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I don't know where else to turn...


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I'm so tired... tired of feeling these emotions... My emotions have gone to such extremes, that on a good day, they are merely intolerable... And on the bad... they'll suck the life out of your soul. I don't know how to control, and I'm not sure if I ever did. It's not just about my week, this has always been a problem, it's just now, I don't have the will to do anything.

I guess my emotional journey started when I was ten. I was really close to my Grandmother, a sweet Irish Woman, kind and caring. I was closer to her than I was to my own parents... everyone was. When I was nine she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was too young to understand so they just told me she was sick. She went into chemotherapy and the chemo had destroyed her bone marrow... she was unable to fight off an infection that any other person could... And too old to receive a graft. I remember the last time I saw her, writhing in pain, so deep that she could not even know I was there, she didn't even react when I kissed her on the cheek, and left.

I went home and began to play in my parents room, I liked playing in there... The phone rang and I picked it up... It was my father. I had never heard him cry before... "She's gone..." I sat the phone down on the receiver... And I sat on the bed... it could have been for hours or seconds, I wouldn't know the difference... I felt nothing. I never cried...

The next couple weeks were a blur, I couldn't begin to tell you what happened with the exception of her wake and funeral. I remember laughing and carrying on. Give a secondary eulogy after my mother, following that act wasn't easy. People were offended by me, because I didn't show remorse... I didn't know how I should act.

Since then, whenever I feel emotions... they are in their greatest extremes, when I feel sad, I become completely depressed, When I become angry, I blow up on people, and emotionally abuse them. (I've never physically struck a person in my life.) When I'm happy I do really stupid things, like blow my money on things that weren't worth it, or slice my hand open in a sword fight with my friend. My jealousy becomes such that I break my hand on walls. The only safe emotion that I have is content... the lack of real emotion.

I don't know how to release my emotions before their too late, because I don't feel them until It is too late. And by that time I've done something else that I've regretted. I'm so lost and tired of feeling such extreme emotions, I've talked to so many therapist, drugs are the only thing that's ever helped, but with an HMO, a preexisting condition (UMD), and what with money so tight, I can't afford them... I don't know what to do.

- Anonymous

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I'm not sure if this will be helpful, but the thing that comes to mind for me reading this is the distinction between overcontrol and undercontrol of emotion. Most people can be classified more in one direction than the other. In your case, however, I'm gathering that you sort of are bi-modal - on the one hand you are quick tempered and quick to be moody and impulsively angry, but one the other hand, you are describing a situation where you are sitting on a load of unprocessed (or unexperienced at least) grief emotion - you are numb - and that is more on the overcontrol side of things.

Therapists often will try to ask questions and get people to talk about their feelings, and this is often a useful sort of intervention for people who are overcontrolled. On the other hand, its a fairly disasterous intervention when people are undercontrolled/impulsive/angry, as the tactic can get people to become emotionally amplified, which generally won't help such people.

I lay this out becuase, it would seem to me that the sort of thing to pursue for you would be some methods for helping you reconnect with that grief feeling - to feel it and experience it and get past it. But if that sort of thing would just get you to act impulsively, then it would be the wrong sort of intervention to recommend. So I don't know.

Often grief is conceptualized as a swing process between numb feeling and intrusive emotion feeling. So maybe that is a way to describe you?

If you think you can safely tolerate it, there are some sort of therapy techniques that help a person to reconnect with unfelt emotions. talking and writing about the episode, for one thing. Body emotion scan sorts of things. And the old Gestalt Therapy trick of talking to an empty chair - with you taking time to fully imagine that the person you need to talk to is sitting there - talking to your grandmother in this instance - can be incredibly powerful.


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Actually, it has become a ritual that every year I read the eulogy that my mother wrote to her mother in law (my grandmother). It makes me cry every time... Earlier this year I visited my grandmothers grave, I cried, I yelled, and I wrote a note, burning it ritualistically in her metal vase (not religious, just self comforting.) I have gotten over her death, it was tragic... but I have gotten over it, and since allowed myself to feel those feelings... but the damage has been done, I just don't know how to fix it.

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For years my emotions have always taken second place. I am creature of reason... I need reason and rationality to comprehend my life. However when I become emotional I lose that reason, probably because those emotions aren't reasonable.

Between emotional I dissect my emotions, this is how I learned the nature of this particular beast by logically dissecting it. But even though I have a grip on these wild emotions, logically, don't have a grip on them emotionally, they still control my life, and I can't stop them.

Recently my girlfriend left me, telling me she loves me, but can't be with me because of my jealous rage, and pathetic depression. I guess it hurts too much to be with an emotional train wreck. However much I understand this beast... I can't control it... maybe when I get back home, I'll talk to my old Psychiatrist and get back on my medical regimen.

- Anonymous

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Guest ASchwartz


Yes, getting back on the medical regimen is probably a good idea. But, psychotherapy should be included. Really, the combination of the two is sometimes the best. In your case it seems as though Cognitive Behavioral Therapy could be best so that you could learn healthier ways of thinking than jealousy.


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