When do coping techniques turn into avoidance?
Recently we had a minor crisis in our home. It was actually one with a positive outcome, but regardless of the ultimate result it was unexpected and overwhelming. Without even thinking, I began a new book. I love to read. I’ve devoured books since I was a child and still feel at loose ends if I don’t have a book going. It’s a natural coping mechanism for me: A blissful escape from problems and stress.
Soon I began reading at every possible moment. The laundry began to pile up and the kids rejoiced at pizza and fast food dinners. I read during dinner, in the evenings, while cooking or emptying the dishwasher. When I wasn’t able to read, I was thinking about how I’d sneak in the next few pages. I was avoiding the original crisis, the people around me and every tedious task I could.
Do you feel like you’re connected to an inner sense of what is right for you? Do you feel like you can trust yourself when making decisions and acting on your priorities?
Do you worry about others judging your work as inadequate and put off completing projects? Or do you avoid new social situations? Stay away from public speaking, heights or intimate relationships?
Fear and anxiety can cause significant life problems and leave us cut off from some of the most rewarding life experiences.
It’s normal to try to avoid emotions like anger, sadness, depression, fear and shame. These feelings are incredibly painful to experience. In order to keep them at a distance, people create walls inside of themselves. Unfortunately, these internal walls keep the emotion at a distance, but they also keeps the emotion trapped inside of you. The only way truly to let go of these emotions is to stop walling them off and bring your attention to them in order to observe and describe them.
I recently spoke with Dr. Hirschfeld in connection with NARSAD’s Healthy Minds Across America forum highlighting the latest breakthroughs in mental health research.
When you’re feeling miserable, you might wish all emotions away. It’s sometimes appealing to imagine an absence of anguish and the irritability, lethargy and emptiness that go along with it.
If you have problems controlling your emotions, sometimes feel like your emotions come out of nowhere or find yourself getting angry very quickly, learning DBT Emotion Regulation Skills might help to better balance your life.
We’ve all found ourselves in a crisis, in a conflict with someone important in our lives or overwhelmed by emotion and circumstances. It can be difficult to maintain emotional balance while figuring out just how to navigate through those stressful times. For some, repetitive stressful events and an inability to recover fully from one event before another occurs results in destructive behaviors, such as self-injury and suicide attempts. It takes skills to solve life’s problems while enduring intense emotion.
The lives of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can appear contradictory and chaotic. They are frequently highly emotional and have difficulty regulating the expression of their emotions, which leads them to feel out-of-control. However, they often don’t trust their emotional responses and have high, unattainable expectations for themselves. At one moment, they may be desperate for help and want to give up, while at others they are seemingly skilled and capable. Often, people with BPD experience constant stress with immediate and extreme emotional reactions, but they hold back the expression of grief and sadness.
Dialectics, in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, refers to the process of investigating and synthesizing apparently opposing or contradictory ideas. In DBT, there might be your truth and my truth, but there is no search for absolute truth. Instead, there is a dialog about our contradictory positions in which both can find a new meaning. It is not a search for resolution by establishing right and wrong, but a development of understanding, over time, that may never result in a final truth or indisputable fact.