncle" and admit that in my efforts to control my disease, not let it control me, I had developed a pretty disordered and self-destructive relationship with this disease. I first me the therapist who eventually helped straighten me out while in hospital 15 years ago. He was brought in on consult by my GI in the midst of a six-month crisis that included multiple emergency admissions/surgeries.

When I refused his offer of follow-up, he gave me his card and told me to call if I ever felt the need. It took more than a decade to take him up on his offer, but it's probably the best investment I've ever made in myself.

Hope you find someone you can trust.

Best of luck.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


medicalmystery
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 4/10/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
PS, I started going to a therapist recently during all of this rollercoaster of trying to get a diagnosis, mind you...we are still searcing, but she turned out to be a God send. By coincidence, her very best friend had Crohn's so she is very familiar, but she has lots of background with chronic illness and infertility as well. I sought out her counsel because people were making me think I was crazy...and I considered the fact that I was possibly making this all up...

I mention it because she is a licensed counselor and not a psychiatrist or psycologist, therefore is less expensive...I know everyone has personal preferences...for me it was her christianity and the fact that she would counsel from a faith standpoint that was important. I would ask yourself what is most important for you. If I need meds...antidepressants or my ADHD meds...I still have to go to someone else...where a psychiatrist can prescribe. I personally wasn't as worried about the theory based approach to counseling that some psychologists and psychiatrists use.

One caveat...I also had years and years of things I had thought that I dealth with but really just tucked away...so just know that when you do start...sometimes it gets worse before it gets better...

I think it is a great thing for anyone...I hope you can find someone who meets your needs and you feel comfortable with!

If you are interested in the licensed counselor route...I can ask her at my next visit if there is anyway to find counselors with experience with chronic illnesses...

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 4/11/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for asking about this. I am beginning to feel like I need to see a therapist too. Depression is hitting for me and I think it would be good for me. I appreciate all the advice from the people who have posted so far!

It sounds like you have a very caring friend...
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08 => STOPPED 10/3/08 not enough response
--currently taking budesonide suppositories, 3mg at night.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl


janicea
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
A psychiatrist has an MD. That means he knows the medicine side as well as the psychological side. Mine also did all my pain management because he knew I needed it and never gave me any crap. It was theraputic in as much as I had a doc 100% on my side that gave me pain meds to boot. I loved him. And one of the things he taught me was, that it's really difficult to be living in pain and having a hard time with chronic illness. His support made my journey a lot easier. I'd still be seeing him, but he passed away. Lovely guy. I wish you the same experience.

CheerDad
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 4/11/2009 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I see both a psychiartist and a psychologist. The psychiatrist does not do mucn talk therapy but does the medication therapy. I have been going to a therapist for several years. He is not a chronic illness specialist, but has chronic back pain from an accident several years back. I know that I feel it is a safe place to talk about anything from my disease to gaining a spiritual perspective. I also know it took me going through 4 therapists before I found one that I could connect with. I can honestly say I have gone from being a skeptic on talk therapy to a firm believer. I guess what I am trying to say is don't rely on just one visit or therapist to make your decision. If I would have, I would not have as healthy perspective on this disease. Doesn't mean I never feel depressed our helpless, but I know I have a safe place to go to to work through my often messed up thought process. I am lucky, my insurance pays for everything except my co-pay.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.
 
Randy
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
Dx'd with Crohn's at age 12. Symptoms since age 5, RLS, Depression, Anxiety, and down right feel yucky some days.
Learning to live with this Disease rather than be its victim after 36 years.


patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 4/12/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies everyone. I am pleasantly surprised by the responses, and I'm sort of relieved that your experiences were so good.

It gives me hope.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (started 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Forvia vitamins, and calcium chewies
Prednisone free, again! WHOOPIE!

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