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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really don't know what's wrong with me again but there's a walking whirlwind, The Wonder Wheel and then there are my emotions and me. Combine all those and you'll know how I feel in general. I just wonder whether this will ever change, I am the slave of my own emotions... They are my life but they are also my death. Oh, I appreciate my feelings quite dearly but sometimes their magnitude feels insufferable, I feel more depressed than ever and I wish I could grow wings and fly away. I wrote a blog post about this and became curious about other Fours' views of emotions. Write anything. I am especially interested in how do you cope with the highs and low low lows.

I guess my new life philosophy will be this...
My emotions are the cheese, I am the mouse and the mousetrap is my life.
 

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I think I know what you mean. Being too emotional is the source of many (if not "most of") problems in my life. I understand my emotions, I'm familiar with them, but I can't deal with them in any way and I I'm completely devoid of self-control. I wish I could simply "like" someone, without making him the center of my universe or being extremely jealous. I'm not exaggerating. I share people into 3 categories : those I love and would do everything for, those who are indifferent to me and those I hate. What's even more strange : my emotions outrun my thoughts. I mean, sometimes I'm really sad and I need to spend some time wondering why I feel the way I feel. Then I need to find some explanation : "Oh, you feel this way because you expected that X will happen, but instead Y happened, so you are disappointed". You know, rationalizing. After I come back home after school, I have to analyze every conversation I had that day. I'm simply overwhelmed by all those emotions and feelings.
I'm an intelligent person, people usually respect me and think highly of me. I want to be treated seriously, but how can it be possible when sometimes I can't even help crying in public ? I wish I could control my emotions or at least hide them when I don't want to show them, but it's really, really hard. Besides, I'm afraid that by doing so I could lose an extremely important part of me. I mean, me without all this emotional roller-coaster is not the real me. I think that all I can do is try my best not to hurt anyone with my changing moods and sometimes irrational behaviour.
 

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I would say....yes they can be both a blessing and a curse. But they make us who *we* are. When I was younger and going through those awful teenage years, I would scream and cry and yell at God, asking why I had been given such depth of pain, such emotionality. Now, I've learned over years to just try and love myself and accept that my highly emotive nature is a part of my *precious* identity. Its just me and there's no reason for me to be ashamed of who I am. If others can away with being insensitive, then ill get away with being sensitive because the planet needs balance. The emotions also give me strengths, empathy, understanding, depth of perspective, and the ability to reach highs that others don't, to feel love unlike others, to live my life with flair instead of a steady boring string of neutrality. I still struggle with my self-esteem in regards to my emotions, because American society seems to place a negative connotation on it. But they are beautiful, and I have learned some semblance of self-control and some ability to deal and express it.

:))

*hugs to all the 4's* we are in this life together. You aren't alone.
 

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I am very much a slave to my emotions, too, in many ways. That is the main thing keeping me from being a truly "healthy" 4 -- I do spend most of my time in the healthy levels, but if a major stressor appears or something happens to upset me I sometimes still fall apart. I especially hate betrayal and abandonment -- those are the two things that upset me the most. I get obsessive and very sad. I also experience great happiness, though, and appreciate my emotions. I think it allows me to have more empathy and sympathy for people. I'm deeply emotionally touched by just about every person I meet.
 

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Oh man do I ever relate. At the same time though I love being this way. Yes, I've spent a lot of time in the depths over things that other people seem to be able to shake off but I've also experienced the heights in ways that most people completely miss. A movie or a book can wreck me to my core. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I am learning how to deal with all the negative. When I find myself wallowing in despair, instead of trying to fix the perceived problem, I force myself to go on a walk and listen to a great album, or I'll read one of my favorite books, or find something cool to cook. Usually at some point during the activity a calm settles on my soul and I feel that I'm going to be okay. This is not my natural tendency. What I normally do is obsess over the problem, plan how I'm going to change everything about myself and my life, and then fail miserably. I guess they call what I'm suggesting "healthy coping mechanisms".
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used to feel like this but every day it lessens. Maybe age and experience (and being on mood stabilizers for five years now) alters this. I no longer feel a slave to my emotions at all.
Thanks for your reply. I wonder whether I would be given some kind of medication if I went to see the psychiatrist - and whether I would be ready to take it... I wonder what is it like to be bipolar... This can hardly be healthy. Just few days ago I replied to the Healthy Fours thread and at some level I still do feel more healthy than ever, more me and more connected to myself than ever. And yet, especially yesterday my thoughts were poisonous, suicidal. I really believe that my emotions are my life but that they are also my death.
 

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My experience is that psychiatrists love to give out prescriptions.

My other experience is that drugs are drugs. If you've ever tried to fix your problems with pot or alcohol then you know where that road leads. I'm not saying that there is never a case where these meds have helped people but I know that in my case it was just another chemical solution to a spiritual problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, I agree with you... And so does my shrink ;D Ha-ha... Anyway, my psychotherapist would not recommend medication either, she says the goal is to make me stronger and more able to deal with challenges and my own emotions. And I wish I would not be such a slave to them. I have not even asked for any medication thus far because I do not know what would it do to me, after all I wish to be and grow as who I am. But then there's the depression again and I feel like drowning, drowning and wish there would be a hand to pull me back.
 

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Oh, I agree with you... And so does my shrink ;D Ha-ha... Anyway, my psychotherapist would not recommend medication either, she says the goal is to make me stronger and more able to deal with challenges and my own emotions. And I wish I would not be such a slave to them. I have not even asked for any medication thus far because I do not know what would it do to me, after all I wish to be and grow as who I am. But then there's the depression again and I feel like drowning, drowning and wish there would be a hand to pull me back.
You know, maybe this is ideal for you, I don't know. People often view medications for mental illness with disdain yet don't bat an eye about someone having to take insulin or blood pressure medicine. Why is it different? For some reason people are supposed to control what's 'in their head' while other illnesses aren't that way. It's part of the stigma, I think. Often I feel like I'm supposed to feel ashamed that I have to take medication- people make these snide little comments about how psychiatrists love to prescribe drugs or one drug is the same as the other, or once you take one drug you have to take ten drugs. My parents are very 'hush-hush' about all of it. When you have a mental illness you've failed in some respect. And when you have to take drugs cause otherwise who knows what will happen, you might completely lose it, you've really failed.

I'm not trying to chastise people for thinking this way. I used to be very anti-drug, too. I went to a therapist twice a week and told her what was going on with me. She listened and empathized and encouraged me... all while I was having a long distance affair-of-sorts with an ex-boyfriend (and completely delusional about it), constantly shitting on my husband, wishing I didn't have kids, and completely euphoric because, "now I was living my real life". I was like this for months (moved into my own apartment, chain-smoked when I never did before, didn't sleep, barely ate, drank way too much, etc) and she just listened and smiled, said it sounded like I was on the right track. Imagine Charlie Sheen as he was in his crazy interviews last year, with all the pressured speech and grandiose ideas, talking to a therapist and her just listening and smiling and you basically have my experience.

And then I got really depressed as I realized the magnitude of what I'd done. I couldn't move or think properly (severe depression is like having your brain shut down), I'd cry over a dead spider on the floor for hours (who ended up just being a ball of lint and then I'd cry for a few more hours because I was so pathetic, crying over a dead ball of lint that I thought was a spider). And still, my therapist smiled and listened.

It wasn't until the majority of my thoughts involved various ways to kill myself that I started doing lots of research on mental illness. I read several books on bipolar and recognized myself in the pages. I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist. I told him what was up. He prescribed a mood stabilizer. It took a long while for it to work, so I endured a lot in the process, but it gave me a shred of hope that things might possibly improve. And they did. I'd attribute part of it to time, part of it to medication, part of it to my life improving. Drugs are not a cure all. I need to make sure I sleep well and eat right and don't put myself in overly stressful situations and don't drink too much, stop myself when I find myself fantasizing about the distant and attainable. After being on a higher dose, I've gradually worked myself down to the lowest level of medication possible. I've been at this level for a couple of years now and It helps. It's enough to keep me from swinging too much either way. (My PMS still sucks, though. During this time I do feel a bit the slave to my emotions, I guess, but I also know it's PMS and that it will go away so it's not so extreme.)

After I started seeing the psychiatrist, I went back to my therapist and told her he diagnosed me with bipolar II (primarily depression mixed with hypomania). She said, "I thought you just had ADHD!" (She never mentioned this conclusion to me before.) All of the money I spent on her, the time... felt like not only a waste, but because she just smiled and listened, I felt like she was supporting my actions. My friends, those who knew me well were freaking out about my behavior (because I was actually calling people all the time, going out, etc, I was very extroverted when I am usually pretty quiet and a bit of a homebody), but she was by my side. I felt emboldened by it.

I have a number of friends with mental illnesses and for every one of them who take it, medication has been a lifesaver. It's the people I know who don't take medication (and should) who live in their cars and go to the hospital every two weeks because they are raging alcoholics and their liver doesn't work, or who have cut off all ties with their family and have abusive boyfriends and drug/alcohol problems, etc.

I'm not saying that drugs aren't overprescribed; in many situations, I would agree that they are. But I'd say there are more people who would benefit from them who don't take them because they equate medication with street drugs or needing them as a sign of weakness.

Sorry this is so long. Obviously this is something I feel passionate about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know, maybe this is ideal for you, I don't know... My parents are very 'hush-hush' about all of it. When you have a mental illness you've failed in some respect. And when you have to take drugs cause otherwise who knows what will happen, you might completely lose it, you've really failed.

...

But I'd say there are more people who would benefit from them who don't take them because they equate medication with street drugs or needing them as a sign of weakness.
Oh, first of all, I am sorry if I hurt you - that was not my intention... And I think I haven't expressed myself well, I think you misunderstood my point. I am definitely not thinking that mental illnesses or medication for them make someone fail. It's just that nowadays I am afraid that I will change, not be who I am, if I take medication. I don't want to lose myself. That's why I am not having medication - in addition to the fact that I do not even have a prescription yet. But I have never thought that people taking medication because of mental illnesses have lost it or something.

I'd like to thank you for sharing your story... It was touching. I am happy for you that you have found something that actually helps. I guess it's all positive to you and you don't feel at any level that you have changed to something you are not? I don't know if medication would help me be more stable but maybe I should see someone else than my psychotherapist too...
 

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@zallla, I was terrified I would lose myself. What can I say? In a way I did. I'm not as emotional as I used to be. Things don't affect me to the extent they used to. As a tragic Romantic sort of person, having extreme feeling fade can alter your identity. That said, I consider it worth it. Would I rather be an asshole and hurt everyone I love and commit suicide or would I rather be a supportive, loving person who is capable of enjoying the present moment and create things of which I am proud? (And I still am me, it's just more subdued. I still feel things deeply, it's just not out of control like it used to be- no longer a slave to my emotions, but a partner.)

Don't worry, you didn't hurt my feelings. I just felt a need to make a point.
 

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@brainheart, as a fellow bipolar person I agree with you and relate to your situation in some ways. I get severe mixed episodes where I'm totally crazy, yet creatively productive. I need medication or I'm crazy -- I feel like I'm more my "true self" when my anxiety and bipolar are properly medicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@brainheart, thank you! I am happy you wanted to make your point. It was thought-provoking and insightful.

@unico, I just wonder your anxiety... What is it about and like? Do you think it is related to your sp subtype? Or your Six fix? Or both? Sorry, personal questions, I totally get it if you don't want to share :)
 

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@brainheart, thank you! I am happy you wanted to make your point. It was thought-provoking and insightful.

@unico, I just wonder your anxiety... What is it about and like? Do you think it is related to your sp subtype? Or your Six fix? Or both? Sorry, personal questions, I totally get it if you don't want to share :)
Don't worry, @zallla! I'm an incredibly open person and will answer virtually anything;-) I think my anxiety mostly relates to my childhood trauma that caused me severe PTSD. Having severe early childhood trauma can make the nervous system oversensitive. I also think I have anxiety related to being autistic (OCD-type traits, for instance), and a lot of my anxiety is *over* sp issues, but I don't think it's *because* of my sp-dominance. Also my 6w7 might give me some anxiety, but not the bulk of it. I think it's more just a mental health issue than a personality issue:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah... I agree with you and am sorry for you. I am sure tough experiences can cause it, it seems only reasonable. Mine started when I was barely a teenager and I have thought that being many times slightly assaulted and threatened by my brother has had its contribution to my mental health. I hate violence!
 

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@brainheart, as a fellow bipolar person I agree with you and relate to your situation in some ways. I get severe mixed episodes where I'm totally crazy, yet creatively productive. I need medication or I'm crazy -- I feel like I'm more my "true self" when my anxiety and bipolar are properly medicated.
Yeah, to an extent I miss the energy and motivation hypomania used to give me, but I guess there's a tradeoff in everything.

As far as feeling like my "true self", it might be the case but it's a little hard for me to figure out. I mean, I've always been moody and emotional, but my guess is the bipolar came into effect around the age of 18 (a pretty typical time for it to start). I didn't start medication until I was 32 (I'm 37). That's a long stretch of time to think the 'real you' is one way when in fact mental illness is playing a part. I think it's why I've had such a difficult time figuring out all of this enneagram stuff- what of me comes from personality and what of me comes from mental disorder?
 

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You know, maybe this is ideal for you, I don't know. People often view medications for mental illness with disdain yet don't bat an eye about someone having to take insulin or blood pressure medicine. Why is it different? For some reason people are supposed to control what's 'in their head' while other illnesses aren't that way. It's part of the stigma, I think. Often I feel like I'm supposed to feel ashamed that I have to take medication- people make these snide little comments about how psychiatrists love to prescribe drugs or one drug is the same as the other, or once you take one drug you have to take ten drugs. My parents are very 'hush-hush' about all of it. When you have a mental illness you've failed in some respect. And when you have to take drugs cause otherwise who knows what will happen, you might completely lose it, you've really failed.

I'm not trying to chastise people for thinking this way. I used to be very anti-drug, too. I went to a therapist twice a week and told her what was going on with me. She listened and empathized and encouraged me... all while I was having a long distance affair-of-sorts with an ex-boyfriend (and completely delusional about it), constantly shitting on my husband, wishing I didn't have kids, and completely euphoric because, "now I was living my real life". I was like this for months (moved into my own apartment, chain-smoked when I never did before, didn't sleep, barely ate, drank way too much, etc) and she just listened and smiled, said it sounded like I was on the right track. Imagine Charlie Sheen as he was in his crazy interviews last year, with all the pressured speech and grandiose ideas, talking to a therapist and her just listening and smiling and you basically have my experience.

And then I got really depressed as I realized the magnitude of what I'd done. I couldn't move or think properly (severe depression is like having your brain shut down), I'd cry over a dead spider on the floor for hours (who ended up just being a ball of lint and then I'd cry for a few more hours because I was so pathetic, crying over a dead ball of lint that I thought was a spider). And still, my therapist smiled and listened.

It wasn't until the majority of my thoughts involved various ways to kill myself that I started doing lots of research on mental illness. I read several books on bipolar and recognized myself in the pages. I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist. I told him what was up. He prescribed a mood stabilizer. It took a long while for it to work, so I endured a lot in the process, but it gave me a shred of hope that things might possibly improve. And they did. I'd attribute part of it to time, part of it to medication, part of it to my life improving. Drugs are not a cure all. I need to make sure I sleep well and eat right and don't put myself in overly stressful situations and don't drink too much, stop myself when I find myself fantasizing about the distant and attainable. After being on a higher dose, I've gradually worked myself down to the lowest level of medication possible. I've been at this level for a couple of years now and It helps. It's enough to keep me from swinging too much either way. (My PMS still sucks, though. During this time I do feel a bit the slave to my emotions, I guess, but I also know it's PMS and that it will go away so it's not so extreme.)

After I started seeing the psychiatrist, I went back to my therapist and told her he diagnosed me with bipolar II (primarily depression mixed with hypomania). She said, "I thought you just had ADHD!" (She never mentioned this conclusion to me before.) All of the money I spent on her, the time... felt like not only a waste, but because she just smiled and listened, I felt like she was supporting my actions. My friends, those who knew me well were freaking out about my behavior (because I was actually calling people all the time, going out, etc, I was very extroverted when I am usually pretty quiet and a bit of a homebody), but she was by my side. I felt emboldened by it.

I have a number of friends with mental illnesses and for every one of them who take it, medication has been a lifesaver. It's the people I know who don't take medication (and should) who live in their cars and go to the hospital every two weeks because they are raging alcoholics and their liver doesn't work, or who have cut off all ties with their family and have abusive boyfriends and drug/alcohol problems, etc.

I'm not saying that drugs aren't overprescribed; in many situations, I would agree that they are. But I'd say there are more people who would benefit from them who don't take them because they equate medication with street drugs or needing them as a sign of weakness.

Sorry this is so long. Obviously this is something I feel passionate about.

I feel like a dick. Obviously meds really help some people. It just so happened that for me they made things worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I saw my therapist today and we talked about my emotions... She said the way I deal with them is not doing me any good when I absorb them, withdraw with them and then get depressed.

I guess I should dissolve them somehow, not be a prisoner or a slave to them... And I totally relate this to the implementation of the gut fix. Obviously, it's just hard for me. I have lost the channel for my emotions to go outward, all they do is accumulate inside me and then outburst occasionally. Any ideas how to learn to activate the gut fix? Especially when you are depressed and totally ignore your gut fix?
 
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