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Tue Mar 19, 2013, 03:58 PM

Emotions fight dirty

Diagnosed with depression 30+ years ago but dealing with it much longer, I've gotten pretty good at using my intellect to keep me in check. I'm in the middle of an episode, disabled for a few weeks. I get myself to the doctor, take my meds, avoid situations that would upset me. But my fucking depression does everything it can to shut down my intellect, it wants full control of me.

I'm in a pit, but most reading this group already know what that's like so I needn't describe my misery. Just thought I would throw out that bit about the emotions versus the intellect in fighting this disease in case anyone wants to chat about it.

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Reply Emotions fight dirty (Original post)
Betsy Ross Mar 2013 OP
elleng Mar 2013 #1
libodem Mar 2013 #2
hunter Mar 2013 #3
get the red out Mar 2013 #7
BainsBane Mar 2013 #4
Betsy Ross Mar 2013 #5
BainsBane Mar 2013 #6

Response to Betsy Ross (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 04:19 PM

1. Yes, they do, Betsy Ross.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 04:56 PM

2. Can be a bit of the chicken and egg debate

But my view is that the self talk drives the emotional response. It is very important to talk positive to yourself even if you don't really believe it. Fake it, 'til you make it.

Use those goofy affirmations you've heard of. You are good enough, smart enough, capable and lovable enough, and darn it, people like you.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 07:20 PM

3. My intellect always dives into the pit along with my emotions.

Then there's a three way battle to see who can drag me in deeper: emotion, intellect, or OCD.

OCD usually wins, which is no bad thing because it keeps me alive. In my worst state emotion and intellect wouldn't care if I was dead, but OCD knows dead people can't do OCD stuff. I think that's why Sesame Street's "The Count" is undead. If he was dead he couldn't count.

"Fake it 'til you make it" doesn't work for me. I can fake it until I disintegrate. If anything, I'm too good at faking it.

What does work is meds.

"Talk therapy" for me is always about climbing out of the burning wreckage of my worst crashes and then, later on, learning to live with the scars.


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Response to hunter (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 09:00 AM

7. That's me

I ALWAYS have that three way battle, but my OCD can hijack the intellect and twist it against me since I have that OCD "pure" variety that's such a head-job. Sometimes I can get so into my head that I get sick to my stomach.

Yea, the "Count" can't do OCD stuff if he's dead, so he's "undead"; I like that, it applies to me for sure.

I faked it for 18 years and strangely enough, I didn't make it Part of that time I lived like the Count, the undead walking, thinking I was ok so long as the "episodes" came to an end without me letting anyone know what was going on inside me. Stealth was the most important thing to me because if someone knew I wasn't in good mental condition I would be "defeated" and thought of as "unsuccessful" or "bad".

Meds worked, I felt alive for the first time in so, so long......

Talk therapy lets me dig out of my holes and helps me to stop blaming myself for every damn emotion and thought. I was in middle age before I ever found anyone who comprehended what OCD was, and I saw a Psychiatrist for the first time when I was 18. People who get upset because there are more and more mental illnesses listed hasn't begged a Psychiatrist for help, described their thoughts in every detail, only to have them stair at you like you have three heads and they've never heard such nonsense in their lives.

To the OP: HANG ON through the episodes. Just hang on until the meds kick in, the talking helps, or new meds are tried (if needed). I tried pulling myself up by the bootstraps until I just wanted to strangle myself with them and leave this world. HANG ON.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Original post)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 09:12 PM

4. I think the goal is to balance emotion and reason

rather than banishing emotion. I have found that fighting emotions tends to deepen their intensity and worsen their negative effects on me. There is a concept called wide mind from Dialectical Behavior Therapy that explains the idea of balancing emotion and reason.

http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/wise_mind.html

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 19, 2013, 11:59 PM

5. I committed myself to attend DBT sessions

for six months. Six months and a day and I was out of there. This is not a balancing act; this is using reason to get treatment and protect myself during a depressive episode. The emotions are bogus, generated by mis-functioning synapses.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:04 AM

6. perhaps so

but that you feel them makes them real. In my experience, what is more destructive is the thoughts associated with the emotions rather than the emotions themselves. I have found if I ease up on myself for feeling what I do, and just allow myself to feel the emotion, name it and try to understand it a bit, it goes away more quickly.

I suffer from severe and persistent major depression myself. I know how hard it is and I feel very badly for you. I hope you can find some relief soon.

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