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Derek S. Question about anger

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by NIClubber, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    I have bee having some successes over the last 3-4 months with having my back pain reducing after writing or talking about some horrible things (I believe my anger is based on my mum). Although my biggest reduction and for the longest time was talking about jealousy of my best friend's wife as he was spending all his time with her and none with me.

    However, the pain always comes back within 24 hours, and often more painful than before.

    What is it I am doing wrong - not FEELING the anger, or not talking/writing about the reasons for me being angry.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Hey NIClubber,

    In my experience, there seems to be a limit to how much relief one can get from their symptoms from insight alone. This is not true for everyone but it is true for nearly all of the people that I work with. Insight, by its very nature, is primarily intellectual. My guess is that the relief that you experienced while journaling and/or talking about your feelings came from the part of you that was actually feeling the emotions as you were talking/writing about them. At some point, however, the writing and talking can act as a barrier to feeling your emotions on a deeper level.

    There is a HUGE difference between intellectually understanding your emotions and actually feeling them in an authentic way. When you experience an emotion on a deeper level, there is something distinct that happens in your body. If the emotion is deep sadness, then your body will experience this sadness by sobbing deeply. If the emotion is anger, you will feel a heat in your body and there will be a physical impulse to lash out. The real trick to having success with this is getting through the anxiety and the unconscious defense mechanisms which tend to block you from having that deeper experience because your primitive brain perceives these emotions as a "threat." Some people are able to do this on their own while some find it helpful to work with a TMS therapist.

    Rather than reinventing the wheel, I am going to post some links to previous threads that address how to practice "feeling your feelings."

    Processing Painful Emotions

    Working Through Difficult Feelings

    How to Feel Feelings

    Regarding your pain returning with a vengeance 24 hours after having symptoms relief, these are just Extinction Bursts. Do a search on the Wiki and you will find plenty of discussions about this. It is basically a common phenomenon that happens when your TMS mechanism of "protection" feels threatened by the changes that you are making and intensifies your symptoms in an attempt to put you back into a state of fear and preoccupation. You can counter this by practicing Outcome Independence.

    I'm really going overboard with the hyperlinks today.

    Best of luck to you!


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  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, NIClubber. My mind does not go deep the way Derek does. If it isn't simple, I often don't get it. I understand about feeling the symptoms but not about feeling the emotions. Unless I have done that, but discovering and accepting my childhood traumas from my parents divorcing when I was seven.
    I didn't need to dwell on that, just realize I was repressing emotions going back to those years. All I know is, when I journaled about it all I was able to understand my parents better and then forgive them.
  4. EricFeelsThisWay

    EricFeelsThisWay Peer Supporter

    I second what Derek says. There were times when I would talk about emotions without feeling them. In fact I got really good at identifying what emotions I should be feeling at any point, without actually feeling them. Ie, "This should make me feel angry." Maybe that's the first step. In therapy, I put up tons of unconscious barriers so that my therapist couldn't infiltrate my emotional core. When someone discovers how I truly feel, it's like I'm losing a part of myself, the part of myself that I use to defend myself against people. When I "share" how I feel, it's like I'm sharing too much, like I'm revealing something that should be kept hidden, and I feel vulnerable. When I journal, too, sometimes I report that facts with impeccable stoicism, and then there are times when I really break down. Sometimes I have to write for extended periods of time before I crack the emotional outer shell. When I do feel the emotions fully, the profundity of the hurt startles me and I get scared and discouraged, and so the emotions go back into the dungeon where they've been for way too long.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, guys. Eric,I hope you will like yourself more. Your smile is contagious. Share it with everyone. You can't share it or yourself too much.

    NIClubber. The best way to keep a best friend when they marry is to let them come around to you. They are busy as husbands but soon will reach out to you as a friend. Don't take it personal that he is spending more time with his bride than with you. Just accept it and be ready for him when he comes back to spending time with you. He's going to need you. It's your job in the friendship to be there for him.
  6. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I do feel a lot of anger building up inside me, but don't have much of an idea what I'm angry at. Possible think that my mum hated my dad for buying a certain house ten years ago that ended up being discovered to have been built horribly and with a faulty drainage system in the basement, causing a battle with the housing insurance people and then a multi year battle with various organisations to get the relevant work done.

    This is what I believe caused by dad to end up with multiple advance cancers and eventually dying in December last year.
  7. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    How do I feel angry when I've never felt able to get angry?? Some people talk about punching a cushion or a pillow. I have thought of tasking up boxing temporarily to help me get the feelings of anger out of my system.

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