Is it just me, or are emotions overlooked these days?

  • A few years ago, I had an appointment with my GP. At the time, I was on long service leave from work because my health was deteriorating. It was an emotional time - I was worried about my health, fearful about my financial situation and I was aware of how uncertain my future was. I was juggling a lot of emotions and I remember crying in my appointment.

    My GP's only response...anti-depressants. The memory has stayed with me because I was disappointed in his response. There was no recognition that I was going through a tough time and that it was entirely natural to be experiencing so many emotions.

    I'm fortunate that through all the ups and downs of life with a chronic illness, I've never experienced mental health issues. I know that a lot of people in our community suffer from depression, anxiety and other challenges either in addition to, or because of, ME/CFS. I think it's great that recognition and understanding of mental health issues continues to improve.

    I do wonder though if somewhere along the way, we've lost acceptance of natural emotions, like sadness, grief, loneliness, fear and worry? That we've almost moved to a state of mind where if we're not happy, we're depressed. Maybe because people are uncomfortable or don't know how to deal with other people's emotions, they don't know what to say or do.

    How do other people feel?

  • Such a fascinating question but also a saddening one. It's such an interesting thing that in society we are taught all kinds of things, but not actually about our emotions or managing them. From what I know of going through GP's for mental health myself, I think the protocol is supposed to be to send you for psychotherapy first (to a psychologist) because it's true that not everyone would need to be medicated - even for things such as mild depression or anxiety. So in some senses this seems like a GP who was not well trained or just a bit lazy. If it was in regards to another health issue that you were feeling stressed, then I'm doubly surprised by the lack of referral to a psych or counsellor. Also yes, plenty of GP's aren't particularly empathetic, which is obviously bad. And yes, society tends to not accept the full spectrum of human emotion and social media has made this worse - its positivity or its nothing ! hopefully our journeys with out health actually teach us that we must accept all of our emotions as a natural part of the health journey (and life). Best wishes x

  • I completely agree with you. The normality of "negative" emotions (and I really do mean normality, not actual psychiatric conditions like depression which need treatment) is not only pushed under the rug, but has actually become taboo. There is also the unfortunate fact that with chronic illnesses that have historically been viewed as psychosomatic, there is a risk that expressing any emotion at all will be taken as a sign that we are responsible for our own disease by having negative emotions.

  • @Coggles77
    Yes, this is a big one and one I am all to familiar with in the early years of being ill....the roller coaster ride of tearing up in the gps office!
    Best get you some anti depressants!! NOOOOO
    “See the thing is doc, one day I was working hard, newly married two years, loving life, getting ready to try and have a baby the following year and .... Bang.
    Got up one day and I passed out, didn’t get better.”
    Of course I was crying in the gps room. At this point I hadn’t found the GP I have now. I can’t tell you how many wanted to put me on anti depressants. I tried them and they made me worse.
    I know back then I was depressed at times because of the situation I was thrown in with my health not with clinical depression.
    Checking peoples emotions and saying it’s ok for people to feel this grief without being diagnosed with depression and thrown on drugs because of it! I think is extremely important to be talked about!
    Being able to share our feelings without fear, is vital for our well-being.
    Good thread @Coggles77 thanks.

  • The expression of negative emotions or perceived lack of optimism from time to time (!) can be deemed that one is giving up or giving in, wallowing even. And suggests that if we could only positive-ise our emotions we would feel so much better! It’s such a burden to bear, that we should only think harder about it and things would improve! Imagine the soothing and relief we might feel if our tormented feelings could be witnessed and even kept company by the understanding of a friend.

    I suspect that my “treatment-resistant depression” was not depression in its own right but fatigue/exhaustion-related dysfunction... I know that I absolutely suffered from depression as well, and severely, but I wonder if the ECT that I ultimately received was not warranted at all!

  • @river said in Is it just me, or are emotions overlooked these days?:

    historically been viewed as psychosomatic, there is a risk that expressing any emotion at all will be taken as a sign that we are responsible for our own disease

    Very self-conscious of this myself!

  • I remember reading an article published by a news outlet a few years ago on the practice of pushing anti-depressants to people exhibiting normal emotional responses to life events. The only thing I remember from the article was a woman's account of sitting in a doctor's office with her partner and being told that he was terminally ill. She naturally shed some tears (but remained calm) and was immediately recommended anti-depressants.

  • @Coggles77 What you speak of, I believe, is one of the greatest crises of our times. ❤

Log in to reply