How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
54658078
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi. I just returned from vacation with my daughter. It was

Resolved Question:

Hi.

 

I just returned from vacation with my daughter. It was wonderful because I was able to temporarily put out of my mind all my troubles. The day after I returned I add an appointment scheduled with my therapist and then another one 2 days later. However, when I returned home I received a message from her that she would be out of town and we would reschedule next week.

 

But now that I am home, everything bad is flooding back. I am having a very tough time holding everything together. All I want to do is stay in bed or lie on the couch watching movies. It seems silly to me that I am relying on her this much. Is this healthy. I can`t seem to stay focused or in the now. My thoughts just keep going back to all the bad stuff. I am dealing with PTSD, OCD and Depression.

 

Is there anything I can do that may help me until I can see her.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

Yes, you can help yourself. There are many resources that can help you deal with how you feel.

 

Probably what happened was once you were away all of the reminders of your problems were left behind and you did not have to face them. So you felt better. Once you came back, all of the reminders were there. It is especially hard when you have PTSD because your symptoms are triggered by reminders of your trauma.

 

Learning about your symptoms and diagnosis can help you know how to respond when you feel overwhelmed and frightened. The more you know, the less impact your feelings can have on you.

 

Here are some resources you can use to help yourself:

 

http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

 

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

 

http://helpguide.org/mental/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd.htm

 

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula

 

The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Bruce M. Hyman and Cherry Pedrick

 

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor

 

http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=helpline

 

You can find the books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

 

You can also talk to experts here on JA. Some people develop therapeutic relationships with an expert and work with them exclusively. It helps because you have someone you can talk to on a more frequent basis than regular therapy. Experts can provide support and encouragement. If you prefer to work with someone exclusively, you can place their name in front of your question so when you post it, the other experts know you are working with someone in particular. And as you receive your replies, you can reimburse the expert as you work together. You can continue a thread you start, or start new threads as you wish to.

 

I hope this has helped,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your response.

 

I understand my OCD pretty well. Unfortunately, the symptoms are always worse when I am back home.

 

I was assaulted three times by the same person over a 10 year period. The most recent attack was about 2 years ago. It was someone I had dated but broke it off with after the first time I was treated poorly. The relationship lasted about 2 years. It may help you to know that the assaults were all sexual which somehow makes it worse. I wish I was just punched around instead.

 

I feel so sad about it at times and keep going because of my daughter. But some days I just feel like I am going to lose it. I get impatient, frustrated and feel very angry inside.

 

These are not feelings I am used to feeling. I kept all the assaults to myself until about 18 months ago. I never told anyone and besides my therapist, no one really knows all that was done and happened to me. It was pretty bad.

 

I feel ashamed and I know this is a normal response but I can`t even look people in the eye when I talk to them. I think about self-harm all the time because it is something I feel I am in control of. Plus it gives a release that nothing else that I have found does. But I am very ashamed and embarrassed about it.

 

I try to redirect myself by going for walks, journaling (which sometimes makes me feel worse but other times gives me an outlet for my bad feelings), reading, etc.

 

I do take medication for Night Terrors that I get but I still have bad dreams and sometimes cannot sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. I hate night times. Too much time to think.

 

Do you think that my attachment to my therapist is too clingy since I can`t seem to handle it too well when she is away even for a short time. Am I normal that it upsets me like this. I worry about becoming too attached to her or anybody really. I think it is best to rely on yourself and then you won`t become disappointed.

 

I know I`ve written a lot. But I am having a particularily tough time keeping my sad thoughts away today.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I understand. Thank you for the additional information.

 

The more you describe about your situation, the more it does sound like PTSD. Being attacked three times is a lot. Once is very traumatizing, let alone three times.

 

Your symptoms sound correct for what you have been through. I know that is no comfort, but it may help you to know you are reacting in a normal way.

 

Being very close with your therapist, or dependent, can be an issue. Given what you have been through, though, it is not an unexpected response. But that is something you can work on in therapy. Your insight is good and you are very aware of the issue, which is half the battle.

 

Talk with your therapist about your concerns. Your therapist should be able to help you learn what is causing your feelings and help you learn how to cope. It is normal that you feel upset about this. It is because you are aware of it and it is causing you distress. If you were not aware and continued the behavior without insight, that might be an issue.

 

Trusting yourself is good, but no one can get through life by themselves. Learning to trust others is important. It may take time because of what you have been through, but you can trust again.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate:

 

Thanks for your response.

 

I understand my OCD pretty well. Unfortunately, the symptoms are always worse when I am back home.

 

I was assaulted three times by the same person over a 10 year period. The most recent attack was about 2 years ago. It was someone I had dated but broke it off with after the first time I was treated poorly. The relationship lasted about 2 years. It may help you to know that the assaults were all sexual which somehow makes it worse. I wish I was just punched around instead.

 

I feel so sad about it at times and keep going because of my daughter. But some days I just feel like I am going to lose it. I get impatient, frustrated and feel very angry inside.

 

These are not feelings I am used to feeling. I kept all the assaults to myself until about 18 months ago. I never told anyone and besides my therapist, no one really knows all that was done and happened to me. It was pretty bad.

 

I feel ashamed and I know this is a normal response but I can`t even look people in the eye when I talk to them. I think about self-harm all the time because it is something I feel I am in control of. Plus it gives a release that nothing else that I have found does. But I am very ashamed and embarrassed about it.

 

I try to redirect myself by going for walks, journaling (which sometimes makes me feel worse but other times gives me an outlet for my bad feelings), reading, etc.

 

I do take medication for Night Terrors that I get but I still have bad dreams and sometimes cannot sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. I hate night times. Too much time to think.

 

Do you think that my attachment to my therapist is too clingy since I can`t seem to handle it too well when she is away even for a short time. Am I normal that it upsets me like this. I worry about becoming too attached to her or anybody really. I think it is best to rely on yourself and then you won`t become disappointed.

 

I know I`ve written a lot. But I am having a particularily tough time keeping my sad thoughts away today.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I understand. Thank you for the additional information.

 

What you describe as your symptoms is very normal. You have gone through a lot of trauma. Being attacked once is a lot, but three times is overwhelming.

 

Understanding that you are reacting very normally is important. No one can go through such trauma and not experience problems. Actually, it would be worrisome if you did not show symptoms. Showing symptoms says that you are healthy and that you will be ok.

 

Being attached to your therapist is most likely a reaction to what you have gone through. You need understanding, and your therapist most likely provides what you need. You probably trust her more than anyone else (except your daughter) at this point in your life. So needing to be near her and being anxious about contact is a normal reaction.

 

You can talk to her during therapy about how you feel. This is a good thing to work on to help you realize your needs and how to get them met.

 

Relying on yourself is good, but you still need others to function. But you have had your ability to trust and rely on others taken away. Learning to trust again is important. It may take time, but you can do it with help.

 

Kate

 

Just a note: JA seems to be having a lot of problems with posting. You may get two answers from me. It seems to have lost the first one, so I retyped the best I could. Sorry about that.

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate:

 

Thanks for your kind and understanding words. I always feel that nobody understands how I feel. So terribly sad inside. These days, my only source of joy is my daughter and I am not even sure I am that great a mother. However, I do try and we do have a very close relationship. This is good. It seems the only good.

 

I may write you again later. Thanks again.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You are very welcome. I am happy to help, anytime.

 

I am sure you are a great mother. You and your daughter sound like you have a wonderful relationship. Most parents (who are good parents) feel like they aren't doing a good job. But I believe it is a sign that you are doing very well if you worry about it.

 

It is hard when you feel alone. Most people who suffer trauma feel that way. But the more you express how you feel and re learn to trust, the less alone you will feel and things will improve.

 

Take care. I will be here anytime you need to talk.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate:

 

I went to see my therapist today and it went okay. I have developed an extremely embarrassing and what I think is a horrible horrible habit. I can`t tell anyone about it because it is just too humiliating. Not even her and I know I should. But how can as I know I will feel judged.

 

I know what I am doing is wrong but cannot seem to stop. I`m not even sure I want to stop because of the positive feelings I get from it. I know how selfish I am being but It gives me temporary relief from all the anxiety and sadness I feel. For a little bit, the bad feelings go away. It also gives me a feeling of control and I feel less needy. The problem is the good feeling only lasts for a short time......but it`s better than nothing But it also means that I have to do it again.

 

But I feel so remorseful and bad about what I`m doing. It is so frustrating because then I feel I need to be punished for my behavior. It seems like I am stuck in a vicious cycle that I can`t get out of and don`t even know if I want to.One thing I know for certain is that I know it is wrong, I feel badly and so very ashamed.

 

I don`t know what to do. I don`t want to self-harm but what I am doing needs to be punished. I don`t even understand why I do it in the first place.

 

Can you help...

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hello, it's good to hear from you!

 

Any type of repeating behavior that someone has usually indicates that a feeling or problem that needs addressed. In your case, you are coping with trauma, depression, OCD and PTSD. You have coping mechanisms but because of the overwhelming stress of your issues, the ways you are coping is not enough. So you develop behaviors that temporarily relieve the stress and the unresolved feelings around your trauma.

 

The best way to help yourself is to reach out. I know you mentioned feeling embarrassed and that is normal. But therapists are used to hearing about all kinds of behaviors. Therapists learn about every kind of behavior in school and in practice. In order to help people, therapists must understand all of the possibilities that can occur. So your behavior is not going to be a surprise to your therapist (or to me).

 

If you can reach out to others, it allows you to express the feeling and that will help you find some relief. It will also allow your therapist to address the reasons behind the behavior and help you find ways to cope with it.

 

Punishing yourself is a way of judging yourself and controlling your hurt. It says that you are unworthy and that punishment is an acceptable way of hurting yourself. It also gives you control over your pain. This is somehow a way you learned to address your problems. It is also a stress reliever and a way to berate yourself. Your therapist should be able to help you find how you learned this behavior and help you work on better ways of viewing your problems and coping with them.

 

Here is a resource that may help you:

 

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions

Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
5525 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.