Originally Posted by The exploding boy
Oh just posted my last before reading this. Well so I guess therapy did sorta work for you then.
What was their approach?
Mixed approach. I did a lot of group therapy CBT and art therapy in an inpatient PTSD program, probably spent about 6 weeks there over the course of 2 1/2 years. This is where I first learned what happened to me and why my symptoms were what they were. But this did nothing, or very little, to address my depression. Over these two years, I saw a therapist who was not very good. She kind of had your attitude. Thought I was lazy, though she never straight up said it. I finally dumped her about three years ago. She didn't really help me much. But I did start seeing a psychiatrist who also did therapy while I was seeing her; he is mostly psychodynamic and EMDR (trauma processing), but mostly he tried different drugs because nothing was working on it's own and my dissociative symptoms have no approved drugs. After a while, my depression started getting better. It still sucked and I still got hospitalized sometimes, but it was slowly getting beteter.
After I dumped my old therapist, I found one online who specializes in PTSD and dissociative disorders. She is psychodynamic as well, but really our therapy hinges a lot on unconditional positive regard. I like her as a person, and we are alike enough that we speak the same metaphorical language. She isn't "strictly" anything, but incorporates psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, and EMDR, plus other dissociative disorder therapy which I'm not sure has a formal name. I've been seeing her for three years, and I am only just now ready to actually do some serious trauma processing - the first priority (besides getting me to not be suicidal and stop self harming (burning myself) was to be well enough to be able to work and take care of my own money and stuff. It was only about two years ago that I started having control of my own money; I was approved for disability in 2009 (on my first try, which is almost unheard of, esp for a 23 year old), but was not allowed to handle my own finances. So in early 2012 I petitioned to get that right back, and did get it back. In Sept 2012 I got a job, in Oct 2013 I went back to school and took one class, this semester I took 3 classes and worked 25-30 hrs/wk.
Even though I was still suicidal and self harming for years after I started therapy, my cognitive processes were becoming more clear to me and my thought processes got healthier before my behavior did. Oh, I'm also a drug addict, and though I've used drugs maybe 5 times in the past 3 years, I'm not addicted anymore and don't really have cravings. Also stopped smoking cigs about 2 1/2 years ago.
TL;DR first was group CBT/art therapy (which is basically psychodynamic), then heavy medication management and some more CBT and psychodynamic, then an awesome mix of things that doesn't have a name really but hinges greatly on the client/therapist relationship (and unconditional positive regard) while staying on meds and slowly getting off of them. the closest thing I could call it that's a sort-of legitimate type of therapy is 'eclectic'
I basically think I first learned what was happening to me, then I got on meds which eventually helped my depression, then I was well enough (though still very sick) to learn how to help my PTSD and be able to function in the world without having flashbacks and even while having bad dissociative symptoms that are very intrusive (that I still have and my always have). Like, I couldn't be around children ever because they made me have flashbacks. etc. It was bad.
Therapy has definitely helped me. But you need a good doctor. I've been sing my therapist for right at 3 years and my psychiatrist for about 6