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Ask Suzanne Your Own Question
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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To Suzanne--- Suzanne, I enjoyed working with you last time.

Resolved Question:

To Suzanne---
Hi Suzanne,
I enjoyed working with you last time. I do worry about the "transparency" of this forum -- but at the same time believe that others can benefit from my experience. If my email signature appears (I don't think it will on this screen, please, please obscure it!) To follow up on our last discussion, we did wind up getting engaged and are taking everything in small steps as he does have past issues that have hindered this for a long time. However, he also realizes that we are a team and that I needed more and he did not want to risk the loss. The process over the next year will definitely be interesting to say the least! I almost wonder if I like my space just as much as he likes his...but I suppose that's a good thing as we will both respect one another's need for "alone time." There is so much I wish I could talk about, but am fearful on a public forum :-)
For example, I could use some advice on dealing with feeling depressed. I have been through a great deal this past year (so I acknowledge the impact of the issues)--- but getting past them and pulling up my bootstraps and moving on and not letting those "ghosts" affect my self-esteem is a whole other story. Despite an anti-depressant and an anxiety medication (on hand just in case of an attack) I have a hard time balancing my emotions and energy. Sometimes I feel great. Other times I just want to hide and sleep -- I don't think I should allow myself to do that. These past events were not minor, but they should not define me either. Any thoughts on coping mechanisms?
Returning client :-)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

How nice to hear from you again...and congratualtions on your engagement! No worries, your email does not show on the message.

To cope with rollercoaster emotions and energy, try doing a modified daily journaling where you specifically try to keep track of what triggers those times you want to hide. When you have an idea about what triggers the mood change, you'll know whether this is something that you can resolve by making some adjustments in your life, or if you need a therapist to help you sort through it.

While you're doing that, there are some effective self-help tools you can use to stay more in the present. Worry, depression, and anxiety are focused either on the past or future, which prevents us from being fully present in this moment.

One of the most effective therapy techniques can also be used outside of the therapy office, with success. DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) was developed for people with mood disorders, and involves tracking your moods, triggers, and learning how to stay in the here and now. An excellent workbook is available: DBT Workbook

For the times when anxiety is a problem, you might want to try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) It's based on the meridians of accupuncture, but works with finger tapping, not needles.

To learn the basic technique, watch this video:

Then, you can find videos that will walk you through EFT on a myriad of different problems. My favorite instructor is Brad Yates

Here's another instructor with a specific script for anxiety.

And finally, there are some wonderful relaxation recordings that will help keep you in control of your emotions. Dan Siegal, PhD has some very good, free MP3 links on his website that talk you through the process. Here are the links:

You can download them, or listen from your computer.
Choose "Wheel of Awareness III :

This combination of building self-awareness by tracking your mood and emotion changes, and learning coping and relaxing skills should help you feel like you're the one in control again, rather than emtions running the show.

I wish you all the best,


Suzanne and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much for this! I will give it all a shot. I apologize for not responding sooner -- I had not seen the "answer" in my email inbox...I just now received a follow up. Happy Holidays!