Unable to Release Supressed Emotions (Survivor of Emotional Abuse)
Hi, I take 5mg of Escilatopram (Lexapro) for around 10 years. I have extremely painful physical condition due to suppressed emotions – muscles are tensed to a level, that I’ve been diagnosed muscles atrophy, I’ve been doing dynamic psychotherapy for 2 years to no effect. The only thing which helps me – meditation. However I feel, that medicines, which I take, give me an effect like “energy rush” and overactive emotions in 5-6 hours after I them – so I can’t get good results, because I feel that the medication controls the way I feel and the emotions can’t be relieved. Increasing dosage makes me absolutely dull. On the other hand, if I don’t take the medication – I can’t get up from bed, my heart beats, I have hot flushes and the heart section is numb. And this effect comes from 5mg of the dosage – I swear. What should I do? Thank you.
A: I’m sorry you are having these troubles. I have certainly worked with lots of clients who have psychological issues show up in their body, but I’m curious why you have so strongly linked your muscle pain and tension to “suppressed emotion.” Have you ruled out all medical causes?
I can’t recommend that you go off the medication, but I would suggest that you continue to discuss your symptoms with your prescribing physician. I’ve worked with clients who are very medication sensitive and need to be on lower doses than is typical, which might be true in your case. Furthermore, these clients usually have to go very, very slowly if they discontinue medications. Emotional numbing is also a common complaint of being on psychotropic medication and each individual needs to weigh the costs vs. benefits for themselves.
You have indicated that meditation helps you so I hope you have found a way to incorporate this into your daily life. It might help if you expand your skills by taking meditation or yoga classes. In my practice, I have specialized training in trauma as well as holistic/alternative therapeutic techniques. I’ve had great success in getting results with some clients who have not improved in prior treatment. I attribute this to what I call the “shotgun approach.” I’ll throw all my “tricks” at these folks and hope that some of them work. I’ve combined traditional talk therapy with EMDR, guided imagery, hypnosis, mindfulness, relaxation and EFT. I also typically refer out to massage therapists, energy workers (such as Reiki) and/or acupuncturists, in addition to traditional medical providers.
Finally, I would suggest that you do some research on how we store trauma in our bodies. There are many good books written on the topic. Some authors that I recommend are Robert Scaer, Peter Levine and Francine Shapiro. Hope this helps.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Counts, H. (2014). Unable to Release Supressed Emotions (Survivor of Emotional Abuse). Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/22/unable-to-release-supressed-emotions-survivor-of-emotional-abuse/