Warning: Violent suicidal imagery: may trigger (Please read this first)
I saw Dr. X this morning. I really needed someone to talk to. Until a few days ago I was feeling really good. I felt on track, I was feeling confident I could accept the chronicity and cycling of my mood disorder. I was feeling like I was on the right path, and then something happened.
Something happened that at first made me really irritated and annoyed, and then as I thought more about it I became enraged at how I felt I was treated, and am periodically treated by someone I care deeply for.
Anyways, it doesn't matter what the thing that happened was. What happened was how I later reacted to it. My rage grew so big that I began having suicidal thoughts; violent rage-filled suicidal thoughts. I began thinking of stabbing myself in the chest over and over again so the anger would end, of beating my head until it stopped, of hanging myself, of shooting myself in the head to stop the rage.
Dr. X. and I talked about why I was having such violent thoughts.
- First, they were just thoughts. I had no plans to do any of those things. I just couldn't get the thoughts out of my head. So they were obsessive thoughts, thoughts invading my mind.
- Second, they all seemed to be about my finding the fastest way to get rid of my anger. All of the "ways" of committing suicide that invaded my head would result in fairly instant death...and a complete end to the anger.
- Third, I think they were akin to "cutting"...the more the thoughts came the more calm I became. It was like the thoughts themselves were like my cutting myself to get rid of the pain.
Dr. X was pretty straight forward (well sort of) today about how much anger I have inside me. He seemed to be trying to say it in a roundabout way, so I am not 100% sure what he was saying, but I think he was saying anger is a big part of my depression. We have talked a lot about the anger inside me throughout the years, but I don't think he's ever really said that to me before.
Other therapists have told me my depression is anger turned inwards. I agree I do have some of that happening...but that is too simplistic. I think Dr. X's approach is less dogmatic than that. He recognises there are definitely some biological and genetic components to my depression and that the environmental/psychosocial components are more complex than that. Plus, I am not always angry...but I am usually depressed.
I wish Dr. X would say exactly what he is thinking sometimes, instead of "couching" information in mysterious ways. I think he was saying I need to address my anger. I agree I do feel angry about some things. I told him I am angry my Mom died, I am angry my Dad is an ass, I am angry I lost my job to depression, I am angry I have been anxious and depressed for so long. Who wouldn't be?
I don't think I am usually angry though. In fact, I rarely express anger towards other people. (Maybe my husband...poor guy he gets the brunt of it...but not for no reason most of the time). I am not a confrontational person, generally I am diplomatic and I always am respectful to others even if I am mad at them. For example, I have never ever been disrespectful towards my father, no matter how much he irritates me. He is still my father and I respect that.
I think when I feel well I am not angry. Dr. X says I am a bit wild, suggesting maybe I am feel pent up and that is causing me to be angry.
I do often feel like I am held back, or hold myself back, or pent up; kind of like a Mustang used to running free, who suddenly becomes bridled, broken and locked up in a corral. My corral is my anxiety, that stops me from working towards my dreams (actually it stops me from even dreaming about what I could do) and what I really want to do. The other "corral" is my depression that makes me feel less than capable, or helpless, or that change and choice is hopeless in my situation.
I think I am working hard and making huge strides towards changing and working through and with my depression and anxiety. I am trying so hard to change. I am not sure how to address my anger in a constructive way. I don't want to be mad at people, or get angry when it is not reasonable.
Plus, in the initial situation I alluded to ANYONE would have become angry. I managed to stay calm during the incident. It was only afterwards that I became angry that I allowed myself to get caught in a situation like that. That was when I got angry. I got angry because I felt both taken advantage of, disrespected and treated like my caring about someone was a bad thing.
I think I will need to address anger again in my session next week, because other than me somehow getting my anger out of me, I'm not really sure what Dr. X was trying to tell me.