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Therapy, Living with CFS and Anger

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Misfit Toy, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Laurel!! Exactly and especially when having been jacked up on Medrol (a steroid) for days. That medicine has made me nuts, but I am now coming off of it. This infection is in your head....literally. Of course, I am angry! And with no diagnosis for too long, to boot. I look like a hot mess. Seriously, I look like that thing on top of a pencil that you rotate with your hands and its' hair is all over.
  2. No_more_pain

    No_more_pain A Lonely Pretend Writer

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    Do you think those hairy pencil topper things feel the same way with a pencil shoved up into their heads?

    Hmmm.
  3. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Spit, I am sure he is still seeing patients, and I bet you're the kind of patient he'd like to see.

    It seems one of his more recent books is fully shared on scribd.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/29201998/The-Wisdom-of-Sam-by-Daniel-Gottlieb-Ph-D-chapter-one
    When we are dealt an injustice, it comes as a shock tothe system. A number of times, I have been asked to describe
    the car accident that le?t me a quadriplegic. What I learned,
    some time after the accident, was that an entire wheel andtire had broken loose from an oncoming truck, ?own across
    the road, and landed on the top o? my car. My only memory
    of that momentand the answer I giveis simply this: Iwas hit by a black thing.After that, life as I knew it was forever changed. But Ialso believe it is an accurate metaphor for what happens toall of us when we experience trauma. A black thing comesout of nowhere, and in an instant life is altered. Isnt thiswhat happens when we experience a divorce or the deathof a loved one? In an instant, we are in the grip of a disasterthat destroys the world as we know it. One moment, we arewalking down the sidewalk on a sunny day, and the nextmoment there is no sidewalk. No sun. And no day. Onlydarkness.Afterward comes confusion and terror. But somewherein the mix, most of us experience a silent rage because we

    THE WISDOM OF SAM
    6
    ?eel something has been
    done
    to us or
    taken
    ?rom us against
    our will. As we carry that rage, we look for a target and yearnfor justice. I spent over a year with seething rage that wasdirected toward the truck driver, having violent and sadistic
    ?antasies. Then I ?ound out that a tire and rubber company
    was the cause of my accident, and I wished a lifetime of unhappiness for those who contributed to my suffering. Thetruth is, for most of us, justice represents just one thingtheability to reclaim what we have lost. It is the longing forwhat we had yesterday or the day before.And, of course, when we try to pursue justice that way,we fail. Every time.
    The Spitfire likes this.
  4. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    I don't think anger is not necessarily a bad thing. For me it gets me by without having to see doctors. I am not angry with anyone except doctors. I am lucky in that I have a family that has been pretty awesome lately. I now see my doctor once or twice a year only. She lets me call in to refill my prescriptions. When I get up in the morning sometimes anger is the only thing I have to get me going and into the shower so I can get ready. I have a desire to prove them wrong (doctors that is). It is weird because I used to have a reputation at the doctors office for going too much and now it is the opposite. Now I have in my file that I push myself too hard (because I was working two weeks after my surgery with a post op infection) and I get lectures to come in more often and not to push myself. It's also because one time I went in and I had a sinus infection that extended all the way up to my cranium (I have 3 sinus cavities). I had waited too long apparently. What they don't realize is I felt the same as I always do - like crap. I couldn't tell the difference and had no idea i had either.

    Anyway, I agree with the person who said they would take anger any day over sadness or depression. I think sometimes you need it to get by. If I didn't get angry once in a while I wouldn't get out of bed. I know my situation is different then others, though. I am also lucky in that I can still do some things that others cannot do.

    Of course the whole not seeing doctors could get me in trouble some day because I could be really sick and not realize it. But, when I went in all the time they did not take me seriously anyway.
  5. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Mya...I love your quote! You know, I am not as mad at doctor's as I should be. I am more angry at the government. I just tend to think with all of their book smarts, these intellectuals really are quite stupid.

    It's so good to have support. For me, that doesn't happen too much, with having support. I have people who care about me and love me, but going to pick up a medicine doesn't happen by members in my family. I do it. I do it all, which pisses me off.

    Luckily, I have a really good friend in my life right now, who knows a boat load about fixing things. Computers, light fixtures, you name it. He just can't fix me!
  6. john66

    john66 Senior Member

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    Hi Spitfire, I like the thread, thanks for posting it. I just posted about starting MAF yogurt-and feeling very pissed off. Sometimes I feel as If I am dead and this is just a form of hell. It reminds me of the prison in the movie Midnight Express, where they just walk in circles every day-and there is only one direction to walk.


    I have tried so many thins and like you have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get worse than whee I started. I agree with you on the doctors situation-recently I asked for nimodipene, and I got the eye rolling, since its a relatively harmless Calcium channel blocker and you cant use it to get high he gave it to me, mostly to dismiss me and shut me up. Like I just look up obscure drugs and test because I have nothing better to do.

    My mother broke her hip last september and it has been up to me to take her to all of her therapy and see that all of her needs are met. If it were up to my useless siblings she would have starved to death or been put in a home. All of them pretend CFS doesnt exist. I get tired of putting the happy face on for the world, of not having the energy to hold my head up, especially putting on the happy face to doctors and having to beg for compassion and proper treatment......
  7. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    John, your family sounds like mine. I am my mom's caretaker. My siblings are totally useless in this arena, in particular...one. I am beyond upset about it. He always says, "I work, I have a job." Well, I do too...it's just not a 9-5, but I am not making 6 figures..so there's the difference.
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I personally think depression feels far worst then anger. Anger thou can get one into a ton more trouble thou with others or in life. Anger could stop a person getting the medical treatment one needs.

    I was getting so angry I ended up physically lashing out at people... I even hit the guy who mows my lawns. (He'd arrived drunk with a mate of his and got rather loud and aggressive/threatening at me.. with my noise intollerance and issues I couldnt handle this situation so ended up without even realising I was going to do it, hitting him... to which he then was going to go to the cops about).

    Anger can have people avoid a person even more then depression will make people avoid someone.

    Anger can be a self preservation emotion .. and actually good at times but bad at other times. Anger can be also a form of denial.

    Anger I find can help block how I really on a deeper level feel about something and block it out soo deeply that I wont even be aware of the other deeper feelings. (I prefer to get angry then cry.. I was brought up in a family which saw crying as being weak, if I cried I was told "dont cry" or "stop it". I learnt not to cry from a very young age).

    Yes we all certainly have the right to be angry at the shocking ME situation.... but we should also ask ourselves if an anger is helping us or not. It is wise to fully understand it rather then let it blindly guide. Sounds like you need a therapist who can help you without angering you. (I have a lovely one who has only ever really annoyed me once.. therapists can anger me very very easily with some of the stupid stuff they say).

    You dont need me to tell you that you do come across very angry (Ive noticed it too in your other posts in past). It becames a life issue whether you care about this or not, when it starts interfering with your communications with others and they end up getting the wrong belief that you are actually angry at them rather then the whole ME mess situation.

    This happens between me and my boyfriend too.. I can get very angry at the whole ME stuff and he can end up thinking my anger is at him.. when Im just expressing it out (and Im not mad at him). I really need to watch the way I communicate my anger at things at times.

    Anger isnt always an effective way for communication but I personally find it can help me release my feelings (in my own case allowing myself to get angry dont intensify my anger.. but everyone is different so I cant say how things are for you).

    Anger is often the only way I stand up for myself when Im put in a bad situation... its really a poor coping stategy of mine so Im trying to learn better communication methods for getting messages across when Im in face to face situations with another. (I work with my therapist on what I could of better said in certain situations so that I could be better understood and hence "heard).

    No one really "hears" us when it comes to ME.. except others with the illness. So possibly we may want to yell and scream to be heard and feel angry, we ARE often angry and do have every right to be but often it dont work for our best interests.
    ........

    I dont know if you are aware of it or not..but you come across to me to be a very "black and white" thinker (unless it is anger which has makes you come across this way to me). Im a black and white thinker myself. People who have this kind of thinking process (there is nothing wrong with it, its just different way of thinking to the norm) can thou react/feel more strongly to things and others understand us less due to their minds working differently to black and white ways of thinking. Ive had to find therapists to fit my way of thinking.
    TheMoonIsBlue likes this.
  9. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Anger can be a great catalyst for change. The worst thing about our anger is that, unlike AIDS patients, we don't have the energy or the focus to channel it effectively.
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Anger can also make someone not wish to change what one oneself does.
  11. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Thanks Spitfire, I like it too.

    Tania, I agree that anger can be a bad thing when you take it out on other people. I don't take mine out at home ever but I find myself getting angry at work. I work in an area that mostly men work in and I live in a very conservative state. I am one of three women who work there full time now (out of about 40 people). I find that when new men come in they try to take my hours, my vehicle, etc. Before we went and filed a gender discrimination report they were actually taking our hours and hired for full time positions before the women who had worked there longer.

    When anyone tries to pull the same thing now I start out by letting them know why they are not going to get away with it and then if the behavior keeps up sometimes I yell at them. It is kind of an ongoing joke with one of my bosses. He has started to warn certain employees that they should not mess with me or they will find out why. I wonder sometimes if it is the frustration with the illness and not the frustration with work and discrimination that causes me to get angry. I might be able to handle it better if I did not get angry. The problem is that so far it has worked well for me.
  12. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Tania. I used to be a gray thinker. I am not as much anymore. For me, it's definitely the illness. I am in perimenopause and as Christine Northrup says, "Perimenopause makes things that used to be tolerable, not so much now. Things that you used to tolerate, you won't be able to anymore."

    I am glad in a sense that that has changed for me, that I won't tolerate things as much because in the past....that very gray extreme of trying to understand everything and making allowances all of the time, did nothing but hurt me tremendously. I allowed behavior that I should not have.

    As far as family..I never lash out at them. EVER. Which, is somewhat of a problem. But, with my family...there is no getting them to come around even if you talk and explain; they just don't give a shit. Sorry for the "curse." And...having to sort of do this dance with them makes me "angry." But...I walk away. And as long as I stay away, I am ok.

    And to you Tania, I come on here to vent and learn...I am not giving anyone on here a blow by blow of the good that has happened in my life before the sinus infection. I am not going to come on here and tell you or anyone in some post how my friend was here from Atlanta to visit me in September on my birthday and we went out for dinner, shopped all day long and I bought myself a Kate Spade purse because I am sure that that wouldn't go over well on here. You have to watch what you say. Oh, and my friend came back at Christmas and we did the same thing all over again but this time I had a martini. There are a lot of angry people on here that get upset if someone has a good day or has a job. They are so unwell, they become jealous and lash out. Well, I just said it. I also had a glorious time at Longwood Gardens in December, where I enjoyed myself so much with a group of strangers.

    I have never hit anyone, although that could be fun!! And I agree that anger is an issue. But as I said previously (not sure you read this) I don't need someone telling me how angry I am, like my therapist or even you because it sort of makes things worse.

    I almost feel that when someone on here says it, they are enjoying doing so and playing "therapist." Bottom line, you are only getting to know words on a screen about me. Not how much I laugh, love movies that make me laugh, or how much I laugh at myself. You don't know me and I don't know you and I can only recall bits and pieces that you have brought up about your boyfriend in the past. Something about a dysfunctional type relationship.

    The way that anger interferes with my life is not personal relationships too much. I don't scream at people. Screaming makes someone come across as crazy. I once read, "There is no reason to scream at someone, unless they are about to be hit by a bus." I believe that. I talk to people when I am upset and I do happen to have a lot of friends, even though I don't have but maybe one or two close friends.

    As stated earlier, there is anger at the situation. My situation. I don't yell, I don't scream and I don't hit people. But, it has crossed my mind! I guess you could say, I seethe at home. And by no means am I saying that makes it better. I am trying to deal with it myself because I am quite aware of how being angry can come across and I want to spare people and myself of something negative.

    A lot of the anger comes from just that...we as CFS people are not really able to tell, show people what it is to be sick. How hard it is, all that we have to deal with etc. So instead of flipping out when something lousy is happening..we have to remain level headed which is starting to piss me off when I have a doctor who misdiagnosis me and wants to put me on Neurontin and Restoril for my lack of sleep due to a sinus infection that he swears is a virus. And even when I tell him it's not a virus, his response is always the same, "It started as a virus." WHATEVER...
  13. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    "He whom the gods would destroy, first they make angry."

    I always liked that quote. I have a temper, and I can get angry. I think anger is good short-term when one uses it to fuel change--any kind of change, even internal shifts. Loner term, anger only hurts health because of the biochemical shifts in the body. And longer term anger indicates a feeling of helplessness.

    I just avoid any doctor who says something stupid. I learned enough about that earlier in life. They're under stress from the system anyway, feeling depressed, overworked, often not allowed to prescribe what they want because insurance has muzzled them. It's a bad state of affairs generally.

    A lot of people from all different walks have talked to me and told me their stories the last year especially as we travelled and camped. Or even staying at hotels. A lot of people are unhappy, miserable even. A lot have major health problems. A lot are numbing themselves with whatever substance is appropriate to their mind (alcohol, or Rx drugs). Some know how to be contented or happy.

    I personally would like to read blog postings from you, Spit, about a good day, but I understand where you're coming from. First, when you're feeling good, you don't need online help. And besides, some who are feeling bad might feel worse, as you point out.
  14. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    "He whom the gods would destroy, first they make angry."

    I always liked that quote. I have a temper, and I can get angry. I think anger is good short-term when one uses it to fuel change--any kind of change, even internal shifts. Loner term, anger only hurts health because of the biochemical shifts in the body. And longer term anger indicates a feeling of helplessness.

    I just avoid any doctor who says something stupid. I learned enough about that earlier in life. They're under stress from the system anyway, feeling depressed, overworked, often not allowed to prescribe what they want because insurance has muzzled them. It's a bad state of affairs generally.

    A lot of people from all different walks have talked to me and told me their stories the last year especially as we travelled and camped. Or even staying at hotels. A lot of people are unhappy, miserable even. A lot have major health problems. A lot are numbing themselves with whatever substance is appropriate to their mind (alcohol, or Rx drugs). Some know how to be contented or happy.

    I personally would like to read blog postings from you, Spit, about a good day, but I understand where you're coming from. First, when you're feeling good, you don't need online help. And besides, some who are feeling bad might feel worse, as you point out.
  15. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Jen, from here on out, I will send you an email when I have a really good day. Because I do have them and anger free!!

    When I first came on here and I was writing about working and good times, I would have people comment about how lucky I was to have them, which I am. But, there was a "your lucky to have them, I never have them" stance and a basic...you should be happy for that. I can think of 2 people who came down on me because I could work, one with a personal email about how I shouldn't complain because I can work and she can't and why are you on here if you can? YEAH. You want to talk about someone having anger?

    And yes, I think everyone has some sort of anger, depression, etc. I have so many friends in my life who drink and go to happy hour on a regular basis. I have had friends that do drugs...(no longer my friends) or escape their issues by running into the arms of a man over and over again. From one to another. Which, I have to actually say that again...I have so many female friends that are with men that can take care of them. They are not with them for love, which is so interesting to me and it doesn't work out and they move on to the next.

    Right now, I am praying that the vacation that I am trying to plan for when I get better works out. I need to get out of here and go south for a bit. I need some sun and sand. That's another thing, I can't take the winter anymore. I am miserable come January. So, I am thinking of sandy beaches and Florida. Somewhere nice, a nice beach with lounge chairs and some quiet recouping away from a computer, family, doctor's, etc. I have been sort of ordered to do this by my therapist as I have not had a vacation for 5 years. I work and take care of my health, with no real reward. So....it's time to cash in.

    I think this will change my biochemistry a lot. And, I may go solo with a brief visit from a friend. The solo part doesn't bother me....one bit.
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Spitfire,

    I can't help but notice the sporadic insults that you feel is appropriate to sting us with. You are right. We don't know you and you don't know us. Why assume that we would be upset to hear that one of us is feeling better and able to enjoy life? Do you really think that we only want to hear the bad and the ugly of this illness?
    I don't know you but, I'm happy to hear that you had a good period of time. I'm truly glad for you that you went out and enjoyed doing things. It's actually heartening to hear of the possibilities that can happen to people and how the could improve with this illness.
    I hear your anger and you keep saying that it's directed to "the situation" yet, you can't help avoiding directing some of your anger towards us. Did we justify this feeling you have?
    Merry, TheMoonIsBlue and Wayne like this.
  17. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Is there any chance that your therapist is simply clarifying what's going on rather than criticizing you? It might be helpful to express how his/her observation is making you feel and to check out whether the observation really comes with the suggestion that you're not supposed to be feeling that way.

    You write, I am angry. I know it's not good for me... Does your therapist agree? (Sometimes having anger validated can help a person decide how to direct it.) If you've already checked this out, and your therapist really is putting you down rather than helping you to process your anger, then I think you have reason to be feeling angry about your therapy.
    Merry likes this.
  18. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Spit, you are, as your well chosen moniker notes, a spitfire. I like that. I also got that kind of attitude about working. Let me know where you choose in Florida. The sun and sand will be very healing! The gulf coast is supposed to be gorgeous and I know many mold sensitive folk who thought the air there was good as long as not in a condo development stretch of beach. Remember, developed areas can get problematic--cheap hotels going up, lots of hvacs, lots of mold. I thought Cocoa Beach (on the east coast) was a mold hell, the whole town, for that reason. But the ocean is healing. And you deserve a vacation. If we're anywhere in the vicinity, maybe you and I can have a girl's day out. I don't know where we'll be in March.

    That's one thing you can give yourself--some more vacations, and pick some really pristine good air--. Hope you get in touch with Dan Gottlieb. I remember when I first got slymed (really bad lyme) and I was so sick I tried a couple therapists. I concluded for me that was pretty useless and I'd just vent into diaries on the computer. One thing I might suggest is working by email with David Mickel. I did that at my lowest point. If you saw the schitt I wrote him...I let it all hang out. And he really helped me. It clarified my issues and I eventually left NY because of that work.

    I don't believe in therapy as a salve, or therapy as a mere venting (too expensive). Therapy must help give you effective tools to change what you can. And you may be able to change more than you think you can.

    I hate the therapist who gives the canned response, "You sound very angry."

    REmember that scene in Pretty Woman? Richard Gere spent tens of thousands on a therapist so he could learn tos ay, "I was very angry." And Julia Roberts wraps her legs around him and says, "Here's therapy at the bargain rate of $4000."

    Life change, happiness, is better therapy, unless it's someone who really knows what it's like from the depths (like Dan Gottlieb for instance)

    Here's hoping you have another good day very very soon.
  19. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins PJ Princess

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    Spitfire, I'm listening, I'm hearing and I'm validating your thoughts and emotions. :hug:
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Anger can destroy or create

    This is how I see anger, for me, it might be different for others. Only you can say whether it relates to you or not.

    I first became aware of just how much anger I had some years ago. Due to some verbal abuse on the phone combined with extreme exhaustion, my anger boiled over. Normally I control my thoughts, but for just a few minutes I would have been emotionally capable of violence even if I was barely capable of standing (this only happened because of a crash).

    Anger is part of what drives my advocacy. Some of the anger is from loss of control, loss of being able to rationally relate with people. Reason is dependent on knowledge - if what you say conflicts with what they "know' or believe or suspect, then what you say is dismissed. If nothing you try works, you feel disempowered. Disempowerment can lead to depression ... but also anger. How people treat us due to their ignorance can also lead to an anger reaction.

    I think much of it is also verbal and psychological abuse. Being forced to go somewhere to deal with some matter, given how sick we are, is also physical abuse, though in this case it is psychological or financial abuse to drive us to physically abuse ourselves by doing too much. No wonder we are angry.

    Two days ago I went to the pharmacy to renew a script. I was talking to a shop assistant about supplements while waiting for the script to be filled. I left the store as they didn't have so very much, and went to another ... and forgot to come back. These are the kinds of memory issues that plague me these days. It was only yesterday that I figured out what happened. Repeat this by a thousand - and it becomes easy to see why we are angry with ourselves as well. We have expectations of ourselves that we cannot possibly meet.

    Anger also arises from isolation. Instead of a supporting network, many of us have nothing of the kind. Indeed, instead, we often have an abusive network, though it is nice to read stories about people whose family and friends are really helpful or at least trying.

    So in that sense I agree with jenbooks in post 33. Anger can be used to drive change, but that change can be harmful or useful depending on how rational it is. During the much less angry times, which is most of the time for me, I try to see a useful way forward. If anger arises then I can give it a direction.

    On black and white thinking, I cannot concentrate on multiple things. I have to focus really hard to think about things much less effectively than I used to. When focussing that hard, every other consideration is driven out of my mind. In my more cognitively capable moments is where I deal with alternatives. Thinking about alternatives, and thinking about a task, are mentally incompatible for me. They are different ways of thinking. I do one or the other. This singular focus I have on doing tasks can easily lead to "black and white" thinking. If I am focussing on task after task, and especially if very tired, this can look like black and white thinking. I don't think it is, for me, its more that other considerations are gone until I am less exhausted and my mental function is better. At those more rested times is when I do the other types of thinking.

    One thing I realized a long time ago. I should not be upset or angry about my own anger. Instead, I can use it as I see fit, though it takes time to redirect anger to something I find beneficial. Anger is natural, its part of us, its only a problem if it dominates us - and we can change that. This does not require a therapist, though the right therapist might help make it happen faster. The only things it requires is figuring out where to redirect it, and to keep redirecting thought toward that end, over and over. What should that be? That is up to each and every person to decide for themselves. Such a decision, by itself, is in a very small way empowering.

    To spitfire, anger is natural and expected. It should not be dismissed. If someone dismisses it they are emotionally running away from dealing with it. I wouldn't go to a therapist who took that approach, and I think I understand (at least in my own terms) why such a therapist could make me even more angry - your response is probably more common amongst patients than most of us realize. Many patients know anger, they just don't know what to do with it. I know one time I got very angry with someone who told me to calm down. You needed help, and the therapist was trying to say something like "don't" without guiding you as to how. This is dismissive, and unhelpful. Anger is a driving force. If you could do something of meaning to you, that is within your physical limits, is there a way you can use anger to help you do that? Once anger is directed, it is turned from harmful to useful. I would also consider finding a better therapist, maybe even get into some kind of group therapy. These approaches are not for everyone, only you can decide if something is right for you.

    The sad irony is that good therapists are much harder to find due to psychobabble. There is a profound lack of trust between most CFS and ME patients and therapists, and the psychobabble is to blame for that too.

    Best wishes, Alex

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