This is the official thread for Section 3.5.1 of the TMS Recovery Program donated by Alan Gordon of the Pain Psychology Center (PPC). This section is entitled "Sadness." Neither Alan nor the PPC necessarily endorses this thread or any of the viewpoints presented in it. Please keep these official threads on topic and put your best thoughts down, as these threads will be read by many people. All posts in this thread should all relate to section 3.5.1 of the TMS Recovery Program: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program#Sadness Section 3.5.1 is a part of the larger section 3.5 Address Repression. In his introduction to section 3.5, Alan writes the following: Address Repression Part of treating yourself nicely is learning not to neglect yourself. I'm not talking about ratty t-shirts or chipped nail polish, I'm talking about emotional neglect. Often, people have feelings come up that are difficult to tolerate, and unconsciously send them away. This is known as repression. To avoid these uncomfortable feelings, our minds employ defense mechanisms like pain or anxiety. In section 3.5.1, Alan writes the following: Sadness The following is a 7 minute segment of a session with Ginger. Ginger didn't get her emotions validated when she was young, and subsequently developed a number of defense mechanisms to keep feelings of sadness from reaching the surface. Listen to Alan's session with Ginger Click here to download the mp3 audio Sadness is one of the most common emotions that people repress. Ginger’s unconscious mind is working hard to keep her from her sadness. I ask her what she is feeling and she tells me what she is thinking. I ask her about her sadness and she starts telling me why she is sad. These are defense mechanisms in action. And we can see why her defenses are so entrenched. She (her emotional brain, not her logical brain) has the belief that once the floodgates opened, she will never be able to shut them. Assuming it’s an emotion you tend to repress, increasing your capacity to tolerate sadness is important, but there’s more to it than that. Linking the sadness to the way that you’re being treated (by your own destructive side) can really give it meaning. It’s a healthy form of grieving for the suffering you’ve undergone. Additionally it’s a wonderful way to further generate self-compassion. The following session with Kelly exemplifies this concept. Listen to Alan's session with Kelly Click here to download the mp3 audio Sadness can come to us in many ways, from grieving over the death of a loved one or the end of a significant relationship or general emotional suffering. There are many reasons we repress sadness as well. Perhaps we have been conditioned to not show emotions, or not show weakness. Or perhaps we somehow feel that feeling sadness is dangerous to our well-being. Or, maybe we think feeling sadness simply isn't an option because we have others to take care of, such as an elderly parent or a sick spouse or young children. In the audio above Ginger and Kelly both talked about how they feared feeling the emotion of sadness. Ginger said she was scared that if she let herself feel sad she would "go crazy." Kelly told Alan that she felt she had to repress her feelings of sadness to protect her young children. In the end, though, they both took steps to work through their fears and were able to see that there wasn't so much danger in fully experiencing sadness. Rather, it felt like a relief. If feelings of sadness remain repressed, they will continue to give us pain. We have to take the next step to overcome our fears and finally feel sadness. Otherwise we'll continue to give our unconscious mind ammunition to shoot us with pain.