emotional disregulation?

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emotional disregulation? 2013-07-09T21:37:52+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Venting! emotional disregulation?

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  • #120892
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    sdwa
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    Post count: 363

    Is that what they’re calling it these days?

    How one stupid comment someone makes, one facial expression, one glimmer of attitude, one hint of judgment or condemnation, can throw me off and ruin my whole day, and make me not want to leave the house. And I don’t know what to do about it. Can’t fix that.

    What do YOU do when you feel like this? (Not what should I do, but what do you do that works?)

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    #120895
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    kc5jck
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    SDWA – You bring up a good topic.   There are probably many who have the same issue.

    I have been reading your posts and sympathize with you.  I haven’t responded because I haven’t had any constructive ideas or comments and didn’t think my sarcastic humor appropriate.

    There are several ways I deal with the issue you bring up.

    I don’t consider myself a bad person.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t screw up or say things that I later regret.  Every one does at one time or another, and I am not alone in this.  While people are certainly justified in reacting to such lapses in my judgement, doesn’t necessarily mean  that I am deserving of their chastising or wrath.  (I believe all this applies to you as well SWDA.)

    So I first try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that maybe I misunderstood what was said to me or the glance they sent my way.  Perhaps they are having a bad day and need a dog to kick.  I’m OK with that, if it makes them feel better.

    If that doesn’t work, I think, “Well, if they can’t take a joke . . .”  Or as Steve Martin would say, “WELL, EXCUSE ME.”  Generally what bothers me more is not what was said to me, but the thought that I may have upset or offended them.

    Perhaps, becauset I don’t get offended by the remarks or actions of others, I am . . strange.  Or perhaps it is because I freely and instantly forgive and forget.  Which is perhaps also strange.  But what I’ve heard is – “that the greatest benefit in forgiveness is for the one forgiving, not the forgiven.”  It just makes for less baggage to carry around.  Even if for a day.

    These are a couple of ways I address this issue, and feel that I am happier in doing so.

    OR .  .  .   perhaps its because I just don’t give a #$%^ anymore.  (The truth be known!)

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    #120899
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    kc5jck
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    Another thing,

    I try to retain control of my happiness.  If I let others ruin my day, then I am giving up control to them.   That’s something I prefer not to do.

    You can’t control what happens to you, but you can, perhaps with some practice, determine how you react.  So instead of rethinking over and over the upsetting situation, I may think “he can go piss up a rope.  I’m going to go play with my cat.”

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    #120910
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    sdwa
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    That makes sense, but it’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how the mood can take on a life of its own, swallowing or coloring everything, like a cloud – huge, globally defining, obliterating. The BIGNESS of it. Not thinking, not attitude – EMOTION. And what you do to manage that part of it when it gets bigger than everything, bigger than you, bigger than the world. Because most of the time, I am drowning in it, and I can’t make it stop.

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    #120913
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    sdwa
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    Maybe other people don’t have this experience. My concerns include things like getting stuff done, or getting work, or being productive, or getting along with people, etc., but if I did not absolutely feel like hell constantly, it would be a lot easier to manage all of those things. It’s not necessarily depression. I’ve had bouts of major depression before. I am not bi-polar, because, trust me, there is only one pole.

    I’m not crazy, and I’m not stupid.

    The problem is that when something triggers a bad mood…I can’t make it go away. It can take hours or days to recover and get back to normal. I can’t just decide to cheer up or pull myself together. That thing is a freight train and it’s going to keep going until it runs out of steam…which could take all week. I don’t know how long.

    I lose HUGE chunks of time to this.

    Not many people talk about ADHD and mood problems or emotional management. It is the single most crippling aspect of my life. Forgetting things, or being disorganized, or not paying bills, etc. – that stuff is MINOR compared to this. It’s all-encompassing. I can’t think or do anything useful or be around other people. Can’t process information. It’s like having a screaming baby and being up all night, walking, talking, and singing to it until maybe, eventually, finally, it goes to sleep. It’s exhausting.

    I never know when I’m going to be side-swiped with devastating emotions. If I could do anything about it intellectually, I would have done it a long time ago.

    I work so hard to maintain emotional balance…and then some stupid thing happens that screws everything up and it happens all over again.

    Some things that help a little: Exercise. Sleep. Protein. Supplements. Comedy. Change of scene.

    But it’s a HUGE management problem.

    Am I really the only person here who goes through this?

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    #120914
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    Carrie
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    This only happens, well happened, to me once a month… Anti-depressants cured that! Anything would set me off like you described, could be ANY little thing and I was on a rampage for the rest of the day… I went from angry to depressed, to angry, to depressed. But anti-depressants have fixed that. I cant imagine life without them…

    If I am in a general sour mood, “some things that help a little” Comedy is what I use.. and I make sure im not hungry. I turn on youtube and look for things I find funny. It really does lighten my mood. Distraction works well with me. When its just a little thing that sets me off – luckily I have the memory of a goldfish and usually forget why I was mad in the first place.

    I used to go through that. It seemed PMS was just finishing when the cycle started all over again. About one week of the month I would say my emotions were “stable”. It is hard to focus on everything else when emotions are in the way. THAT I completely understand!

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    #120915
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    Carrie
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    @KC – I always look forward to reading your sarcastic remarks! xD

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    #120916
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    seabassd
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    @sdwa, I can sense your frustration with this. I’m still working on the emotions thing. In all honesty the tool I use most is isolation. If I’m not around people then I don’t have to experience the feelings they bring up for me. My goal is to move away from this.

    I think people are so important. I experienced the need for connecting when I went into treatment following an arrest back in 95 in which I spent a year in a halfway house. There was a really good 2-3 years that I had during this recovery period and people and the faith they passed on to me saved me.

    Let me be honest about myself for a second and maybe you can find something that you can relate to and not feel so alone in this. My routine for much of my adult life and youth has been to work and then go home and never or very rarely speak to another sole. I avoid people even to the point that when I lived in an apartment I would listen for people in the hall near my apartment just so I could slip out without talking to neighbors. Sure there were times when I could be around people but it was the exception to the rule.

    Work offered more than enough people interaction than I could almost bare. Any comment, look or action from another that I perceived as negative towards myself could send me into a bout of rumination. It wouldn’t even need to have anything directly to do with me. Maybe I just saw something in someone else that I also saw in myself that I deemed immoral, strange, goofy, stupid, etc. This could send me into a emotional downward spiral as well. I’ve had some pretty dark periods. It feels vague in some ways, like I don’t remember the heaviness of those depressive bouts. How I made it to work at all is beyond me. I drank a lot of coffee and energy drinks. Fortunately I never touched alcohol or drugs during these periods. It was like I knew the answer wasn’t in self-medicating with alcohol.

    Feelings are a tough one. In one way I deny them and in another way I over-react to them. It’s a real dichotomy. I think I’m starting to see feelings a little differently than I use to. I let myself experience them. I don’t judge them I just recognize that they are there. The reality is I feel hate, infatuation, anger, frustration, jealousy, lust, rage, etc. I don’t know if the emotions are extreem or normal or what rating to give them on a normal scale, I just know that they’re there. I don’t want them to control me and I don’t want to be so controlling that I become robotic.

    I’ve been trying to release these feelings in a positive way. This usually means that I go to the soccer field when no one is around and take out all my frustrations on the ball. Sometimes I cry when I’m out there, sometimes I rage. I just get the feelings out. I do keep a lookout for people because they may not understand my little therapy session. I also retain some control. I don’t need to act like a madman to get the benefits. Another thing I do sometimes is just get in my car , get on an open road and scream as loud as I can. Again, I do this safely. Never taking my eyes off the road and never when cars or pedestrians are near and always with some control. I set a time limit as well.  Note: I do have a therapist I can call on if things get a little shaky.

    Where do all the feelings come from, I’m not sure, but it’s something I’m working on. ADHD plays a role…no doubt, so do the other issues I’m dealing with. I know that people are a conduit for answers. Mental health practitioners and counselors  have been helpful. I also think faith plays a role. I don’t really like the term “spiritual”, it’s a little too new age for me, and I don’t really like the extreem guilt I’ve felt with religious faiths. Right now, it’s just a simple prayer and then some action.

    One more thing. I don’t trust that negative voice in my head. Its bad news! I also keep an eye out for extreem thinking. Things like…”I’m all bad”, “I’m all good”, “I need to be perfect to be liked” or “They have to accept me or I’m no good” stuff like that.

    One thing my therapist told me is “Never give up, you don’t know what the future will hold, your outlook may be different when you get there.”

    Another thing a therapist told me “What you need to do is work on developing purpose.  Right now your purpose may be to get better, which is good, but you need more (or perhaps you already have). We all need something to strive for.”

     

    That’s all I’ve got. I’ve got a long way to go, but I can tell that I’m starting to make positive changes. I can feel these changes taking place at the core.

    People, People, People…Faith, Faith, Faith.

     

    Wishing you the best,

    Damon

     

     

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    #120919
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    kc5jck
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    Carrie – I’m sure you do, but then again, you’re weird.  Actually I am too.  In fact probably everyone on this site is, some more and some less.  Anyway, we all like hearing from you too.

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    #120920
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    sdwa
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    Wow. Thanks, you guys. This is amazing.

    @ Carrie:

    Antidepressants don’t work for me with this, but I definitely notice that being hungry leads to bad things.

    Having a comedy archive around for emergencies is good.

    Putting together some kind of portable crisis management kit is probably a good idea.

     

    @ seabassd:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I see a lot of myself in that…when I was in my twenties -black-out drinking, drugs, miscellaneous high-risk situations.

    Isolation can bring relief but also lead to the nutty stuff getting bigger than it needs to be.

    I appreciate what you say about “faith.”  The term “spirituality” is too New Agey for me as well, but religion can be oppressive, judgmental, asking the impossible. That said, praying like hell seems to help at times.

    Why such a big job just to be a person and get through the day? The actual demands of life: not a big deal by comparison.

    So, last night I was totally wrecked. I was not going to get anything done. I just went to bed.  The whole time – racing thoughts, free-associating every conceivable disaster – things that could happen, as well as things that could only happen in an alternative universe – all of them devastating, frightening, leaving me feeling powerless, paralyzed, and persecuted. They take on a life of their own.

    Somewhere in the midst of that, I know that not much of it is rational or real. The things that are real I could probably deal with if I didn’t feel so bad. The things that aren’t real could kill me, because that swamp is so painful and deep and wide and huge that at times it is just not worth it. If I didn’t have kids, I might not bother. For what?

    So, I tried to find that tiny sliver of silence where I know what’s happening is that my brain is doing unnecessary work. Toxic Overdrive.  I tried to find “God” (or whatever you want to call it) in that space. And just say hey, You know,  Creator of the Universe or whatever Your Name is, I can’t deal with this. You handle it. You figure out all the answers to what everyone else is thinking or doing. You figure out how these alternate realities are supposed to work. You figure out how I’m going to survive, stay employed, pay my bills. It’s too much for me, so I’m just going to lie here and let You figure it out. It’s Your show, Buddy. Sometimes I will get the feeling that “God” (or descriptor of your choice) is going to handle it, and I try to let go. The noise doesn’t stop, but it takes off some of the pressure.

    Anything that can create a shift is good. Sometimes I’ll walk for miles but I don’t really want people to see me walking around crying…and it doesn’t help that much.

    Finally I fell asleep, and when I woke up, things were quieter. But there’s always a corner of my mind that wants to jump up and do it all over again.

    What I’ve learned about myself in the past couple of years is that all the insane stories that go through my mind – all of the invented disaster – could be turned into real stories, and that I might be a writer. If I can’t fight those voices and win, having a way to channel the noise would be a great thing.

    I look at these writers who complain about writer’s block and how they don’t know how to get in touch with their “muse”…and I think I wish I had that problem, because my “muse” assaults and kidnaps me on a daily basis. If that’s how it’s going to be, can something good come of it? Please? Is there utility to this?

    I have also tended to be solitary because I can’t take being around other people. I avoid groups because I know that someone will say or do something that’s going to scare me, make me feel threatened, angry, offended, indignant…or I’ll see judgment or criticism that might or might not be there,  or feel excluded and unwanted, or get confused about what’s going on and it will be embarrassing and frustrating. I am likely to say or do something I regret, or walk away feeling like a failure, feeling wrong, defective, beyond hope. I already know, for a fact, that if I go into that type of situation, I will have a bad experience. It’s not a question. I can’t control it.  People who think I should be able to control it piss me off. As if anyone would choose this.

    I’ve done similar things to what you describe – thinking I might have to interact with someone, I’d purposely go the other way, shut the door, hide, pretend not to be home – to avoid having their energy in my space. I never answer my phone.

    It’s crummy, because I have kids, and wish I could do normal things like attend PTA meetings, but I can’t. I can’t be part of a community because there is nowhere I can go where people won’t freak out if I’m weird. I used to like to go to AA meetings, a long time ago, because I knew no one would kick me out, and I wouldn’t be any weirder than anyone else, and people learn to speak for themselves at those meetings. They learn to own their own issues. It’s a good skill.

    It helps to have non-judgmental people around, the kind who can be mellow, and can handle my intensity. They are hard to come by, but do exist. I need friends with the crisis management skills of a Navy Seal and the serenity and emotional resilience of the Buddha. People who can tolerate me being freaked out, which I almost always am, without getting freaked out themselves.  They can have a grounding and centering effect – help chase away some of those demons, put things in perspective, shrink the giant black cloud down to dust-bunny size.

     

     

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    #120921
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    Carrie
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    @sdwa – I like the sounds of a “portable crisis kit” hahahaha Thats really awesome! Ive always wanted to make a “bag of wonders” but never had anything to put in it… instead I have a lot of neat looking bags! Mine would include food. My husband packs snacks for me in case… I couldnt care less about my snippy moods, but for some strange reason he does 😉 I hope things work out and you can figure out the root of this problem 🙁 You sound like me in my early twenties… drink a lot and did many many drugs. Bleh.

    @KC – I love the fact everyone is a little “weird” here. Home is it not?

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    #120925
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    trashman
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    You people have all described me to a Tee!!!!! if you put all of your insanity into one package then you will get a good insight into my life. I don’t know how to help, but Thank-You for all pointing  out that I am not the only odd duck in the flock!

    I spend a lot of time  wishing that my wife would leave so that she can have some kind of a life! then I hurt my own feeling thinking about that. I know stupid but , that’s how insane I am.its at this point when my world gets very dark and I start wishing  for DEATH!!! so far no luck.

    ps sorry for the downer . but it is honest!!!!

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    #120926
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    seabassd
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    Welcome @trashman,

    You reached out to others, and that’s awesome. Thanks for being honest and sharing your feelings.

    No way are you alone! That’s the crap our minds feed us from time to time. Just think a few days ago you were thinking that no one could relate to you and today you see that that’s simply not true.  That’s why it’s a bad idea to throw in the towel. You never have all the info. I’ve been in some deep dark holes and come out on the other side.

    Just a note: Back in the day I remember picking up the phone and calling a Hotline to help me. I’m not saying that you’re there. You’re just letting us know how you feel. Keep doing that…I do.

    Here’s a number, just in case. I keep this kind of stuff on hand along with my therapist number, etc. along with a list of things that have worked for me in the past that I can activate if my mood takes a nose dive.

    Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

     

    Again…Welcome,

    Damon T.

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    #120934
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    kc5jck
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    Post count: 846

    Response to Carrie Ann’s “Good Song”  .  .  .  Just to let the guys above know that everyone has bad times and they’re not alone.  And as seabassd says “We’re here for you.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRzhflMkGLg

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    #120935
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    Carrie
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    @trashman – Good to see you again! 🙂 I know that feeling all too well…. I would try to do things to get my husband to leave for the same reason. I once told him that he doesn’t deserve someone like me and how I felt like such a burden… who wants to take care of their depressed wife? You feel like a real nutcase at times… more often than not!

    @KC – “Carrie-Ann’s good song”? Do you mean me? Did you know im a “Carrie-Ann” *shifty eyes* I always sing that song when my kids are pouting and throwing pity parties. hahahaha

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