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 Post subject: Controlling emotions...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:02 am 
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So, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder many years ago. And I definitely have issues that would fall under the scope of that; but I know there has to be a better way than chemicals to get things under control. My biggest issue is poor impulse control, which usually leads to me getting angry over something stupid. Does anyone have any practical knowledge along these lines, for either impulse control or reining in my emotions?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:34 am 
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ChangYuan wrote:
So, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder many years ago. And I definitely have issues that would fall under the scope of that; but I know there has to be a better way than chemicals to get things under control. My biggest issue is poor impulse control, which usually leads to me getting angry over something stupid. Does anyone have any practical knowledge along these lines, for either impulse control or reining in my emotions?


Dear ChangYuan,

I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. I can relate and understand.

For myself I've found that being very focused on mindfulness as emotions and reactions rise and fall can be a huge help. I mean, really putting effort into it and being acutely aware and perceptive. Have you tried this? If not, you might find that your impulses and actions are better reigned in with big efforts at mindfulness.

Also, have you tried any standard treatments that don't involve chemical solutions as a professional might have recommended? I've found treatments and specialists to be very helpful to supplement my daily efforts and struggles.

Kind wishes,
Laura


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:38 am 
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Mindfulness in this context implies to detect emotions as they are on the verge of arising. They are better detectable if the gound they arise from is not so turbulent. It is a matter of contrast. If it is very noisy then the appearance of sounds that start low are hardly detectable. If however the ground they arise from is smooth and silent then the arising of new sounds is easily detected and one is not overwhelmed once they get louder.
Therefore the internal "environment" has to be prepared by means of reduction of sense stimuli, shamata meditation, balanced eating (alertness needs nutritive energy, too much eating however increases fatigue and reduces alertness) and balanced sleep (effects comparable to eating), practicing positive states of mind (lojong, mind training).

Once the arising of emotions is thus detected in a very early stage one can just let them pass by (i.e. dissolve), knowingly, like passing old friends ... "hello".

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:50 am 
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ChangYuan wrote:
So, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder many years ago. And I definitely have issues that would fall under the scope of that; but I know there has to be a better way than chemicals to get things under control. My biggest issue is poor impulse control, which usually leads to me getting angry over something stupid. Does anyone have any practical knowledge along these lines, for either impulse control or reining in my emotions?


First of all, sorry to hear of this situation. I hope that you can overcome this, and lead a life in which emotions do not overwhelm you.

Second, if your doctor or counselor has prescribed treatment, please continue with that. (Even though what I am about to say is rather different from what most doctors or counselors may say.)

Third, proper meditation practice will help a great deal. If you can find a teacher of meditation who is also a meditator, that would be great.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, the thought "I am bi-polar", or "I have bi-polar disorder" is very powerful. However, from a Dharma perspective, try looking at it like this "There is bi-polar disorder, but it is not "me", it is not "mine", it comes from a range of conditions, and those conditions can be changed."

All the best with changing those conditions. :consoling:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:18 am 
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I really shake the hand of Huifeng.

Dear ChangYuan,
So many people are taking medicines and can get support by them to have the possibility to practice. As this disorder is giving strong ups and downs, and in order to keep balanced energy and concentration can the help of medicines be wonderful. (anti depressiva should not be to recommend in this case, please inform you well about your condition) So not only keeping the mood in softer waves but the importance of concentration possibility.

Also if you like physical exercises, those should also give some support.

To see a flower, like that we are. It is okay so. (Thich Nath Hanh)

There is a practice to see our emotions as natural and need not to be discarded or rejected. They have no inherent existence and no owner. Just nature. In that way they can with "practising" so, easy dissolve in that very moment as they are without leaving a trace.

Aversion to painful emotions and attachment to calm moments can by that be avoided.

Some very great words were offered: we are all diamonds, each of another shape. I send warmth and am greeting you. _/\_

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:18 am 
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Hi Chang.


I'm not bipolar, but I do live with lifelong depression. It is mainly under pretty good control now. Two things have made big differences for me.

First, I take my meds.

Second, since depression leads to non productivity, which leads to frustration and then anger, I had anger to deal with. I spent about six months reading from the Dalai Lama's "Healing Anger" and that pretty much fixed the problem. This is not something I would have ever thought possible, but it did work. I no longer have to control anger much because mostly it just does not arise any more, and when it does it is either brief (seconds) or mild.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:28 am 
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When there is really talk of Bi Polar is this asking medical support. In case of Cyclothymie, which is looking like Bi Polar but not such strong depths and hights should there be easier possibilities.

All the best. _/\_

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:04 pm 
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Yes medication can help very much and I didn't mean to diminish that in my post.

And of course we can only offer support and suggestions here, a treating professional is always best :)

Kindly,
Laura


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:36 pm 
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ChangYuan wrote:
Does anyone have any practical knowledge along these lines, for either impulse control or reining in my emotions?

Possibly not very helpfull and in no way intended to take owt away from some of the previous excellent and sensible replies ..

Have you tried laughing at yourself ChangYuan?

I mean like once the emotions have subsided looking back on yourself, kinda 'third party', and finding humour in what you did when you were temporarily not in control?

Long time ago I used to suffer from road rage. It culminated in an instance when I totaly 'lost the plot' and beat the bejasus out of the interior of my own car. The final punch hit the steering wheel and jammed the cars horn on. I remember sitting there, horn blaring, surveying the wreckage my temper tantrum had caused and realised what a total pratt I woulda seemed to anyone looking on .. Then I started laughing at myself. The memory has had me going into a fit of giggles everytime anything which would once have annoyed happens when I'm driving ever since.

Sounds silly, I know, but I have found the same technique very helpfull on a number of other 'run away emotions' kinda things.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:50 am 
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ChangYuan wrote:
So, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder many years ago. And I definitely have issues that would fall under the scope of that; but I know there has to be a better way than chemicals to get things under control. My biggest issue is poor impulse control, which usually leads to me getting angry over something stupid. Does anyone have any practical knowledge along these lines, for either impulse control or reining in my emotions?


I am sorry to hear about your emotional troubles. :)

I have two siblings, both of whom have been diagnosed with bi-polar, one of which has severe depression, ADD and ADHD on top of it (what a mouthful!). I myself do not have it, but can totally relate to seeing them go through personal struggles and watching a person who is at one moment on top of the world, and the next moment on the ground crying, or punching walls in anger.

Getting control of your emotions is not as easy as it seems. I was quite unware of this when I was younger, and would yell at my siblings when they would say they can't help it with "Yes you can! You're just making excusses!" And while this is partly true... it's harder than it sounds to control your emotions, isn't it? Some basic things I have seen my brother do is simply walk away. Okay, it may not be practical to simply walk away from something that is angering you. But, combine this with some buddhist ideas such as being mindful. Watch your anger rise and ask "Why did this upset me? Should it have upset me" And go back and confront what it is that upset you. If it is a person, continue talk to them, and try to see their side. If it is a car not starting, go back to the car, and realize anger isn't going to get you to work. Call someone for help, call a friend for help, call your boss and calmly explain the situation... oftne times we blow things up with our emotions before we have even had a chance to look at the situation.

I am getting long here so I am going to try to wrap it up... Watch your emotions, be aware of their coming and going. At first allow the emotion to come, and later reflect upon why it occured, as you analysis becomes stronger you will, hopefully, start to realize there is no neccesitty for the anger, or sorrow, or w/e the emotion may be. Take a deep breathe and with it accept the situation, exhale the breathe and let go of the situation. (No I don't mean don't care about it, rather realize you can't control everything, and maybe the person who got you upset has faults too!)

Remember, you cannot simply skip to roof of the house to help block unwanted emotions, first you must carefully built the foundationg to controlling emotions. If you work on it, you will feel the emotion and act on it, but eventually you can work on just feeling, but keeping it silent... and hopefully all together letting the emotions not even penetrate your house!

I wish you happiness and I hope you get the ability to watch your emotions come, simply sigh, and watch them go. Best of luck!

Metta,
Ashley


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