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Repressing Anger

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by braden101, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    So I know the driving factor of TMS is our built up repressed rage.

    Learning about TMS and starting to learn to think emotionally more than physically, is slowly starting to work for me.

    Last night I had a bit of anxiety wash over me and the pain set in again, I am starting to realise I do have alot of stress, frustration and anger built up inside of me. but I have no idea what to do with those feelings!

    For example, after the flare up of pain last night, I woke up feeling a little anxious. I mentioned to my girlfriend I was starting to feel a little stressed out about everything and she was surprised because I have never mentioned or talked about being stressed/anxious.

    Once I started to talk about it, I just wanted to cry, I don't really know why. I held it in and started feeling better. Not long after, I got a ticket for doing an illegal u-turn. The officer pulled me up to give me a ticket and I just felt so angry, I was shaking with frustration and anger, just the thought of adding another stress to the list, I felt like yelling and just losing it...but again, I didn't...I sucked it up, was very polite and drove away, with a few swear words and a punch to the steering wheel.

    I'm now catching myself consciously repressing these emotions. Just a little confused as what to do with them, should I be journalling as soon as I can after it happens...should I just let it out???

    I almost feel like I need to invest in a punching bag and just unleash :S I don't know whether I want to yell or cry and whenever I start to feel ok, the pain comes back, the fear sets in and it continues.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just read a post by Anne Walker in the support forum about anger.
    Take a look at this web site she recommends...
    A back surgeon suggests that we write down the reasons we are angry and then tear them up.
    Our unconscious mind knows why we're angry and lets up on the pain.

    It's Dr. Sarno and TMS from repressed emotions, although the video doesn't mention him or it.

    Take a look at Anne's post:

    Hello. I had a back surgery almost 20 years ago and I very much relate and understand what you are going through. If you haven't already, i highly recommend reading David Hascom's book "Back In Control" http://www.drdavidhanscom.com/ He is a neurosurgeon and I think could really help you right now. He has discovered that going through a TMS related program prior to surgery, his patients have far better outcomes and often don't need surgery. He also posts his blogs in this forum and there is a wealth of information on him if you search here. You are in the right place and everyone here will give you all the support and direction to help you get through this.
    braden101 likes this.
  3. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist


    You can start by asking yourself what it is that is prompting you to feel as though you have to bottle those feelings up. In the case of a police officer, it may make sense that you don't want to yell and scream...but is it really the ticket that is making you upset? It sounds to me like getting pulled over is simply a catalyst that allows you to get in touch with a sense of anger that is lurking under the surface.

    In the case of your girlfriend your suppression becomes more worthy of investigation. Do you feel like you can't cry in front of her or express sadness? If so, why might that be? You right that once you stifle the feeling of sadness you begin to feel better. I would posit that perhaps these feelings of sadness and anger feel unsafe and unacceptable and you begin to feel "better" once you stop facing that threat. The problem with this of course is that the emotions need somewhere to go, so any relief you might feel will only be temporary and the feelings will begin to emerge at inappropriate times, for example when you are talking to a police office.

    You have to start telling yourself that is acceptable for you to feel anger and sadness...they are not "bad" emotions in and of themselves. We all feel them, and it is safe for you to as well. But where to direct these feelings of anger? Why at the pain of of course! If you can, take some time while you have some privacy and rage at your symptoms. Let the anger wash through, over and then out of you. Do what you can to make yourself feel that there is nothing inherently wrong with feeling these powerful, and some times empowering, emotions.

    It seems that you have made a powerful connection between your emotional suppression and the pai you are experiencing. So yes, I would say that you should find the right time and space for you to "let it out". Those feelings are there and it is important for you to accept and process them.
    braden101 likes this.
  4. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    I have definitely always had problems expressing emotions. I'm starting to think alot of it could be due to low self esteem, almost like whatever I'm feeling isn't important enough to express or talk about it, I started having these feelings in childhood and have never really addressed them like I have in the last few weeks.

    When something triggers the feelings to come to surface (Like the police officer) My anger or sadness is always very exaggerated for the particular incident.

    Occasionally I have this wave of anger come over me, I can literally feel it build up inside me, I've been getting the feeling my whole life and I haven't ever let it out since I was a teenager. Its a feeling of "getting wild", sometimes I will tremble a little, heart will race and i feel like I am going to lose it.

    I spent my childhood not expressing how I felt and in those first few years of school the stomach aches, headaches and anxiety started. Then as a teenager, I would fly off the handle very easily, I rebelled against anyone and anything and now that I think about it, that was the time I didn't have much trouble with symptoms, I wasn't repressing that wild feeling, I was letting my emotions fly and it was reeking havoc in my life. When I decided it was time to grow up and that the psychotic teenage rage I was expressing wasn't appropriate anymore, the more chronic symptoms started and the anxiety really set in.

    Thanks Alex, you have given me alot to think about.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  5. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist


    What you're saying makes sense. It's easy to see how expressing emotions began to be associated with danger. Your mind connects expression with rebelliousness, irresponsibility and general havoc. It is time to begin to see that there is a path between these two extremes. You can express and validate your feelings by directing them in appropriate ways. I think it could be helpful to begin to examine all that anger and need to rebel you were feeling as a young man. Where was it coming from? Perhaps because you didn't feel safe directing your feelings towards the source, it became easier to rebel against other elements of your life. But we can see how that was ultimately not helpful to you as it did not go to the source.

    As you do this difficult and introspective work it is important to remember that you must have compassion and patience with yourself. Do not condemn yourself for handling your emotions the way your have. You have simply be doing the best you could with the tools at your disposal. There is no shame in feeling as though you want to handle things differently. What is important is that you are able recognize this and cultivate a desire to change things. You have the capacity to do so and you are now taking direct action to help yourself. You must honor yourself for doing so. Keep up the good work.

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