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ok so i figured something out today after a year and a half of therapy (but this relisation came whilst driving in the car crying)

i have all these emotions that i have that i dont acutally "feel". i will list a couple so u get an idea of where i am coming from

grief: friend murdered

grief: friend suicided

grief:loss of all grandparents before becoming an adult

anger: at a sexual assult

anger: at a STD i recieved from an ex who betrayed me

Anger: at having to have cancer surgery as a result of STD

sadness: at the breakdown of my last relationship

rejection: from my parents at various times in life

so thats just some examples.

None of these events where life changing (in the way that a gang rape would be or something similar) but they are impacting enough that they are causing serious problems now because i didnt deal with them then. i just kind of went into my own world and stopped dealing with these issues and the reality around me.

i havent dealt with them when they occured and now i struggle everyday living in a whirlwind of emotion, swinging from highs and lows and hitting rock bottom.

they have tried medicating me to help me sort out my issues but the medication seems to have gone full circle and made no significant difference. my doctor even thinks that. hence he is referring me on to see another dr to see if there is anything else we can try.

i am dx bp2 and bpd.

how can i seperate these emotions, deal with them, feel them and move past them?? im so confused, lost and depressed cause i cant move on in my life. im stuck running in circles. please any ideas or anything now im so lost...

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Iona Viona: I have a lot of emotions that I don't feel, too, mainly from my childhood. The result is that I never learned good coping skills---so I've gone through life trying to cope like a 10 yo would---feeling fearful, hopeless, dependent, etc. and that, obviously, has caused tons of problems for me. My psychiatrist has suggested we try to get me to actually go back and get me to feel like I did when the bad things were happening to me in my childhood in order to work through them---I'm not sure what that's called. We've also tried CBT.

diane

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how can i seperate these emotions, deal with them, feel them and move past them?? im so confused, lost and depressed cause i cant move on in my life. im stuck running in circles. please any ideas or anything now im so lost...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Therapy is very good at helping you deal with these things -- but you do need to find a therapist you really get on with. As I recall you've had some trouble with that.

I'm not sure you can take them on all at once, maybe working through them one at a time. Certainly it's all more than any one person should have to endure, especially when young.

Running in circles is frustrating, and sometimes it's what we need to do. One of the things that is done for PTSD is to keep going back through the event, at different times, to desensitize you to it.

Fiona

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My path to learning to feel all the grief, rejection, heartache and so on in my life is through analytic oriented psychotherapy, three times a week....but not purely analytic (and def not all Freudian, mainly object relations oriented) also including focus on my body process and my patterns of relating.....I'm not diagnosed BPD, but I have many of the traits (including a traumatic childhood-emotional rejections from my family, having been bullied....parents rowing, and so forth)

Sounds like you're a step closer to feeling them by identifying them.....the path now is to feel safe to feel them.....which needs support, patience, encouragement, gentleness, strength and compassion-both in you and your therapist....it isn't a short journey and there are no quick fixes....and medication may help you to feel more contained and safe whilst learning to feel...that's what I've found....couldn't have touched some of these feelings I'm facing without the assistance from serotonin and norephinprine boosters in my brain.....

((hugs))

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EMDR?

I dunno.  I think perhaps you want to snap your fingers and have it all be fixed.  Sadly for all of us, it's not that easy.  It takes commitment, and hard work, usually over a period of years.

There ARE incremental improvements all along the way, but it doesn't all happen at once.

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i have tried cbt but my problem with that is i understand what they are saying but have such great difficulty applying it in real life situations. its like they say old behaviours die hard.

have you tried DBT?

DBT is really good at teaching you how to learn to be mindful of what is going on around you that is upsetting you emotionally.  it teaches you how to process each times something messes with your emotions.  when you can learn to accept, feel and work through emotional reactions to things as they happen, you don't end up with all that built up pain and anger.  when you let it build up, it sometimes explodes.  because it just comes out all of the sudden like that, emotions can be scary.  which only makes it seem like a better idea to keep repressing them.  DBT can help you learn to stop this cycle.  To process emotionally triggering input as it happens.  eventually these skills give you the power to face all of that old trauma. 

Or, at least, this is what DBT did for me.

best,

penny

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Just had to let you know I read and understand, but I too am stuck in that circle.

I was planning on doing more for myself in that way, but now pressing physical issues have cause me to be so weak and lot of testing, appointments due to that.

Please could someone explain dbt to me?

I will keep tabs see how you are doing, and as soon as can do same for self, not just write, or talk about it, but start to really get results too.

Aly

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Please could someone explain dbt to me?

I need to do a simple write up of it.

Here is a website with an in-depth description of DBT

Hopefully this weekend I'll have time to write something that's an easier explanation.

For now, I'll give a breif summary.

DBT is based upon Marsha Linehan's theories of BPD (she also invented DBT)

The idea is that borderlines do not have coping skills to deal with situations that trigger emotions.

because of this, borderlines repress their emotions and/or act them out in what linehan calls "maladaptive" ways. 

the idea is that normally, growing up, you learn how to process emotions.  borderlines did not so they come up with coping skills to keep them going.  unfortunatley, these coping skills are destructive and dangerous.

in dbt you are taught new skills.  these skills focus on being mindful of what is going on in this moment (derived from buddhism,) learning to tolerate distress, learning how to more effectivly interact with other people, and learning how to regulate your emotions. 

how this is all done is kind-of complicated.  like CBT, there are basically classes where you learn new skills.  then, with your tdoc, you work on applying those skills to your life.

but, i'll give an example of a DBT exercise. 

Say something bad happened, one DBT exercise is called a chain analysis.

Say, for some reason, you flipped out and broke a glass.

What you do in a chain analysis is try to work backwards to find out when you were emotionally triggered, why you were triggered, and what you did between the trigger and the outburst.  Then, you go over the chain and try to find where you could have done something else to prevent the outburst and deal with the trigger in a healthier way.

in the chain, you write down every step, every thought, every emotion, every feeling in your body, every action. 

the more often you do this, the more you become mindful of yourself and the world around you.

going back to the looking at the chain to find where you could have done something different, this is where skills come in.  there are a LOT of different skills (distraction, self-soothing, opposite action, etc, etc)  by using one of these skills, you can alter the progression of your emotional reaction.

this prevents major meltdowns and also allows you to really confront what it is that is upsetting you.

i'm sorry that this is such a complicated explanation.

DBT is kind-of a complicated thing.

It's about learning a whole new way of dealing with your emotions.

(which is scary as shit... but it works)

please feel free to ask me to elaborate on any of that.

hopefully i'll figure out a way to write a DBT in a nutshell post soon...

take care,

penny

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Thanks Penny and for the site. Would it also work for people that were once very outgoing and started to become very withdrawn to point of fear of leaving home, being out in any situation by self, without a say safe person as husband?

And behaviors that are more to be quiet and cry, than able to show emotions, which use to be no problem at all.

Just wondering.

Please don't feel pressure if do not have answers, just after reading post got me wanting to ask, since I do not have outward behaviors, but inwardly I know very destructive.

Aly

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Thanks Penny and for the site. Would it also work for people that were once very outgoing and started to become very withdrawn to point of fear of leaving home, being out in any situation by self, without a say safe person as husband?

And behaviors that are more to be quiet and cry, than able to show emotions, which use to be no problem at all.

Just wondering.

Please don't feel pressure if do not have answers, just after reading post got me wanting to ask, since I do not have outward behaviors, but inwardly I know very destructive.

Aly

DBT is used for things other than BPD, but i haven't read the studies on this.  (there are studies "proving" the efficacy of DBT for BPD) but it IS used for other dx's where learning coping skills would help the patient.

i'm sure you've said it somewhere on the board, but i'm WAY behind in springer land, so i don't know what triggered this change in you. 

generally DBT is designed to help people who suffered from childhood trauma. 

what you're describing sounds more like you have ptsd from a more recent event?

for ptsd some people have found EMDR to be effective. (Breeze is a good person to ask about this)

my husband is doing biofeedback for his ptsd from 9/11 (and actually took a plane a month ago, alone, and didn't have a panic attack... so i'd say it's working for him.)

if it's more agoraphobia/social phobia, some people do CBT (related to DBT, came before it)

AH HA, it seems as that if i had poked around the site a bit more, that our lovely Erika has links on what DBT and CBT are. 

i hope that barrage of info was helpful. heh.

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None of these events where life changing (in the way that a gang rape would be or something similar) but they are impacting enough that they are causing serious problems now because i didnt deal with them then.

Iona -

Every one of them was life changing.  Every event in our lives, no matter how subtle, alters who we are.  None of the events that you list were subtle.  Every one of them represented a major emotional challenge, and when life confronts us with these challenges, our task is to confront them and thereby grow emotionally and strengthen ourselves.  We cannot avoid confronting the challenges face-to-face; we can only delay it, and the delay is not advisable.  You have delayed confronting not just one challenge, but many major ones.  You must begin to do so.

Although the backlog may seem daunting, dealing with these issues is absolutely within your ability.  In fact, it's what you're supposed to do.  I know the pain is very great, but just as you would endure surgery to remove an inflamed appendix, you can endure this.  And you don't have to do it by yourself.

You can't medicate this away.  Even if you had no underlying brain imbalance, your mind would have been affected by the events that have happened to you.  Anyone's would.  This is a task for therapy.  You must make a firm decision, for yourself, that you are finished letting the un-dealt-with emotions fester, and take responsibility for confronting them.  Screw up your courage and step out from behind your protective wall.  I had to to exactly the same thing.  In the end, there is no other way.

If your current tdoc is not helping you with your issues, get another one.  This is very important - you must trust your tdoc enough to let down all your defenses, and your tdoc must be wise enough and experienced enough to properly guide you.  Whether you choose to go the route of CBT or DBT depends largely on your personality.  I found CBT immensely useful because I tend to be hyper-rational.  You have to choose the therapy that works for you, and realize that even though the events in your life have affected your psyche in intertwined ways, you can still begin tackling them one at a time on an individual basis.  Divide and conquer.

I've only been on the receiving end of BPD - much to my cost - and I haven't really been in your shoes in dealing with that particular flavor of MI, but I understand from my tdoc and pdoc that it can be difficult to treat.  Do not let that deter you.  You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.  Your mind is your own.

Keep writing to us, and we'll help in any way we can.

Cerberus

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Yes Penny, all of your information plus the info I read, discussed with Breeze definitely has given me places to think about, research and discuss with therapist.

Thank you,

Aly

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Guest ~Aurelie~

iona viona,

hi i just wanted to add that when i came to that point of realizing there was a lot of pain i had not dealt with, well first of all realizing that and writing each thing down is a great first start and you have done that. i remember when i first started doing that and it was at that time that my therapist handed me a book on grieving, which didn't seem right to me... but i read it and there were all these writing exercises in it to help you deal with all of your losses, big or small. and big or small, they ALL count. they all matter. and what you've listed are very significant losses.

i just looked all over amazon to try to find the title for you, but i couldn't find that specific book, which i have to say, helped me immensely to do just what you're looking for-- to separate all of the events and emotions and pain and deal with them one at a time so that you're not so completely overwhelmed and frozen by them all at once.  i will keep looking for it. i may even call up that old therapist and see if she still has it in her library. as soon as i find the title i will post it here for you.

go easy on yourself.

aurelie

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