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Musings from Behind the Couch

'What We're Really Thinking'

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H.R. Grimm is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

October 12, 2015 | 1,074 views | Post a comment

"What you think influences your emotions (feelings). The longer a particular emotion hangs around, we call it a mood. Moods too often rule our behavior without us realizing what we're really thinking." (Cognitive Behavior, Grimm's Paraphrased Edition)

Years ago, I was a Cognitive Behavior Therapist. My three year clinical internship allowed me to earn an independent licensure to be employed in Community Mental Health, Private Practice and the incarceration population. For nearly two decades of this profession I worked with individuals with everything from Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Borderline Personality, Major Depression, etc., as well as, the "worried-well", couples, groups and individuals. Now, I'm just some has-been retired guy with just enough outdated diagnostic skills to get scared wandering around after dark on my own in "Buy-Mart". I see things that make me wonder...

You can Google www.nimh.nih.gov or www.mentalhealth.gov to check my facts here but according to statistics, about one out of every four to five people have met the criteria for an emotional/mental diagnosis in their life. Far too many people deny they have "issues" but it doesn't take a Ph.D. candidate to pick up that some people are denying they are not handling things well (That means many of us are in denial. Hence, "De'Nile is more than a river in Egypt". "De'Nile meaning denial, get it? Sorry some MH humor.).

Now, whether we want to admit it or not we've all had times something happened in our lives that knocked us for a loop and we were at least temporarily left stunned. Call it what you will, it left a mark. I don't mean being overly sensitive I mean it hooked you or me and we somehow can't shake it loose. Right now in this God-Blessed USA it is reported that on average 22 Veterans are committing suicide DAILY! No Veteran is "overly" sensitive, we are dealing with the an inner hell that we can't shake and haunts us. "Intrusive" (unwelcomed invading) thoughts and reoccurring images wear a person down to where everyday is an mentally exhausting existence. Emotional pain is as real as a broken bone (www.va.gov). For any of us, it may be from an accident or some unnerving/unsettling event that just sticks in our craw so to speak. You may not be aware how much it got stuck but you're carrying on a conversation with someone and "BAM!" you're left wondering where a feeling came from that just came out of your mouth or theirs as there was been an over reaction.

Chronic (long lasting) abuse or stressful situations (like War or Domestic Violence) creates a mindset that in a sense forces our thoughts to continue flowing a certain way. Whatever the event, it's like having the vegetation stripped away from the side of a hill leaving raw soil. As we've all seen that when it rains, water cuts a "path" as it runs down over this "raw" soil. Of course, in some areas we've seen mudslides. This is a rough example but I think you get the picture as how the mind works.

Often we don't know what is running through another's or our own mind at times that causes a train of thought that causes an overreaction. It could be a past unresolved issue (that stuck stuff) that flares but the results are not what anyone wants. These have been called "emotional triggers" or "emotional land mines". It may be a phrase a person used in a conversation that sets us off. Maybe it's the tone used in expressing a difference of opinion. Somewhere deep inside us there is the spontaneous reaction to defend or an emotional spontaneous combustion of an unexplained intensity of feeling (a fight or flight feeling) and one of these 'land mines' blows up potentially damaging a relationship. As much as we might regret it ever happened, these can create tension between friends or cause the passion to cool between lovers. Call it what you will but the warmth of a close friendship can be chilled into uncaring and even love turned into a loathing to be touched. There is a grieving of the relationship that takes place as hearts are wounded & finally broken.

(....to be continued next week...)
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