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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have been really emotional lately. I cry, or get the urge

Resolved Question:

I have been really emotional lately. I cry, or get the urge to, when something is happy or sad this is mostly while watching tv or movies. I'm a generally happy person. Definitely not pregnant.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 12 months ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

It sounds as though this has come on suddenly and you can't account for it with hormonal changes like PMS,etc. Right?

Customer:

Well, I'm on birth control. I wasn't sure if that was the culprit.

Customer:

With the birth control I'm on, I only get my cycle every 3 months.

Dr. Mark :

So you're on the continual birth control pill? How long have you been on it?

Customer:

Off and on for about 3 years

Dr. Mark :

And this is the first time that this emotionality has occurred?

Dr. Mark :

I'm asking because we need to rule out physiological issues before we begin with life issues, okay?

Customer:

I've always been somewhat emotional, it just seems to be amplified in the last year or so.

Dr. Mark :

So, we've ruled out physiological problems, right?

Dr. Mark :

Or causes.

Dr. Mark :

If so, how have you interpreted why this year has triggered you to be even more emotional?

Customer:

My mother has been diagnosed as a manic depressant with bipolar disorder. I wasn't sure if it could be genetic.

Dr. Mark :

So you're scared inside, though you don't necessarily know how much, or want to think about it much?

Dr. Mark :

Is that true?

Customer:

I'm bad about putting things that bother me on the back burner in my mind, I suppose.

Customer:

So yes, to answer your question.

Dr. Mark :

I can imagine, given that you are emotionally "alive" to begin with.

Dr. Mark :

Have you done research online about Bipolar Disorder (BD), which is our current name for what used to be called Manic Depression?

Customer:

I know a little bit about it, but I don't really have extremes in emotion over short periods of time

Dr. Mark :

One of the big problems with BD is that when you look at Google, it tells you some true stuff, but it's impossible to know what the information means.

Dr. Mark :

For example, it is true that, like many disorders as well as medical problems, BD is heritable.

Dr. Mark :

That means that the risk increases if a parent (or other first order relatives) has been diagnosed with it.

Dr. Mark :

But what does that mean?

Dr. Mark :

For example, this is true of many heart diseases.

Dr. Mark :

But that doesn't mean that every time a person who's mom had a heart attack

Dr. Mark :

and this person has a pain somewhere in their body it means that she's getting a heart attack like her mom.

Dr. Mark :

Agreed?

Customer:

Yes.

Dr. Mark :

Shall I continue or would you like to share what you're feeling at this point?

Dr. Mark :

I see you're typing, so I'll wait.

Customer:

I mean, I've had little to no relationship with my mother in the last 5 years or so. I think that is part of what bothers me, but I generally to to rationalize it with the fact that she isn't the same person as she was when I was growing up on the account of she started abusing alcohol and her perscriptions. It changed her personality completely

Dr. Mark :

This is very sad on a few levels:

Dr. Mark :

frist,

Dr. Mark :

You've lost your mom, effectively. That's so sad.

Dr. Mark :

Secondly,

Dr. Mark :

your mom got lost in her alcohol and drug abuse. She "lost herself", so to speak.

Dr. Mark :

And third, it appears she may have triggered BD coming into play.

Dr. Mark :

This is a lot all at once, I can imagine.

Dr. Mark :

Especially that you've lost your mom. Is this the hardest part?

Customer:

Yeah. I had a grieving period of sorts a few years ago

Customer:

I moved to another state and started over, but never really dealt with it. I feel a bit helpless in the situation because you can't change someone that doesn't think they have a problem, nor does she take accountability for any of her actions.

Dr. Mark :

So it sounds as though you're having a hard time coming to terms with both your mom's weakness

Dr. Mark :

and your inability to help her overcome her weakness.

Dr. Mark :

Is that what you're dealing with?

Customer:

There's also a sense of abandonment on her part, but yes, collectively.

Dr. Mark :

How HAVE you been dealing with these two very deep wounds and sadnesses:

Dr. Mark :

being abandoned by your mom

Dr. Mark :

and

Dr. Mark :

being helpless to help her.

Customer:

I've reached out a couple of times to her, but it always blows up in my face because she always finds something to pick a fight about. I've pretty much written her off at this point.

Customer:

I feel it's out of my control.

Dr. Mark :

You're right, but I would really wish for you not to feel like you are writing her off.

Dr. Mark :

You're 24 years old.

Dr. Mark :

That's important here.

Dr. Mark :

If you were older, had kids, etc.

Dr. Mark :

we might be talking about you going to Al Anon to learn about how to deal with an alcoholic and drug abusing parent.

Dr. Mark :

But you're a young woman and you need to focus on your life, that's important.

Customer:

There's only so many times you can kick a dog before it finds somewhere else to live.

Dr. Mark :

You need to make your own life.

Dr. Mark :

I see you're very hurt. This is indeed very deep.

Customer:

And I have. I'm independent, live on my own, I just think about things in the future where a girl needs her mom. Wedding, children, etc.

Dr. Mark :

And so you cry. I can understand that.

Dr. Mark :

And you may be rigth:

Dr. Mark :

I'm sorry, right

Dr. Mark :

she may not be there as the "mom" when you are planning your wedding.

Dr. Mark :

It will be a sadness, that's true.

Customer:

I don't cry because I'm constantly sad about this. It seems to be random trigger points. Something happy, sad, romantic, whatever.

Dr. Mark :

Right. That's how emotions work.

Dr. Mark :

When we are feeling something and it's unresolved, it doesn't appear in logical ways,

Customer:

I really try not to think about my mom at all.

Dr. Mark :

rather it comes when it is "triggered".

Dr. Mark :

Emotions are triggered, they are not like thoughts.

Dr. Mark :

So the pain of being feeling alone is a real pain for you, is that true/

Customer:

I guess in the sense of feeling abandoned by my mother, yes.

Dr. Mark :

When you find yourself crying, or getting the urge to, I would like you to take a moment and take a deep breath and

Dr. Mark :

say to yourself

Dr. Mark :

if it is a happy situation:

Dr. Mark :

"I know that I'm not sure about my own future happiness. That underneath I have some sadness about my mom. But I'm living a good life and everyone has to reach happiness by getting through their sad parts. She's my sad part."

Dr. Mark :

And if it's a sad situation:

Dr. Mark :

"Yes, I know that I'm sad myself. My mom has been a big sadness in my life. I know what it's like to be sad. But I'm living a good life and everyone has to reach happiness by getting through their sad parts. She's my sad part."

Dr. Mark :

At first it may increase your feelings of tearfulness, because

Dr. Mark :

as you've said:

Dr. Mark :

you haven't really cleaned out the feelings about your mom inside yourself.

Dr. Mark :

But after a little while, you will find that the power of the sadness will begin to weaken.

Dr. Mark :

It won't have that power over you because

Dr. Mark :

okay?

Dr. Mark :

I'll let you respond.

Dr. Mark :

it won't be so below the surface for you, coming up as emotionalism

Customer:

I'll give it a shot. I'm bad about sweeping unpleasant things under the rug, so to speak, as not to have to deal with them underlying emotions.

Dr. Mark :

Right, that's why I'm recommending this as your strategy.

Dr. Mark :

Specifically to NOT sweep under the rug, so to speak.

Dr. Mark :

Because when we sweep emotions under the rug, then they leak out.

Dr. Mark :

Emotions don't disappear, they hide.

Dr. Mark :

And they come out when they can, not when we want, rigth?

Dr. Mark :

You've seen that now.

Dr. Mark :

That's why I want you to do the opposite, that's our strategy.

Dr. Mark :

You'll acknowledge your feelings.

Dr. Mark :

That's powerful.

Dr. Mark :

Okay?

Customer:

Ok. I'll see how that works. What do you recommend if the problem continues?

Dr. Mark :

I really don't believe it will.

Customer:

Do you feel it's just stuff I haven't dealt with or do I appear to have a medical condition?

Dr. Mark :

Because in my experience, what you're going through is really a lot of "repressed emotion".

Dr. Mark :

You do not appear to have a medical condition.

Dr. Mark :

You've described repressed emotion.

Dr. Mark :

I don't mean from way back in childhood,

Dr. Mark :

I mean that you have been repressing a lot of hurt and sad and disappointed and worried emotions.

Dr. Mark :

And they're leaking out.

Dr. Mark :

So our strategy is to face them openly.

Dr. Mark :

I'm confident you'll see relief.

Dr. Mark :

But if not, then go to a counselor/therapist in your area and let the counseling help you with becoming comfortable with your emotions, okay?

Customer:

Sounds like a plan. Thank you!

Dr. Mark :

You're welcome.


Okay, I wish you the very best!


 


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Customer:

Will do! Thanks!

Dr. Mark :

Great. If you could give a rating before leaving, I'd be grateful. All the best to you, Dr. Mark

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5133
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice