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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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I was at the beach last week, when i was enveloped by a

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I was at the beach last week, when i was enveloped by a wave. After surfacing i was caught by another wave that filled me with water and took me under, i found myself further our into the sea and was struggling to get back to shore. I also did not want to call for anyones help, even though my friends were just a few meters away. I knew then if i gave up fighting to get back i would die. But i made it back after what seemed like 20 mintues of struggling. Each day since i have moved further and further into the ocean, i cannot rationalize why. Shouldn't i be scared? Now i am back home, i feel angry and confused and frightened, though i am not sure of what. Can you please advise?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.

Do you feel as though you want to die? Have you been unhappy in your life? Feeling hopeless and/or helpless?

The behavior that you are describing sounds very dangerous. Sometimes people engage in risky behaviors for "the thrill" without any real intent to die, and other times people do risky things with a desire to die. In either case, going into the ocean over your head in high wave conditions is dangerous and can kill you, even by accident.

I would strongly encourage you to find a psychologist near you to talk with further about this impulse and behavior so that you can understand it better and hopefully avoid this and other similar behaviors in the future. In the meantime, I would also encourage you to stay away from the ocean- even enlisting the help of family and friends if you think this might be hard for you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

yes, i have felt like similarly to the ways you described before, but i do not feel this was the case this time.

I have always rationalized that i am too strong of a person to let myself go, and that is what i feel when i fought to get back to shore the first time. Also, the times i entered the ocean after i relatively enjoyed myself and was able to get back to shore quite easily without any struggle or effort.

I felt like i was proving someting to myself, and i do not understand why i did not fear it. Isn't that the common reaction? and why do i feel upset now?

Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.
I would wonder what exactly it is that you're trying to prove to yourself, and if, perhaps there is another way to do so. My guess is that part of what's upsetting you now is that you recognize, on some level, the fact that you are engaging in extreme behavior to prove this thing (whatever it is) to yourself. Again, I would suggest that you find a psychologist near you to talk this out a bit more and understand it better so that you don't feel the need to continue in this pattern as it's clearly upsetting to you.
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