Does EMDR therapy work for PTSD & depression? Hell yes!
Does EMDR therapy work for PTSD & depression?
Hello reader! Are you wondering whether or not EMDR works for depression or PTSD?
Well, when I first entered the therapists office, and she told me about EMDR therapy, I was skeptical.
When I realized how simple the EMDR theory behind the therapy was I was even more skeptical.
When I had my first vision, I was a believer.
It has been 6 months since I started doing EMDR therapy with my therapist.
I thought I would go over some of the things that I have experienced so far as a military veteran suffering from PTSD and depression.
I have only used EMDR therapy to treat my depression, not my PTSD.
I will get there eventually, but I felt I needed to tackle my depression, before I got into my combat related PTSD.
Fortunately I have trustworthy sources that have experience the same combat PTSD that I have and got their take EMDR therapy.
I am not going to get into the nuances of what EMDR therapy is.
I am not a doctor, just a patient with some inside therapy experience to share with you.
What I knew about EMDR therapy prior to starting
I learned about EMDR therapy through a friend who recommended I look into it.
She told me that it was a life changing experience that helped her in so many ways. She didn’t give me any other details, just recommended that I look into it.
I heard a few short stories on NPR about PTSD survivors having incredible results with it.
I really know the theory behind EMDR, but I decided to give it a shot anyways, and man I am glad I did.
My EMDR experiences for depression so far
Before I get too far into this, I have to say that I am completely amazed that something so simple can have such a profound impact, and if I had not experienced it for myself, I wouldn’t believe it, nor COULD I.
EMDR is something you have to allow yourself to experience.
I spent the two sessions trying to understand the what was going on. It started working when I stopped trying and let my brain show me what it wanted to show me.
It took 8 months of talk therapy I before I cracked a whisper of a tear and it was gone just as fast.
EMDR did it in two session, and I was bawling my eyes out.
I struggle in each therapy session to let my guard down enough to let my mind show me what it needs to show me, but when I do, it is an amazing experience.
The first time, the mental pain that I experience was excruciating. I had to literally force myself to stay present and feel the pain that I had tucked away deep down inside me.
I have had some wild dreams, but nothing to bad.
My mental numbness started to melt away and I started having feelings of excitement for the first time in a VERY long time.
I am remembering things from my past that I couldn’t recall before.
I feel less withdrawn.
I feel less vulnerable to stress.
I have seen the path to true healing, no I just have to follow it.
Does EMDR therapy work for PTSD?
We had a lengthy discussion on his experience making it all the way through the EMDR therapy process, and I can assure you that he is on the same page as I am when it comes to EMDR therapy.
What are these EMDR visions you speak of?
My therapist uses the term billboard to describe what I am calling visions.
When you are willing to accept what the mind wants to show you, the “billboard” comes into your mind’s eye.
There may or may not be feelings attached to these visions.
For me, the initial vision usually wouldn’t have any feelings attached to it. From experience though, I knew that the vision I was shown, was going to be attached to some other vision with incredible amounts of emotions.
I remember chuckling at a vision of my old pet hamster being pushed around in a barbie corvette wondering what that was all about to being hit with a vision of my pet spider dying a slow painful death and reliving the fact that I was the one that let my friend starve to death.
Sometimes these visions make sense; other times you just have to accept that the brain attached these memories to these emotions because the brain is just a wonder.
What about all the bad stuff about EMDR you read on the internet?
I intentionally did no research on EMDR prior to trying the therapy because:
It’s the internet.
You can always find faults in something if you are looking for it.
Their experience isn’t your experience.
You will never know for sure unless you try it for yourself.
Why do you like EMDR therapy
I only have experience with talk therapy and EMDR.
In my experience, it is very easy to hide behind words when it comes to talk therapy. You choose what comes out of your mouth, and you control what you are feeling.
With EMDR therapy you choose to accept what your mind is going to show you, and the feelings attached to those visions.
It really is the therapy fast track, but don’t take my word for it.
Try it yourself.
Over to you.
Are you thinking about trying EMDR? Leave a comment in the comment section.