Recovery of my Emotions

When I was suffering with the burden of social anxieties, survival was all I cared. I was terrified of my fears and anxieties that I tried to suppress my emotions.  I reasoned that if I felt nothing, then fear should pop up less.  However, this did not work for me.

Sometimes I tried to fight my anxieties. This might work for a few seconds, but I would get an adrenaline burst, then things would just fall apart. Sometimes I would try to be passive and stay limp, but I would just end up suffering in silence.

In year 1992 I started seeing a psychologist. At my first appointment with my therapist I dumped a lot of my sad stories on her. I probably cried a river during that session. I was a little embarrassed, but I felt quite relieved afterwards.

If tears could make me feeling better, then I realized that I might not need to suppress my emotions. Rather, I wished to experience emotions like normal people do.

I had one book that my therapist recommended me to read, and it had a practice on how to uncover emotions. When I initially read it it sounded far-fetched to me. I was supposed to lie on a bed, and be very relaxed. After reaching this point then I should prompt myself to bring out my feelings.

After a while I felt an emotion starting to emerge. I was feeling a very strong sense of anger coming out; I was raging against all the suffering that I had to go through. The unfairness of it! My anger was so strong that I was literally shaking.

I felt a different emotion wanting to come out. It was sadness. I felt all the sadness when I was forced to be by myself without friends. This was also very intense and overwhelming. I had another bout of crying.

After my emotions subsided I felt more peaceful and more hopeful for a reason that I could not explain. I vowed to experience all my emotions as they were, and no longer suppress them.

I told my experience to my therapist in the next session. She did not criticize my rashness, but commented that I did very well, and that I might begin to recover soon. I felt happy after hearing that news.

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Causes of Anxiety Disease

Do you know that almost one out of five people are dealing with some issues of anxiety? Anxiety related issues need not be a disease that are hidden from other people.  With this many people going through the same problems we should able to share our personal experiences and help people dealing with anxieties.

For anxiety to reach clinical level of severity it usually follows a set sequence of progressions.

Stress

Any life event that introduce stress into our life could become the originator of anxiety problems.  Many people acknowledge stressful situations and successfully deal with them.  It is when we pretend that the stress does not exist that we can get into trouble.

Suppression of Negative Emotions

Perhaps we have been taught that we must persevere to combat through challenges, or that we must be strong in all conditions.  This could cause us to sweep the stress under the rug.  The accumulated stress, tension, and anxiety are still present, but they are held back by the strength of our will.  In the short term this approach allows us to combat through difficulties.  However, we can only hold back stress for a limited amount of time until all that hidden emotions come back out with great force.

Negative Self-Talk

When we suffer a performance failure due to exposed anxiety we can come under a pattern of thinking called “Negative Self-Talk”.  Some of it can even sound logical.  If we had difficulty performing under one condition, such as hiding a bus, then we might believe that we will always have difficulties riding a bus.  Such negative self-talks can make our anxieties worse than what it might have been.

An Incidence of Panic Attack

When we face unbearable stressful situations there is a chance that we can suffer a physical reaction known as a panic attack.  I remember one time I had a panic attack on the university campus.  I was just walking toward my next class, but I noticed some students looking at me.  I must have thought they found me abnormal in some ways.  A sudden fear gripped me, and I felt an unbearable panic building up.  I just had to get out of that situation in a hurry.

Avoidance Behavior

With the experience of a panic attack, suffers of anxiety disease starts to avoid certain activities that have previously triggered panic attacks.  However, coping by hiding does not really address some of the root issues.

Treatments are Usually Effective

Fortunately, once people with anxiety problems seek professional help they can find effective treatments.  There are medications that eases panic symptoms.  Often an experienced psychologist can treat anxiety disease without medications.  We just need to learn to deal properly the factors that are the source of our problems.