How EMDR changed my life
As someone who was misdiagnosed with only depression and anxiety for four years, I had a hard time getting out of the dark dark place I was in. I’d get myself into dangerous situations, because I didn’t realize I was manic or acting out impulsively. I had a lack of control over my own actions and emotions. This lead to a lot of trauma unfortunately including countless sexual assaults, which is what I originally chose EMDR therapy for.
For those who do not know, EMDR or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a form of therapy that utilizes bilateral stimulation to essentially process trauma in a healthy way. However, eye movement back and forth is only one mechanism of stimulating both sides of the brain. A lot of survivors do not feel comfortable with someone being that close during sessions so I personally use hand buzzers, which do the same thing in your brain, but the buzzers buzz back and forth in your hands. Another option is bilateral stimulation through audio, where you would hear beats alternating back and forth using headphones. The last method is hand tapping, where the therapist would tap your hands back and forth as you process the trauma. Again, hand buzzers have worked miracles for me, but everyone is different.
You rank your traumas on a scale of 1–10 typically and start by working on the lower tier traumas.
I have now fully processed 3/4 of my sexual assaults in EMDR, and processed other events that were heavily traumatic. The impact it has had on my life has been insane.
I have stopped self harming (130 days clean), I no longer ruminate for hours about my assaults and my abusers. I have healed my bulimia which I suffered from for so long (because I didn’t know I was using the eating disorder to cope with my assaults) It is very interesting how you figure out through therapy that certain traumas are connected to each other. Anyways, I try to harp on the fact that I am survivor, because I refuse to be a victim.
Processing my trauma through EMDR was the most successful treatment I have ever done, and I have tried literally everything: TMS, esketamine, SSRI’s, and countless other meds. I 100% recommend EMDR to anyone suffering with ptsd.
I am going into 2023 a more healed, loving version of myself, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.