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1st Psychology Treatment Session

In my first treatment session, I really didn’t know what to expect. As in my assessment I had already gone through an outline of what my problems were, and all the symptoms I was going through.

So I waited with trepidation, but still with an open mind that I would go with the flow and just see where it took me.

Into the room I stepped, and took a seat. That was the first problem! The seat was so low it was incredibly uncomfortable, I had to ask for another chair. One that was higher, that I could sit in more comfortably with my back spasms and leg jumps 🙁 My Psychologist was very accommodating, and I got a better higher seat.

We went through my symptoms in more detail than the assessment, and the effect they have on my life. He explained why this can happen, I told him I had done a lot of research into the disorder myself. Well I’d had 18 weeks to do research, whilst awaiting this appointment!

The discussion of how I have gone through a point (or points), at some time in my life that I couldn’t deal with at the time. I already knew what he was going to tell me.

How the brain files it away at the back of the brain in a kind of filing cabinet, until we become settled enough to feel that we can now take that file out and start to sort it out and deal with the feelings we couldn’t when they were happening.

That this makes a part of the brain shut down so it can sort it out, only it has the knock on effect of having a disconnection. That the Central Nervous System starts to miss-fire, the signals stop sending or receiving properly any more to and from the body.

So the brain sends a signal to move but it doesn’t fire across, or not properly so the movement is wrong. Same the other way, our brain can miss-fire a signal without us asking it to, so our body can spasm or move weirdly without our say so.

It is hard to take in, even though I knew it already. I am now sat here being told to my face, it makes it real now.

There is a certain feeling of surrealism, as if it is happening to someone else. That I am being told about someone else, that it isn’t me we are talking about. I feel fine (without the pains) my mind works normal, I can think straight when my head isn’t fuzzy or hot or full with fluid.

That I haven’t had a brain injury, nothing happened to me!?

Only it did, and I just never realised that all the strife and upset in the past years has made this happen.

Makes you feel just a little guilty, that sounds so stupid even as I type it!!! How can I feel guilty? I never asked my brain to break, to stop working properly. To make me feel trapped in my mind sometimes, when my body doesn’t do as I ask it to!

But yes, I feel guilty for my children losing the Mum that they knew.

I feel guilty for my fiancé , as I have only got this whilst being with him. So I am not the same person he met, I have changed.

I feel guilty for his little girls, my future step daughters .That they will have me as a step Mum, but not fully functional to have fun, enjoyment and play with them. As I run out of energy so quickly, or am in too much pain to be able to even pretend to have fun. That sometimes I just can’t do it, I feel I let everyone down.

My Psychologist then asked me “Which or what, is the thing I want to make go away or to improve the most?”

I was a little perplexed, “Which one?”. Why not all? I felt nervous, but I didn’t have to think at all. The answer was simple “My Head!”

I want my head back, simple as that. I want a head that doesn’t spasm any more, or jerk sideways, or bob about. A head that doesn’t have the terrible pains, and red-hot poker feelings screwing down into my skull.

A head that doesn’t get confused, or feel fuzzy. Without the swelling, and the heat I get. Or the soreness from the fluid I sometimes get in it.

I want to feel “Normal” in my head again, that is my biggest wish.

“Okay” says my Psychologist, “then that’s what we will work on”.

I feel a mixture of emotions, my stomach is flipping. Do I feel happy? Do I feel sad, upset, let down? I feel all of these things.

I question what he means, answer – that we will work on trying to stop some of my head movements, and hopefully reduce some of the spasms and attacks. No promises, only hope to make it a bit better.

“I cannot promise that I can stop or reduce any of the pains in your head” says my Psychologist. (I am gutted, it probably showed on my face).

What about the rest of my bodies movements? – Well, I am told I may just have to learn to live with them.

I say that if he can stop some of my head problems, then I can live with the rest, with my disabilities. It is the only choice I have, and to have a clearer head means that I will be better able to cope with the rest of my body anyway, doesn’t it?

No answer, not really…..only time will tell.

We also discuss my mood, how on the “Wimbledon scale test” he did on me in the assessment appointment it showed me to have both “Clinical Anxiety” and “Clinical Depression”. That we would look at trying to improve my mood.

So we discuss my “GOALS”

  1. Reduce pain in head and head symptoms
  2. Improving my mood

We looked at the “STRESSES” I had gone through over time

  • Bereavements
  • Divorce
  • Work pressures
  • The way that my symptoms have developed over time.

That I am trying hard to understand.

That with my Facebook Groups, Twitter and my Blog and the web, I feel I have a support network.

My homework to have ready for the 2nd session, was to think back over the last few years from 2006 to now. To consider each years months, and give a stress rating from 0-10 for each.

This would give him an idea of the areas that my stress was high, the reason why, and what to work on.

He told me not to spend too long a time on it, about ten minutes. (Ha I knew immediately it would take me a lot longer than that!).

So I went away with a lot of mixed feelings, but with a hope of my head problems being reduced.

I had been given some hope.

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    • Andrea on February 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Paula,
    I am so sorry you have been diagnosed with this disorder too. I also remember the shock the day I was diagnosed, never mind knowing anything about it, I had never even heard of it! I also was told to just google a name of a Dr!
    A Dr Stone, his site is this is a medical site with information overload on it, so I advise to read it a page or two at a time, but it’s a fantastic site full of information about our disorder just very clinical.
    I hope that my site helps you too, it is building slowly as I am of course not well so don’t spend too much time on it. I have hopefully put on enough information for you to get an understanding of the basics, enough to start to get a grasp on what you have been diagnosed with. I of course do it all from the patients view point, from the suffering and having to deal with it.
    I also do a blog which you may find useful, my blog has been going for a lot longer and has lots. Information on it too. You can find it at you will notice it is called Dystonia Sufferer, as I started with Dystonia Blepharospasm in my left eye and left sided Hemifacial spasms. My Drs thought the rest was also Dystona at first and misdiagnosed me, until I was seen by a Movement Specialist Consultant Neurologist who eventually diagnosed me properly.
    Please feel free to ask questions, if I can help I will 🙂

    • Paula Fields on February 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you. I was diagnosed today and was told to go home and research. This helps

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