EMDR

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
EMDR
3
Thu, 07-01-2010 - 2:53am

Has anyone else tried EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for overcoming anxiety, phobias and panic?

I started it about 12 weeks ago and I'm greatly improving. If anyone has used it, I would love to hear your stories.

In case anyone is not familiar... EMDR is a series of therapy sessions where eye movements are used to link the past emotional "trauma" to the logical side of the brain (a right-left brain connection).

(from the website)
"We do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people."

I am learning that my anxieties and phobias have a very clear link to many childhood experiences that I assumed I had dealt with. Or experiences I thought had no emotion attached to them.

Often times, my sessions will bring up emotions that I have tried for 40+ years to deny (but alive and buried deep). A few of the sessions left me reeling- (imagine stirring a bucket of water with sediment at the bottom).

Sometimes during a session tears will be streaming down my face and I'll say, "I don't know why I'm crying because I'm not sad but I can't stop myself" -- they are the tears the 8 year old little (me!) girl never cried.

Over the years I have tried herbal formulas, tapes and CD's, vitamin combinations, self-help books and workbooks, self-hypnosis, religion, uplifting religious messages, self-affirmations.....and felt like such a failure when these things offered little or no improvement.

If you're like me and have tried "everything" to overcome anxiety and phobias, EMDR might be helpful.

12 weeks ago I had not left the house without my husband-- my safe person-- for a few YEARS and was rather agoraphobic. Now I am going to the park alone, driving a bit around town, going to the store alone, walking alone, and I even enrolled in an exercise class alone and went to a craft class with a friend.

I still have work to do and issues to get through. I'm not fully healed yet but I feel very positive and am proud of how far I've come.

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: falucchi
Thu, 07-01-2010 - 2:54pm

Wow, amazing!!!

Do the memories come in full focus or are they quick clips as if in REM?

That is great news about getting out on your own. I was agoraphobic for a few months. It put a great deal of pressure on an already fragile marriage. Sounds like you have a great support in your relationship.

Keep up the great work!




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
In reply to: falucchi
Thu, 07-01-2010 - 3:46pm

Thanks firstglimpse

Interesting question about the memories. For me, the actual memories are just kind of looking back and seeing it, almost impassively, like recounting an old TV show I'd seen.

For example, I'll say, "I remember walking home from school on a stormy day when I was 8"-- but as the EMDR (eye movement) continues, the emotions (which weren't able to surface before) will come forth. I'll then experience how upset I was being caught in the storm, feeling cold and wet and vulnerable, knowing there was no one to come get me, feeling scared...
As the session continues and the emotions are brought forth, my logical adult brain will connect with that childhood pain and reprocess it so that being out alone is no longer associated with that fear and trauma.

It really is an amazing process!! I never in a million years would have thought these seemingly inconsequential memories would have had such a negative impact on my adult life but I realize now the emotions behind them (fear, terror, vulnerability, feeling alone) have subconsciously skewed how I see the world.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
In reply to: falucchi
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 4:26pm
Hello & welcome. Thanks so much for sharing your insights & supporting our members. We appreciate it.
That is great news that the EMDR is helping & you have had success in getting out of the house. I spent 3 years @ home & unable to drive. It's frustrating & depressing to live a limited life in fear. Congrats on the work you have done & I want to wish you continued success. Please keep in touch. You have offered our members a lot of hope. GL & GBU! (((hugs))) jan

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