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Forums / Staying well / When emotions take over logic

Topic: When emotions take over logic

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9757 posts
    23 December 2014

    Awareness or insight are valuable things to have.  Some people with mental illness have no insight to their behaviour and their actions.

    Humans, regardless whether they have mental illness or not commonly display periods in their life whereby emotions overtake logic. You can observe this often. At work, in the street, with family. Someone gets upset and no amount of calming or injection of logic seems to make a difference. They are in a "state" as we say. In a "lather". Made worse with alcohol I must suggest.

    If we are aware of how potent our emotions can be on our thinking and therefore our actions then perhaps we can introduce a plan to self instruct ourselves. A u-turn of reactions.

    There is no magic method. It's all about awareness. That your thoughts are not as logical as they would be without your emotions taking over.

    A clear example for me was some comments my mother used to make under high emotion (I'm estranged from her and I believe she has cronic BPD). Normal logic comment "The frost got my tomatoes but the other vegies might survive ok" Under emotion "Oh, the frost got my tomatoes....I might as well pull out all the vegetable garden and start again. I'm a useless gardener".  Now I acknowledge the above is riddled with other mental illness issues but you get my meaning that her behaviour under emotional "control" is vastly different, more negative, a greater impact upon family members. My mother had no insight and was never easily approachable as she took the most tactfully put comments as a threat. Terror resulted (when we were kids) or alienation or all out war pursued when we entered adulthood.

    Also ramifications on family members or friends would continue. My dear old dad would likely rip up all the vegie patch following her emotional outburst. Then once she settled and logic returned she'd tell him "you shouldnt have listened to me".

    Now admittedly that example is from someone that has a swinging mood issue that required treatment. But often some of us live in a world of extremes. So what can you do?

    Of course always consult your doctor if you are aware of your emotional instability or you are told so. Often we have to rely on others to tell us if our behaviour is not stable be it mood, rapid pace of speech or other symptom. Take others observations seriously and not personally. That isnt easy but remember- it isnt easy for them either.

    Everyone just wants us to be as well as we can be. It's their way of loving us. Love them back by listening.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  2. JessF
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    JessF avatar
    1548 posts
    5 March 2015 in reply to white knight

    Hello white knight, I call this the 'end of the world' scenario. When you're in a bad way, everything is the end of the world. I do this, I have gotten better at controlling it, but when I'm at my weakest I will still react to things that happen with immediately envisioning the worst possible scenario.

    If challenged, some of us will continue to pursue this 'end of the world' logic. You see it here on these forums sometimes, sadly, when someone seems desperate for help but everything that gets suggested by others gets turned down with a reason for why it cannot be so.

    We are emotional creatures, not logical ones, but we if we let our emotions run away with us all the time the results can be very unhealthy, and as you say, the impact on others is profound. 

    1 person found this helpful
  3. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9757 posts
    5 March 2015 in reply to JessF

    Hi JessF

    I have indeed seen this "end of the world" view here in these forums. And there is another ingredient there too- stubbornness. I often wonder if some members have the same stance with their psychiatrist??

    Either way my sorrow expands for them because to be negative and stubborn towards all suggestions would be a sad life to have. It makes the challenge for us and professionals more difficult. But for us to abandon them makes us one of them?

    The best thing a positive person can do is 'educate' a negative person. Show them how greater life can be by looking at a half full glass rather than a half empty one.

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  4. JessF
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    JessF avatar
    1548 posts
    6 March 2015 in reply to white knight
    I go back to old master Kenny Rodgers on this one haha... you've got to know when to hold em and know when to fold em.  If people aren't ready to listen, then you can't make them unfortunately.  I can say that from the perspective of someone who was one of those people who wouldn't listen to anyone.
    3 people found this helpful

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