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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do all the time and it makes me withdrawn and not wanting to talk to people, even though they want to talk to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The thing i should do is interact DESPITE it, but I hate feeling false and not with it. Well I try to do this, yesterday I did see people but I just hate that disconnect observer feeling - and it made me feel depressed to be around people with it, to still be experiencing it after so long trying to overcome this thing, that today I withdraw. I suppose I just have to try again.
 

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The thing i should do is interact DESPITE it, but I hate feeling false and not with it. Well I try to do this, yesterday I did see people but I just hate that disconnect observer feeling - and it made me feel depressed to be around people with it, to still be experiencing it after so long trying to overcome this thing, that today I withdraw. I suppose I just have to try again.
Yes, I agree. But I also think that what's worth thinking about is doing things you really want to do and seeing people you really want to see.

I experience the observer thing in therapy frequently, but not so much in life. When I had symptoms, it was unpleasant and scary, but now, without symptoms, it's quite pleasant -- that oceanic feeling in which we feel both the subject of all our experience and an observer of our experience.

Isn't there a famous line from some great English poet that goes something like:

What a gift the <something-or-other> give us
To see ourselves as others see us

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I know what you mean about feeling false and hating the feeling. But it is only temporary. It will disappear if you don't look at it. Aye, there's the trick -- not looking at it! Or looking at it and saying, "Off you go!"

Could it also be that you (perhaps quite validly) just didn't want to be around those particular people?
 

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Hmmm.... So am I. Empty.

But then, I realize that if I was empty, I wouldn't feel empty, I would feal full. So I start to think "there is something that makes me feel empty, what is it? what are the things that triger it? what are my thoughts when it's happening?". It's hard, I know, but it's the best things I have found to do about it. Give me your ideas as well.

WhiteRabbit, remember when I was, somewhat, "down", a few days ago? You know why I am not "down" right now? Because I am not willing enough to think or write about it. Maybe I have just accepted it. Maybe my "down" thing is nothing but an illusion.
 

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Maybe my "down" thing is nothing but an illusion.
Definitely not. Your feelings are your feelings. They are as real as you are because you experience them. They may not be a correct perception of reality, but they are your feelings. If you want to say they are "an illusion," then nothing isn't an illusion and you are trying to catch your own tail. :lol:
 
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I agree with Jean-Paul Satre's take on this; humans create emotions to deal with the events they are facing. They are your feelings.
 

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Long ago I was diagnosed with acute depression/anxiety reaction. I felt the Dp so big I went to an ER..something I swore I wouldn't do for fear they'd lock me up. Dude took my BP, asked questions, and told me to go home and EAT!! And to follow up with a regular family doctor. I went to one my sister went to, and left with an Rx for Librium! No offense to the ER doc who told me to eat, he wasn't wrong on that part.
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This was in 1975 so I guess they just didn't ask a lot of questions back then like---How often have you felt this way, do you drink or use drugs...etc..Well ok they may have and I might've downplayed my use, to say the least; Not as a concious lie but cuz I was in Total denial. y drinking and drugs were the furthest thing from my mind to talk about. but I was scared as hell of those Librium, (this meant weakness to me) and my sister took 'em. What I found out later was I was in the Late stages of alcoholism and shoulda had my ass thrown in detox or hospital. Instead I got phobic from the incident and continued to feel I was crazy for quite a few more years. And cover it up with alcohol.

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Thats just me though..anyway I have been told I will need anti- depressants at least and possibly anti-anxiety meds probably forever and I am ok with it. I think empty is a normal feeling for average people. For those with mental/emotional stuff, speaking for myself, empty can be a black hole. I don't know I know I need a better language for my feelings. And I need to understand how some ppl seem to "beat" depression, and mine seems or is, chronic.

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And I guess my whole point was, my reaction to a black hole is anxiety just like my first "acute" depressive attack no matter the cause. I do believe in breaking down the thought patterns b/cuz I can take a normal lonliness for example--which is a healthy response to a need for connection--and misinterpret it to be another black hole---so, more anxious, and more dP and off I go.
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I dont have all my answers but I'm starting to believe in more of a connection to my depression and anxiety and how they may feed one another. Guess I'll go read that thread. Hope you feel better soon,
-jake
 

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Thats just me though..anyway I have been told I will need anti- depressants at least and possibly anti-anxiety meds probably forever and I am ok with it.
They told me that, too, Jake, in 1986. We'll see how long I am without symptoms. One month now.

Try to always remember that medicine is an art, not a science. Healing is an art, not a science. Science is experimentation.

What a skilled physician does primarily is interpretation and correlation. A doctor relies on his or her interpretation of the symptoms a patient presents and correlation of those symptoms with prior experience in treating patients with similar symptoms.

Therefore, any diagnosis of a mental disorder, illness, disease, problem, or whatever you want to call it -- any diagnosis is just an approximation of an objective reality. It is always an application of judgment, not facts in and of themselves. For example, symptom A accompanied by symptom B may suggest Drug A, but symptom C accompanied by symptom A may suggest a totally different type of drug that has a totally different mode of action in the body.

Doctors always weighing, judging, analyzing, comparing, sifting, reading research, and so forth. They're more like cooks than they are like engineers.

So diagnoses can and are frequently as wrong as anything can be.

I believed my diagnosis, not as gospel, but because all the evidence pointed toward it as being true. But now there are other ingredients to the recipe of my "condition." I'm better for a solid month -- symptom free. That's a new ingredient that my doctor has to consider.

So don't feel doomed or ruled by a diagnosis. A diagnosis is a malleable, moldable thing, and it's not scientifically created but created by an artist.
 

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I know Sojourner, I don't want to feel "locked in" to a diagnosis. Yet when I got the "major depressive illness, dysthyma, anxiety, and newest (probably 5 yrs ago) one, Hypo--vs--Hyper--active attention deficit", diagnoses I was glad to have names for my combo of problems. I am not ptient really, and back when docs first tried tricyclic kinds, I wnated the FIRST one to FIX it, haaaa...I had no idea what a long road I was really looking at. But like you, I take it not as "gospel" but b/cuz it's the best fit...at this time. Change is possible. I just learned how to accept I may need help a long time, so I guess I want to be ok with it if it happens I need meds 4ver. No big deal.

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I see my psychiatrist twice a year, sometimes 3x, and haven't afforded therapy for a long time. I have that list of analysts form my area, but have to have a surgery soon and just see what comes money wise so I can get back in therapy.
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I like your description of docs being more like cooks than engineers. Thats funny and true, I agree. People also forget that doscs have to put something down there on paper at times so it can fit in the more narrow DSM for insurance coverages. Thx for the encouraging words and experience!
 

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Yes I feel empty, and I'm not at all sure that that's "just a feeling I have". If I wasn't empty, wouldn't I have friends (well I got one but we've known since high school so that doesn't count) and a boyfriend or something? I have zero social life. (I sound like a 12 year old but I'm actually 22). I mean everybody else probably sees me as empty and boring a character as I feel I am. Often I think I'm just too stupid to realize how meaningless I really am.
 

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maria said:
Yes I feel empty, and I'm not at all sure that that's "just a feeling I have". If I wasn't empty, wouldn't I have friends (well I got one but we've known since high school so that doesn't count) and a boyfriend or something?
I don't mean it's "just" a feeling, as if to dismiss it. If anything, I mean quite the opposite -- I mean it is your feeling and it is valid because it's yours. That's all. Our feelings cannot be "illusions"; by definition, they are interior experiences that only we have. Nobody can experience our feelings. Nobody but us, that is. Feelings are not testable, refutable, or deniable. We have them and that's all there is to it. They are either unpleasant or pleasant to us. But what we conclude after having the feeling may indeed be flawed. In other words, to feel empty is not the same as being empty. It's a feeling about what is real, and that feeling can be inaccurate. It's a real feeling, but its commentary on reality may be false. That is, feeling empty is not the same as being empty. And of course the concept of being empty is really quite nonsensical. We don't mean we literally are empty -- but what we do mean (I think) is that we feel empty, which is an entirely different matter. Feelings are speaking obliquely to us about something that we don't want to face straight on because it's just so painful and scary (or so we think). But like in a scary movie, when we cannot bear to look straight on at a scene of particular gore, we will hold our hands up to our face and look through the narrow slits between our fingers, often we can use psychoanalytic therapy to get such a glimpse of what we fear inside ourselves and are afraid to look at. And often that thing is not really as scary to us at that moment, and thus we feel it's possible to look ever more straight on at it until one day we can see it more clearly for what it is. What we are running from is really not as scary and awful as we make it out to be when we are running away at top speed.

Our feeling of being empty is not about our believing we are "hollow" inside at all. It's a cover story that keeps us from dealing with what's really bothering us. It works for a time, and then all defenses fail and we either sink or swim.

maria said:
I have zero social life. (I sound like a 12 year old but I'm actually 22). I mean everybody else probably sees me as empty and boring a character as I feel I am. Often I think I'm just too stupid to realize how meaningless I really am.
People I would find "boring" would not seek out others with whom to talk about these matters, in my opinion. You're probably an exceptionally talented and creative individual who is afraid of your feelings right now or finds them too unpleasant. Rather than experience what IS inside, you say there's nothing there. This is an excellent defense, because it does work -- for a time, that is.

This is not conscious at all on your part. It's not something you choose to do consciously, which is why our observing aspects of what our unconscious mind is doing -- and why -- can affect what it does in the future and how your conscious and unconscious life feels to you.

Some theorists say that 95% of our actions and feelings are controlled by our unconscious mind. If true, why are we focusing on our conscious mind to find relief for our suffering?

This is all my opinion and is based on my current limited knowledge.

OFF TOPIC "RANT"

:roll: Sojourner's Request for Help :roll:

Right now, I am trying to sort through a conceptual problem I am having in my therapy. I am starting to see that what my therapist thinks is the basis of my psychological issues may be true, but I don't know how much of my seeing that she may be correct is a factor of her having suggested it to me. If Janine is here, I would appreciate her comment.

Specifically, my therapist has suggested that I may feel guilty for having had negative feelings in childhood and that I am projecting that judgment onto myself unconsciously. What if one day I finally connect to that idea and finally feel it's true that what is at the depth of my "unhappiness" (even though my depression seems to be gone, I am isolated socially, and do not have what one would call a "normal" life) is the fact that I feel that I am "bad" for having hated my mother's behavior in my childhood?

How can I know that what I feel today about that isn't the product of my therapist's suggestion?

This is a pressing issue for me to resolve in my own mind right now, because I am starting to think my therapist has been right all along! But I wonder if I am just so suggestible that I am starting to interpret my feelings in terms of what she says. Prior to the last month or so, I told her I was comfortable with both loving and hating my mother, but while she didn't reject that, she still suggested that there were childhood feelings that were unconscious that made me feel guilty -- WHEN I WAS A CHILD -- for having those feelings. Somehow, lately I at least think I have experienced a memory of feeling just that, but how can I be sure it is indeed MY memory and not HER suggestion?
 
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Sojourner, the honest to God's truth is that you CAN'T know, lol....all we can do is try on the ideas offered us and we, over time, can determine whether or not they feel accurate.

It matters VERY little if you can access some memory of how you may have felt, because if you've repressed it, it's hidden. If you can relate to it NOW, as in, it makes sense to how you feel TODAY as an adult, then chances are good it has some validity. But it's not really about recovering memories as much as recovering "truths" that we HOLD to be truths and that we may be continuing to deny day to day (and acting out instead, by some symptoms)

It makes great sense to me that the body dysmorphia is a form of self-hate and could certainly be related to guilt. But I also wonder if it's an identification of some kind. You MIGHT have identified with a mother so strongly that you felt was "ugly" in a symbolic sense, and taken on some of the same traits (in your delusion) as a rather thwarted way of staying connected to her (the loved/hated other).

Chances are that is where your therapist is leading. ANd if so, it takes time to test it all and see if it speaks to you.

DOn't worry about suggestion so much, as we humans are not NEARLY as suggestible as we think we are! LOL

Take care,
Janine
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Sojourner

I don't have the answer you are looking for. Just to say, it seems to me that the relationship one has with one's mother such a massive and life-defining subject, that it just can't be ignored in therapy! You have to just keep persevering with the exploration of possibilites in what might have lain beneath the surface of the relationship and some kind of truth, which feels true to you, will eventually emerge although it might take a long time to establish. It is definitely a big factor in my mindstate, but I struggle with accepting that, especially when I am dp'ed because I blame myself for that, always have done. And being dp'ed is something that always made me feel very guilty in relation to my mother! And so it goes on.....

Anyway, just a comment really.

Sarah x
 

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JanineBaker said:
Sojourner, the honest to God's truth is that you CAN'T know, lol....all we can do is try on the ideas offered us and we, over time, can determine whether or not they feel accurate.
Oh, great. :cry: (Thanks so much for responding, Janine!)

It matters VERY little if you can access some memory of how you may have felt, because if you've repressed it, it's hidden. If you can relate to it NOW, as in, it makes sense to how you feel TODAY as an adult, then chances are good it has some validity.
I think I see. My therapist was explaining something about this to me on Friday. We can't KNOW the content of the unconscious but we can see signs of what it believes by what we believe today. So if I believe today that I am "bad" for having had negative feelings as a child, then it may be valid. But what if I can only see glimmers of it today. That, in fact, is what is happening. I'm starting to think that maybe I really DO feel that I am bad for hating my mother (or anyone else). Consciously, I don't feel guilty for "hating" and I am trying to figure out a way to have both loving and hateful feelings toward people, but I don't know how to do it. I don't know how to hold conflicting emotions toward people.

Again, the problem is that it doesn't really make sense to me today, consciously, but I've had glimmers that maybe it DOES -- that's what I was interpreting as a memory of a childhood feeling. Consciously, I would sit here today and say to you that I do not feel guilty for hating my mother.

So is the "truth" of that feeling being in my unconscious based on my having that feeling consciously? I am getting so confused. I told my therapist that I cannot interpret my conscious statements to be saying that unconsciously I do have feelings of guilt about hating my mother. I just can't. I don't see anything in what I feel consciously that points to the fact that what I am saying is a defense. But if I feel a glimmer today, consciously, of, "Well, hm, maybe I do feel guilty, maybe I did at the time, oh, yes, here it comes, I am having that feeling now, or is it just a feeling created by Pam's suggestion to me? I don't know. No, I do not feel guilty for hating my mother, but wait, do I? Oh, here's a little guilt rolling by...is that what I really feel? Heck, I don't know...I think I feel it NOW, but how can I be sure when it's just a wisp and if you put a gun to my head I'd say I don't feel guilty. I'm looking for the guilt and that's why I see it roll by and wave at me and feel for an instant, "Yes, bad girl. You can't hate your mother!!!!!"

Arghhh.

But it's not really about recovering memories as much as recovering "truths" that we HOLD to be truths and that we may be continuing to deny day to day (and acting out instead, by some symptoms)
Yes, this is precisely the point Pam was explaining. It's not remembering the memory itself but seeing the expression of a prior experience or feeling in myself TODAY. But I don't SEE anything saying that I feel guilty for hating my mother. I just don't see it, except for that momentary glimpse of something that MIGHT have been guilt. I cannot say that I feel I am bad for hating my mother, but I can say that I see something shadowy that might qualify only as a recollection of having had such a thought WHEN I WAS A CHILD -- not today, but when I was 10. Maybe the problem is just that I cannot find a convincing appearance of the expression of that belief TODAY. Why can my therapist find it, but I can't?

It makes great sense to me that the body dysmorphia is a form of self-hate and could certainly be related to guilt. But I also wonder if it's an identification of some kind. You MIGHT have identified with a mother so strongly that you felt was "ugly" in a symbolic sense, and taken on some of the same traits (in your delusion) as a rather thwarted way of staying connected to her (the loved/hated other).
This is making me cry, for some reason, so there has to be something in it that is touching something deep inside. I sometimes just become overwhelmed by the whole thing. I mean, how can I verify anything about what are my real unconscious feelings? If I can't consciously see an expression of those in my life today, by what means can I ever actually know what are my unconscious feelings? I get overwhelmed by trying to nail this down.

Chances are that is where your therapist is leading. ANd if so, it takes time to test it all and see if it speaks to you.
I think I need to know more about the theory, because I think if I had a better intellectual framework, I could get more out of the therapy. I am analytic by nature, and I am all mixed up about how one should look at today's thoughts, feelings, and so forth. I understand that everything is a mixture of unconscious and conscious, but I cannot understand how we can say we discovered something that previously was unconscious if we are looking at the "evidence" with our conscious mind.

DOn't worry about suggestion so much, as we humans are not NEARLY as suggestible as we think we are! LOL

Take care,
Janine
Thanks so much! I'm thinking of joining a psychoanalytic forum that might offer information and discussion for lay people. I really do think that I cannot be a good patient without knowing more about the process and theory.

I appreciate your thoughts a lot!
 

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Sojourner said:
Try to always remember that medicine is an art, not a science. Healing is an art, not a science. Science is experimentation.
Healing begins from understanding the illness. Whenever experiments is not proper (ethics, regulations, etc) to be performed on humans, animals are used (like mice). Experimenting means testing to see if it will bring results. If you don't test it, you don't know if it will bring results.
 
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