1. Alan has completed the Multimedia Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Dr. Zafirides Anger and depression

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Stella, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I started the TMSwiki program November 1. I continue to learn so much about myself even 8 months later. Journaling has really helped me uncover various emotions I never knew existed.

    Several days ago I was feeling the "dark heavy cloud" move into my head and some physical symptoms of foot pain and a wobbly knee. I said "OK, what happened today that has caused me to feel depressed?" I could not come up with anything so started examining every step of my day.

    I had a conversation with my Mother because her eye appointments for macular degeneration was taking up to 5 hours. I was trying to make sure the activities I enjoy are still scheduled (take care of me) and make sure the activities my Mother enjoys are scheduled (take care of my Mother too!!!). The only day that would work would be a Monday requiring her to miss church once every 2 months. She also goes to church on Sundays. She is not a particularly religious person but she enjoys the Monday group.

    Her comment to me was "well, I suppose I can do that." (she was not happy). As I journaled about this I had absolutely no awareness of being angry; none at all. It reminds me of what Dr. David Clarke says "Children learn how to control their feelings, sometimes so effectively they feel almost nothing. These buried emotions can be so strong that the mind must express them through the body if there is no other outlet.”

    This is me. I feel nothing. It moved from my mind into heaviness in my head and into physical pain in a nanosecond. I was really angry at my Mother for not realizing all the work I had done (numerous phone calls) trying to "fix" coordinate everything. Of course, she was unhappy with me (yikes) and I felt guilty for trying to also take care of myself. After becoming aware of this anger, journaling about it, I could feel the depression lift.

    It reminds me of the very old adage of "Anger turned inward is depression." Now everyday the first question I ask myself when starting to journal particularly if I feel depressed is "what are you angry about today?" Even reflecting back on this conversation a few days later... I start to feel depressed. Even after the awareness of burying the anger inside my head and body.

    Still learning....
     
    eric watson, Lilibet and Ellen like this.
  2. Lilibet

    Lilibet Peer Supporter

    This is really valuable for me Stella. I've heard "Anger turned inward is depression" before. Even though I feel the anger, it's often hard to pinpoint the particular anger that brings on the depressed feelings.

    It's brave of you to dig for it. It was hard for me to do any work like this when my parents were still alive and needing my help. I started therapy in 1991 just before my Dad started needing me, and I just couldn't seem to juggle the intense feelings with helping. So I gave up and stuffed my feelings and took antidepressants for most of the 90's. He died in 1993 and my Mom died in 2004 at 92 (she also had macular degeneration) and I'm just now getting back to it.

    I'm hoping to make a little progress with depression before the bleak days of winter send me into a dark hole as usual. So your encouragement to journal is timely. Thanks. And keep up the good work! Yay you! :)
     
    eric watson likes this.
  3. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    If we look at the word "depression" it means or the equivalent means "to depress." The question then becomes, what are we pushing down? Stella, what a powerful experience, to journal and see your depression lift?
     
    eric watson and Stella like this.
  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I have read on this site "you need to feel to heal." I am not sure I will ever feel anger. Although now for the first time in my life I cry/sob at the deep emotional pain that I feel. I have never really cried all my life so I see this as a good sign.

    I find the depression is also tied to disappointing others and feeling rejection. It is all twisted together.

    My brother visited my parents this weekend. He is so broken from our shared family experience and years of being bullied all his time in school (my parents always ingnored this). For the first time I thought "I hate my Mother." I was so glad that I knew this was completely normal and to just let it go. To know I can love and hate at the same time with very intense emotion.

    Lilibet, keep journaling.
     
    eric watson and Lilibet like this.
  5. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    Stella,

    Try not to focus too much on Anger as the main issue. While anger is an important emotion, it may not represent THE emotion that feels threatening to the individual. I believe the anxieties of our existence - meaning, mortality, existential isolation and freedom - can lead to depression, anxiety and PPD/TMS.

    These existential anxieties are part of the human condition. We ALL feel them, but we do so in our own unique way. For some of us, physical pain is the way we shield ourselves (or take refuge from) these anxieties of existence.

    If you would like, I would be very happy to send you a draft copy of a chapter I wrote on existential psychotherapy and how I believe these existential anxieties are just as relevant as anger in the creation of PPD/TMS pain.

    Just email me at: peter@thehealthymind.com

    I'll send it out to you right away!

    Kindly,
    Dr. Z
     
    Forest and eric watson like this.
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Thank you Dr. Z for your thoughts,
    I don't know if this ties into meaning, mortality, existential isolation and freedom but I know taking care of my parents does have me thinking about my own life. I have never had children. I do have 2 step-daughters but I am not particularly close to them. I am also not close to my sister and brother due to their lack of support in helping me take care of my parents. My husband of 30 years is 10 years older than I am. So it will be just me in the future trying to figure out how to take care of myself as I age and not wanting to be a burden on others (low self worth).

    I would like a draft copy and will contact you. Thank you for your comments. They are thought provoking.
     
  7. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    That's really a tremendous offer, Dr. Z. Thanks so much for making it.

    I would strongly encourage anyone reading this to take Dr. Z up on his offer. I've seen the draft that he is referring to and it is truly excellent. It gives you powerful tools to understand where your TMS comes from.
     
    eric watson likes this.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stella -(quote) Her comment to me was "well, I suppose I can do that." (she was not happy). As I journaled about this I had absolutely no awareness of being angry; none at all. It reminds me of what Dr. David Clarke says "Children learn how to control their feelings, sometimes so effectively they feel almost nothing. These buried emotions can be so strong that the mind must express them through the body if there is no other outlet.”

    This is me. I feel nothing. It moved from my mind into heaviness in my head and into physical pain in a nanosecond. I was really angry at my Mother for not realizing all the work I had done (numerous phone calls) trying to "fix" coordinate everything. Of course, she was unhappy with me (yikes) and I felt guilty for trying to also take care of myself. After becoming aware of this anger, journaling about it, I could feel the depression lift.

    It reminds me of the very old adage of "Anger turned inward is depression." Now everyday the first question I ask myself when starting to journal particularly if I feel depressed is "what are you angry about today?" Even reflecting back on this conversation a few days later... I start to feel depressed. Even after the awareness of burying the anger inside my head and body.

    Still learning....
    Stella, Jul 7, 2013 Report

    Eric- This is so revealing Stella, I too have had many experience in which id wonder what was bugging me-
    Why was I feeling depression and didn't know why
    then id journal and something would spring it forth as if by some unseen hand-
    Several times while on my journey I've stumbled upon repressions while journaling
    I don't journal all the time anymore, just when I feel the need to get to something I cant figure out
    if I get to writing ill usually by p.6 or 7 run right into the repressed thought and I too will have a lifting of heaviness
    a better feeling of hope will rest upon me, - I know not everyone has to journal
    but it has been a mainstay on my journey- I journal like I said above just when I cant seem to get to
    the issue that's causing the anger, depression or a sudden onset of pain somewhere on my body-
    I got into an argument with a niece of mine about 7 months ago,
    it wasn't to big , I really didn't even know why we argued- I thought it was over
    but the next day I had this angry feeling that I just couldn't shake .
    I remembered that I hadn't Journaled for a while so when I wrote the spat issue down , the anger feeling lifted.
    to read your post is surreal, very unique and knowledgeable of Sarnos wisdom.
    Thank you so much for your insight.
     
    Stella likes this.
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Z your a great mind and friend to all of here at tmswiki - ill be e- mailing you to get a draft copy if that's ok
    id love to read it so I can add it to my knowledge bank
    ill always credit you for teaching me mindfulness on your podcast id
    downloaded from the healthy mind radio show you have
    -when Dr. Z talks I listen, your a great person Dr. Z thanks and God bless
     
    Stella, BruceMC and Forest like this.

Share This Page