The Potential Damage of Bottled-Up Emotions

The Potential Damage of Bottled-Up Emotions

Emotional well-being influences the extent to which a person can cope with challenges in life. Research shows that each person has a specific emotional makeup and reacts uniquely to stressful situations. For some, a stressful experience might result in trauma. Another person might have exactly the same experience and feel no traumatic symptoms afterwards.

Perhaps you have passed through extremely stressful situations and feel no pressing desire to communicate or call to mind what has happened to you. It may be that friends and family members (out of concern and desire to help) give you constant advice on how to show your emotions. Still, you just don’t feel like sharing your emotions, or you feel that your emotions have gone numb. That is ok. You might not need to open up.1

On the other hand, if you feel that you have experienced some form of emotional stress that still causes recurring negative thoughts and anxiety, you may benefit from talking to someone who can help you cope and move forward. Research shows that passing through trauma and coping with it can bring ‘posttraumatic growth’ and benefit you for the rest of your life.2

Reasons Why Some Hesitate to Express Emotion

Some feel that they should not burden others with their concerns. Some are afraid of dangerous situations developing if they reveal a source of trouble. Others may be afraid of being misjudged or misunderstood. It might seem that there is no one who will listen.

None of these reasons are valid for preventing yourself from getting the emotional support that you need. Although it is good to cultivate positive thinking, there is no need to feel as if you are required to be up-beat all of the time.

Signs that it Is Not Really “Ok”

Physical symptoms of emotional anguish mimic physical symptoms of many other disorders. Inefficiently coping with negative emotions can cause your body to suffer in the following ways:

  • Aching back
  • Poor appetite
  • Problems with digesting food
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Troubles sleeping well
  • Sweating
  • Having chronic headaches
  • Significant change in weight
  • High blood pressure

If you have begun using drugs like Klonopin to cope with feelings, it is time to speak to someone. If you have had thoughts about harming yourself, you need to speak to a professional right away. If you have considered using prescription medications without a diagnosis in order to manage your emotions, we urge you to speak to your doctor immediately. All of these thought patterns put you in danger of causing more harm to yourself in the long run. 3

Misunderstandings About Bottled-Emotions

While it is usually a good idea to express emotions, there are some misunderstandings that people may have, including the following:

  • “It is always good to show how we feel.” There are times when it is better to calm down before expressing emotion. In emotionally charged situations, such as a situation that provokes heated anger, you do better to go for a short walk and sort your feelings and then seek to deal with the situation in a calm and peaceful way. Speaking about emotions and exploding in an emotional outburst are two different things.
  • “You have to express emotion to heal.” When the twin towers went down in New York City in a terrorist attack, a psychological survey found that many of those who did not talk about their feelings fared just as well as those who did. Some people are not personally geared to express emption. If you can pass through trauma with little emotional effect, then you do not need to feel pressured to try to express grief.

You should not feel judged if you do not feel expressing your emotions would be helpful to you. However, if a point does come that you feel like talking, be sure to do so.4

Signs of Good Emotional Health

If you find it easy to adapt to change, you sense that you have a purpose in your life, and you feel useful, these are signs of having a healthy emotional state. Your relationships are likely fulfilling, and you recognize that you both benefit from having good friends and have something worthwhile to offer. Your self-esteem and confidence are not easily hindered by small occurrences or mishaps, such as criticism or personal differences. You probably find it easy to have fun, to enjoy your activities, and when you confront challenges or difficulties, you are resilient and know that you can eventually make it through.

When you feel good emotionally, you may physically take a turn for the better, as well. Your body responds with the ability to nurture itself and gather more strength than it can when you experience negative emotions such as stress, anger, sadness, or jealousy.

When and How to get Help with Emotion Management

Negative emotions need not be hidden or bottled for any reason. Good emotional health is within your reach! Don’t numb your feelings with drugs like Klonopin. Trained professionals can help you to put feelings into perspective and learn to use your emotions to your advantage and to the benefit of those around you. Pick up the phone and dial our toll-free helpline today. Admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to take your call.


 

1 National Institute of Mental Health. “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml.

2 PTSD: National Center for PTSD. “Effects of Traumatic Stress after Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster.” http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/trauma/disaster-terrorism/stress-mv-t-dhtml.asp.

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Emotional Well-Being.” https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/index.html.

4 J. Douglas Bremner. “Traumatic stress: effects on the brain.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181836/.