Refusing to acknowledge having emotional problems is a classic defence mechanism. The American term “Denial” expresses in one word how we humans try to avoid having to deal with unpleasant things and thoughts.
Being in denial about emotional issues is a close relative to being too embarrassed to talk about it. “If I leave it alone, maybe it will go away and maybe it is not as bad as I think”. This is sometimes true. You can overthink a problem to such an extent that you make it far worse than it is. So if things get on top of you it can actually be a good idea to just let go for a while and let things sort themselves out. You have probably experienced how a solution to a problem suddenly presents itself when you are not focussing on that particular problem.
However, there is a difference between “sleeping on it” and completely and consciously ignoring it.
People tend to have the strongest views on things they know the least about. Similarly and just as illogically, people tend to think a situation is bad or dangerous when they have little information and few details to go on about the particular situation. In other words, we are very bad at dealing with uncertainty and tend to magnify this uncertainty in negative ways.
We are probably all guilty of putting off going to the doctor, when deep down we know that it would be in our own best interest to have something checked out. But then our fear of the unknown kicks in and we would rather not know in case we suffer from something serious.
In mental health the same applies. We may not be able to express what normal mood feels like, but we know when something is not right and we can express that we feel low, anxious, scared, depressed, or something along those lines. Then, when something does not feel right, we fear that something is very wrong. We leave it alone, it does not go away and we leave it alone some more and all of a sudden the situation has turned chronic and the problem has become very real and perhaps worse.
This is a vicious emotional circle, which in itself is a problem. You can recognise a person who is in that frame of mind by what they say. For example: “There is nothing wrong, I don’t have a problem!” or “There is nothing wrong this is just the way I am”
Another human trait, which can sometimes have detrimental consequences, is our ability to adapt and get used to the way things are. So many people are quite willing to live with physical or emotional pain rather than do something about it.
Having the blues for a short period of time is quite normal and something we all experience. Usually, such spells resolve themselves and are quickly forgotten. If they linger, it is up to you to decide what to do. In many cases, talking to one’s partner, a close friend or family member is enough to put things into perspective and move on. In other cases, it is advisable to talk to a counsellor or therapist.
In any event, I recommend opening up to somebody. As long as we do not have all the facts there is a 50-50 chance that the situation is either good or bad, so why immediately assume it is bad?
Living a life of chronic emotional distress is soul destroying and also not necessary. Seeking help is unlikely to make things worse. Getting clarity of what is going on may not be the nicest thing that has ever happened, however since we are so bad at dealing with the unknown it is far better to know the facts and find the right kind of support to deal with those facts.
A typical reaction I get from people whose phobia or anxiety I have just eliminated is “why did I not do this years ago?” The relief of having a particular emotional weight lifted off the shoulders is quite powerful.
If you want to talk to me to find out if Thought Field Therapy could help you, please ring me on +44 (0)7754 652 590 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange a time to talk to me.[Go Back]