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Old 4th Aug 2009, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default Bottling Things Up

I was just wondering if anyone knew what the risks are of "Bottling up" emotions.
I say this because I have some childhood trauma that I've never spoken about and some more that I avoid speaking about. And generally bottling things is the way I work.
Also whenever I'm ready to get angry, I go into separation mode, where I'll just be somewhere else and nothing will be so bad anymore. I've always thought that was a good thing really and it's a pretty good way of dealing with any personal pain. But it's not actually a good thing either. It's just what I do.
Anyway, is it a bad thing? am I going to explode one day? Can it take a toll on my physical health (I think my headaches might be related)? Is bottling up an unhealthy thing to do?
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Bottling up your emotions is never okay. One day, something will open the cap and the soda will overflow. I'm a hypocrite because I do the same thing, but it's easier said than easier done. LOL Do you have anyone you feel the most comfortable talking to, like a close friend or family member?
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Étoile View Post
Bottling up your emotions is never okay. One day, something will open the cap and the soda will overflow. I'm a hypocrite because I do the same thing, but it's easier said than easier done. LOL Do you have anyone you feel the most comfortable talking to, like a close friend or family member?
Are you sure it will overflow though? And what will happen if it does? Would it be a ten minute bitch-fest or something more lasting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Étoile View Post
Do you have anyone you feel the most comfortable talking to, like a close friend or family member?
No, not about myself and negative emotions anyway. It's okay though. I don't reveal any negativity to my friends or family because it hides itself.
Anyway, as I said, I will not speak about some of the major things that I keep bottled up. They can stay bottled up as far as I'm concerned. But that's okay.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Im not an expert in anyway so keep that in mind as you read.

Generally its not healthy to keep things in for too long, as things tend to build up and take its toll in some form or other, like headaches and being run down all the time. Also depression, anxiety disorders and other such disorders are likely to show up along the way and in severe circumstances breakdowns are a possibility.

While I'm not going to pry into what "childhood trauma" means, I will however advise you go see a therapist about said trauma, it sounds like something that should be dealt with.

I'm very much like you, as I tend to avoid the problems right in front of me too, but i can tell you that just because you avoid the issues it doesn't make them go away, they are always there under the surface. I avoided dealing with my problems and they have slowly brought me down, taking a lot of things from me. making my life unbearable most days. I'm not saying this will happen to you, as every situation is unique, just saying dealing with things sooner rather then later is usually the better option. just don't rush into things your not ready for.

And keep in mind that everyone here at EC will be glad to lend an ear if you need to get things off your chest, might help .
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Keeping emotions repressed isn't a good idea for a variety of reasions.

First, when you shut down emotional response, it is not selective; you limit your ability to experience ALL emotions, so while holding onto rage, anger, fear, grief you also limit your ability to experience the full range of joy, happiness, love, euphoria, and other "happy" emotions.

Secondly, it is now pretty well documented that there is a strong correlation between emotional health and physical health; repressing your emotions also suppresses your immune system and you body's ability to fight illness and infection.

Third, the emotions rarely stay repressed. They find their way out in other, usually unpleasant and unhealthy ways that can affect your ability to be in healthy relationships, your work life, your friendships.

Of course, all of the above doesn't happen to everyone.

I've been to a lot of workshops with other men and women who are in their 30s and 40s and older who have been holding back strong emotions... and talking about the emotional and sometimes physical toll it has taken. Although it is never pleasant to revisit and rehash the things that you're repressing, it is MUCH easier to do when you are young than if you hold onto it for 10 or 20 or 30 years and then try to process and release it.

This is an area that I've got a fair amount of experience with. If you'd like to talk more about it, feel free to PM me and I can tell you more about safe ways to approach, talk about, and let go of the stuff you're holding onto inside. I can promise you that while it won't feel great as you're going through it, you will be much, much happier and feel a lot more fulfilled once you've processed and let go of whatever you're holding onto.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

I bottle things up too, sometimes to a quite destructive degree, its not healthy and I am trying to battle against repeating the pattern ad infinitum.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

ArcaneVerse - Thank you. My only concern with a therapist is that they aren't bound to full secrecy. I expect that if I get too comfortable or say too many things, they will grab the wrong end of the stick and drag me or people I know into places which are unnecessary.

Calchip - Thank you. I suppose I agree with the numbing of the good emotions. I do feel slightly distanced from feelings of elation, though I still manage to stay happy quite a lot of the time, even if some of it is a false happy.
Correlations between physical and emotional are one of my concerns. I know I've had physical illness in the past which can be linked to stress but I have no idea what the full spectrum of possibilities are for these things. If I'm bottling something emotionally, I wonder if the stress would manifest itself in a physical way? Does it work like that?
I suppose you're right with the whole time thing. It's not going to get any easier to let out everything as time goes on. I have led a fairly complex life, though. And I find that people often get confused by everything whenever I try to explain why some things are the way they are. I'm sure that because there is so much to talk about, I just feel much better keeping it all in than trying to explain a bunch of unrelated things which are confusing. I probably should get a method of stopping this whole bottling up thing, though. I just don't know what that method would be. Thank you.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

I can understand your hesitation with therapist, im not a fan myself and I would be seeing one at the moment if it wasn't for some circumstances that make it nearly impossible, but it may be the best thing for your overall health, physical and mental.

I cant say for sure but I believe therapists have to keep everything you say confidential, except if you or anyone else is in danger of being harmed. Maybe instead of naming names, you can leave those details out?

True, it can be hard for other people to fully comprehend what's going on in your life, even after you've tried to explain, but that shouldn't stop you from venting and getting things out into the open. Just because they don't get it, doesn't mean they cant be sympathetic and of some help. I know its a immensely scary thought to bare so much of yourself, things that you have kept secret for so long, but i can promise you that you will start to feel much better once you start opening up. maybe you don't have someone that you can trust to that extent atm, but maybe you will someday, just don't shut yourself off from that opportunity when it comes by.

I chose to trust that somebody when that opportunity came up for me and it turned out to be one of the best things that I have ever done, i gained a best friend and some one i vent to when things start to weigh me down and although it didn't fix my problems it was a huge step towards a better tomorrow.

anyway i hope you find some peace of mind and I'm always here if you need to talk just wall me or pm me any time.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

"Repression" is where you push your pain and trauma into the subconscious and decide not to deal with it. Whereas "suppression" is where you temporarily avoid facing a problem until a better time. For example, if someone has been dumped but has to go to work, they may simply avoid thinking about it while at work and wait until they are home and alone, or with a friend, to cry or deal with it.

By repressing a bad experience or emotion, it can interfere with your ability to deal with similar experiences or emotions. Personally, I have body issues that affect my self-esteem, and since there is no tact in sharing this information with friends, I simply don't tell people the reasons for why I dislike or avoid certain actions. I plan on seeing a therapist when I return to school next semester, because it's gotten to the point where my friendships are affected negatively by my poor ability to be honest with people.

Any trauma should be dealt with, at least to some degree. Therapists are trained to help others deal with these problems, and so they can probably help more than any close friend can.

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Old 4th Aug 2009, 03:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

same happenned to me, but then a nice canadian fella talked to me and helped me, im not canadian but pm me to talk, i dont judge
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Here in the states I believe legal confidentiality is the rule for therapist services. As an alternative you might ask your pastor if you have one that you might be comfortable speaking with. Otherwise, maybe go to your MD for a physical and discuss the matter with him/her and ask for a recommendation of someone to speak with. Really bad things happen when we repress, deny, hide, etc. etc. etc., as practically anyone here at EC can attest. Note, that is why Catholics push the sacrament of reconciliation. Spill your troubles to the priest and your dark secrets vanish in the light of day and the light of forgiveness. (withholding bad jokes about priests that cause problems) Slay those secrets so they don't become demons in your life.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 07:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

In both the US and Canada, a therapist is bound through their professional code of ethics to complete confidentiality. Nothing you say can be repeated to anyone.

The only exception is if the therapist believes there is an imminent risk of harm to you or to another person (for example, you reveal that you are actively sexually abusing a child, or that you plan to kill someone. Then, the therapist is obligated to report you.)

There are a significant number of illnesses that are believed to have a high correlation to psychological trauma and/or repressed emotions. Certain diagnoses, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, are thought by many to be interrelated to psychological issues, and generally one cannot heal one without addressing the other. There are also studies showing correlations in women between breast cancer and emotional repression. There is less research with men, but one study I heard of infers a correlation between repressed anger and lung cancer in men.

And Candace Pert, Ph.D's work correlating emotions to immune response showed that overall immune response (such as to colds, flu, etc) is suppressed in either people with repressed emotions or people with constant, strongly negative emotions.

I think you would be very surprised how quickly a good therapist could get a handle on exactly how your issues are interrelated. You probably won't have to explain much, because the therapists that are really skilled in working with emotionally repressed people have an almost "sixth sense" about how things interrelate and the constellation of things that contribute to your challenges.

In years past, I spent a lot of time working with people with sexual abuse, physical trauma, rape, and other issues, including childhood traumas. No one every wants to go digging through that stuff to clear it out, but as Carl Jung said, the only way out, for true healing, is through. And it really isn't that difficult with a good therapist and a commitment to the process.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 10:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

sometimes tho maybe things r better left alone, specially if ur doing a decent job not remembering.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 11:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

I thoroughly recommend having a therapist or counsellor to talk to about 'stuff'. I don't think keeping stuff bottled up is a good long term solution. I don't know how old you are, but if you're managing to keep things 'separated' now, that technique may not last as your life gets more complicated or stressful.

Been there, done that.

And the result was that I took up an addiction to help me 'avoid' my reality. In the end, when I hit 'bottom', I had to talk about the stuff that was bothering me anyway.

It would have been a lot better to have resolved my 'bottled up' issues to start with.

There is a technical name for what you're doing - not sure if it's 'compartmentalization' or not. Eventually you can end up with two different lives running in parallel. It's not fun.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 11:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

No i don't believe bottling thing's up is ever good it can lead to alot of emotional issue's it's always best to talk to someone about your problem's no matter who it is either a friend or family or a professional which i would say is best because they can help you with coping and also help you work through your childhood issue's

Good luck with everything xxx
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 08:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

To the OP. I know exactly what you are feeling. Bottling your emotions feels like a great aspect of self control. But in the end it will not end well. I used to do the same thing and i liked being considered someone who never got angry, was very in control. But then eventually when it comes to HAVING to deal with stuff that affects you negatively it is a massive setback.
You do not have the experience to express negative emotions and it can be very hard and painful which only perpetuates the condition. Think of it this way. You bottle up emotions over and over. You cannot hide from that stuff forever. Whatever your capacity is (mine was about till 10th grade) it cannot go on forever. first there is the pressure when you are at the breaking point and the emotional pain is unbearable. For me that meant suicidal thoughts, depression, and being unable to physically move at times because of how tired that stress makes you. Then if you make it past that and actually delve into dealing with the issues it is like poking holes in a water balloon that is way to full. Painful releases and floods that leave you drained and depressed because your limit just has been reached. Finally if you do get over some of the issues it is still the same water balloon issue. Try holding water in something with holes in it. For me physiologically attempting to hold in any emotions after that phase would scare me. Bringing back the worst memories of my depression and just causing more stress. I no longer have next to any control on my little emotional valve. i have to release any emotional issue i feel.
The important thing is to be able to get a gauge on it. Let out what you need, hold in what you need, let go what you need. Otherwise it is like relearning all the steps and it is a painful process. For me it has next to completely devastated multiple aspects of my life. I would not advice doing it as it could severely harm you. the best of luck to you
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 10:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étoile View Post
Bottling up your emotions is never okay. One day, something will open the cap and the soda will overflow. I'm a hypocrite because I do the same thing, but it's easier said than easier done. LOL Do you have anyone you feel the most comfortable talking to, like a close friend or family member?
Are you sure it will overflow though? And what will happen if it does? Would it be a ten minute bitch-fest or something more lasting?
Depends on your personality, the issue(s), and how long it's been bubbling. You may scream at someone and start bawling, start an addiction, drive everyone you love away, or physically take it out on someone.

Quote:
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Do you have anyone you feel the most comfortable talking to, like a close friend or family member?
No, not about myself and negative emotions anyway. It's okay though. I don't reveal any negativity to my friends or family because it hides itself.
Anyway, as I said, I will not speak about some of the major things that I keep bottled up. They can stay bottled up as far as I'm concerned. But that's okay.[/QUOTE]

It's not okay. As you've said yourself, they're major issues. They will not stay tied down forever; they'll release itself somehow, some way eventually. You mayn't have a emotional/mental breakdown, but you may become depressed, gain a bad temper, or find yourself lonely and unsuccessful. PM me if you want to talk. Always open for an ear.
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 10:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

^Was moi.
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 11:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

its never good to bottle things up.
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Old 26th Nov 2009, 11:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Bottling Things Up

Hi everyone
I know this an old thread but it's the OP here. I want to say thank you all for the advice and this prompted me to going for help. I've seen a bunch of people and I feel that everything is on track. Thanks again and I would recommend that everyone who is struggling emotionally goes to get help in some way, even if you are scared or reluctant at first.
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