Emotions - what do they really mean?

Discussion in 'Bring your Head Inside and your Body will Follow' started by Diva, 13 November 2006.

  1. Diva

    Diva Cambridge Diet Counsellor

    Emotions get such a bad press in the weight loss industry and many of us, me included, often blame our emotions for our eating habits.

    Well supposing your emotions were just like your alarm clock? A warning signal! Think about it...is it the alarm clock that gets you out of bed in the morning or is it yourself that recognises the signal and then acts accordingly? It is you, as you are the one that has attached the meaning to the signal and you are the one that has taken the action.

    Emotions are the same... they are warning signals and each one has a purpose. We are the ones that attach the meanings and choose our actions. Next time any of the following emotions come up for you, take a second and remember its purpose....what meanng are you gonna give it and what action are you gonna take:

    ANGER - Lets you know your boundaries have been violated
    SADNESS - Lets you know you have lost something
    FEAR - Warns you of possible danger
    HURT - Lets you know what to heal
    ANXIETY - Tells you to focus on what you want
    FRUSTRATION - Lets you know something is not quite right, yet!
    DEPRESSION - is a choice (controversial viewpoint I know, but that is my viewpoint!)
    HAPPINESS - is all in your mind. You can create whatever happiness you choose and your actions will follow suit.

    Feel the feeling, take the message of it on board and then take the appropriate actions.

    For example, if you're angry about something what would be better? Let whoever has violated your boundary know and then move on or live with the anger for as long as it takes you to really become "depressed"??

    Remember, if you do what you've always done you will get what you've always got! If you want something different, then do something different and that could start with changing how you are gonna deal with your emotions. :)
    magickmel and i'lldoit like this.
  2. magickmel

    magickmel Loves VLCD's !

    Really useful thought provoking stuff there Diva ! My answer to any emotion was to eat until I started really looking at it with LL. But you are so right, they are messages that need some kind of action, they don't need stuffing down with food again.

    The anger emotion is quite a big one to deal with as usually asserting my rights and reinforcing boundaries is quite difficult. But I am getting there !

    Thanks for this post, its brilliant.
  3. FatFairNForty(ish)

    FatFairNForty(ish) Well-Known Member

    interesting perspective - particularly the depression one...
  4. kazz

    kazz Well-Known Member

    I like this thread....despite feeling a bit 'put out' so to speak about the view on depression....I do agree with the rest of the emotions. Having suffered from depression, I dont feel it was a choice, but as you said Diva, thats just your viewpoint...I do like this quote though....very true...and very apt on a weight loss support site!

    Remember, if you do what you've always done you will get what you've always got! If you want something different, then do something different and that could start with changing how you are gonna deal with your emotions.
  5. Diva

    Diva Cambridge Diet Counsellor

    Hi Kazz & FFF

    Thank you for respecting my viewpoint on depression - I know that, as a sufferer, it is not always a viewpoint to appreciate so I really thank you for that. :)

    Having suffered from depression in the past and subsequently treated many, many sufferers over the years I have come to realise that those who no longer take medication for it are those that made a decision that they were no longer going to do depression, for whatever reason. Depression, in my opinion, is much like weight loss - when we realise that the issue lies within us and is therefore, solvable within us - we then become empowered to choose to do something else.

    My intention here is not to offend or trivialise anybody's situation .... I am just clarifying why I have this particular point of view.
    flirty40greeneyes likes this.
  6. Isis

    Isis Ancient Egypt Nut!

    Hi Diva,

    I can relate to a lot of what you say about your own personal feelings about depression and agree with some points.

    Sometimes it is possible to find that motivation to lift yourself and walk away from medication. I have also seen it myself with some people I know, but not all.

    My only own personal experience of depression has been Post Natal Depression, 7 years ago.

    After my Health Visitor explained that 1 in 10 women can suffer from it, I did agree to prescribed medication and took it for 6 months, as advised. This was basically because I didn't recognise myself, was frightened and couldn't care for my children.

    I guess I am "on the fence" so to speak to here, regarding depression. Not a place I sit that often.

    For me, there wasn't a point I reached where I thought I wasn't going to be depressed anymore. I just gradually felt better because of the medication and understood and trusted that this particular type of depression could successfully be treated, as it was.

    I do totally agree that Empowerment and Self Awareness can make a lot of people turn their depression into a positive and a chance to look at their lives in detail. It's not easy, but possible.

  7. kazz

    kazz Well-Known Member

    Hi Diva, although I'm still very confused on the depression thing, in a way I kind of agree with this as well.....bizarre...!! After the doctor prescribed anti depressants for me I was horrified that I had let myself get that bad that I needed medication (in my clearer moments that is!), and I suppose in a way I must have sub consciously made the decision to deal with wat was goin on as best I could...I think I was scared of becoming dependent on the medication my doc prescribed.

    I'm really really glad you posted this....I've never thought about that too much before !


  8. flirty40greeneyes

    flirty40greeneyes Busy busy busy!!

    As someone who has been treated for depression in the past, by both anti-depressants and psychiatric counselling, I agree with you Diva. In my case I was treated for "reactive depression" because my ex-husband was (is) an alcoholic. I could not deal with him, the many problems it caused in our life etc ... and tried to commit suicide. Hence the need for psychiatric counselling. I was on and off tablets for years (always feeling guilty and bad that I was on them) and then I suddenly realised that much as my ex has the power to choose what he does regarding his life, I do too. I came off my tablets - and touch wood have been fine ever since. I made a conscious decision that his alcohol problems were not going to impact on my mental state and from that moment on I've got better and been off the tablets since the beginning of this year.

    I also know that I overeat/comfort eat when I'm sad/depressed/unhappy and that is where I am now. It is no coincidence that when i lost all the weight last year was when i felt strong enough to come off the tablets. I'm less sure how to combat this now as my life is spiralling out of my control at the moment and following along is my spiralling weight gain. I do know that when I'm in control of my life I'm in control of my eating. If I could turn it round and be in control of my eating would I then be in control of my life???? Interesting thought .... and one I'm currently about to try and put into practise.

    Thank you for the post Diva - and just want to stress the above views are my personal opinion, and are about me, and not intended to cause anyone any offence or discomfort.
  9. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    I do agree with you Diva about the depression...well, mostly.

    When I decided that I wouldn't seek help outside myself any longer, I find I have the confidence to deal with it...make it go away most of the time.

    There do seem to be exceptions to the rule sometimes. I found I have terrible depressions after I've had a general anesthesia. It goes on for about 6 weeks and I'm suicidal. It's not as if I'm expecting either, as I only saw the pattern after my last op.

    So, I guess in this case it's possibly a chemical imbalance in the brain? What I can do though is put some level of control on this.

    To be honest, I'm not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing though by controlling it so admirably. I disguise it. Nobody in my real life knows about it....then I plan my suicide in secret. Okay...not usually that dramatic.

    So having depression can be a choice? Or learning how to control it?

    I had a friend. She controlled hers so well. Nobody knew she was depressed. She hardly touched on the subject even with me. She seemed fine. Coping with something that had happened with great strength. She had 5 children who she adored.

    One day she went to the New Forest and set light to herself. She left a letter with details. She had been planning it for months. The day of her suicide was no different to normal. Nobody would have known. She went to church. Said confession, helped out with the teas and coffees and gave a cheery goodbye. 30 minutes later she was dead.

    So....depression. A choice to have it? Or a choice to control it?

    Again...the above is my personal experience and each one of us is different.
  10. Mini

    Mini Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Diva,

    Love your post and a lot of useful information in there and I have printed it off to help me with my emotions.

    I would love to know if depression is a choice then how can I prevent SAD which seems to hit me hard around January/February as I know I suffer from it at this time of year.

    Love Mini xxx
  11. Isis

    Isis Ancient Egypt Nut!

    hi Mini,

    My mum used to suffer with SADS. She invested in of those "light lamps" and sat in front of it for the recommended time each day and definintely swore by it to lift her mood.:)

  12. Mini

    Mini Administrator Staff Member

    Lacey that is good to hear.

    Is there a name on the one your mum has or where do you buy them.

    I have heard of them alright and was wondering do they really work.


    Love Mini xxx
  13. FatFairNForty(ish)

    FatFairNForty(ish) Well-Known Member

    As you know, I respect everyone's right to express their opinions openly and honestly.

    I used to suffer from depression. The first time was post-natal depression, and I disagree, I didn't even know what was wrong with me so how can it have been a choice. I believe, and this is my personal opinon, that it was a chemical inbalance which, with medication, was corrected.

    The next time I suffered from depression was reactive depression when my first husband died... again, I had no idea what the hell was wrong with me until I was diagnosed.

    It has taken me years to get to a state of mind where I felt able to actually ask to come off my medication. I did so following an amazing fortnight's holiday where all I did was sunbathe and contemplate my life, all the things that had happened to me, and all the things I wanted the future to hold for me.

    I made the decision then to do the Cambridge diet when we got home. It was only whilst talking to the nurse at my Drs surgery that I admitted that I wanted to see if I could cope without my medication. She advise that I talk to my GP, which I did, and, very sensibly, I was weaned off the tablets.

    I had not got to a goal weight, or found new love, or anything. It was more like I had an epiphany!

    I wanted to be medication free and see if I could cope on my own two feet again. That was 2 months ago (prior to starting on CD).

    I seem to be doing ok, and when I get emotional it passes, and I wonder if I could have come off the tablets sooner.. but there is no way of telling so there's no point thinking about it.

    So, for me, I believe that depression is a physiological thing, if it were not then drugs would not have any impact. You could argue that placebos work... or that it isn't really the drugs but the mental health that works.. you could... but I maintain that it is not the case that all depression is a choice. As one who suffered dreadfully with it for a long time (especially post-natally), I can say, had I a clear choice, there is no way I would have chosen to be so ill.

    Again, this is my view and personal to me. I did make a choice to come off the tablets but I did not know what the outcome would be and am delighted it has been a very positive experience for me.

    I like this thread because it is truthful debate and no hidden agendas... although it is very interesting too that people are choosing not to be offended where offence could so easily occur. I am glad it has gone that way.
  14. Shimsham

    Shimsham Well-Known Member

    Great post Diva,

    This is along the lines of work I help children with in Anger Management courses.

    I am also pleased that you have opened up a healthy discussion regarding depression.

    I have been suffering with PND for almost 8 months now and this week finished my 2nd course of counselling. My GP has prescribed me anti-depressants and despite much pressure from my loved ones to take them (they have my best interests at heart) I refused to take them. I saw little point in 'dumbing down' the feelings or 'taking the edge' off it and chose to 'push on through'. I must add though that had I felt suicidal I may have may a different choice about this.

    Thing have got better and the counselling truly did help but I must say that I HAD NO CHOICE in how I felt. NOBODY would choose to feel that way. It is far different from self pity or misery. Just a bleak sense of hopelessness and worthlessness.

    I, personally, do not believe we have a choice in experiencing any of our feeling, only in how we use them, express them or choose to block them out.

    Once again Diva you have come up with another great thread! :)
  15. Diva

    Diva Cambridge Diet Counsellor

    Exactly my point Shimsham!

    I am really pleased with how this discussion has gone and it proves that we don't all have to think the same in order to respect each other's opinion. After all, our opinions are shaped a lot from our personal experience and, of course, each of our experiences are different.

    My purpose in life is for as many people as possible to live their best life for as long as possible....and if that means that they can start to look at things from an alternative perspective and, maybe even make alternative choices then I've put in a good day's work! :) :)
  16. Mini

    Mini Administrator Staff Member

    In order to heal something you must become aware of it and for so many they don't even know they are depressed.

    I can see this ever so clearly with my father in law, who for the last 30 years was a grumpy 'old' man and it was very difficult to talk with him.

    Since he has been up here for nine months I see a complete transformation, he is happy and enjoying life for the first time in years and he did not take any medication but he has got a lot of TLC and support and now he himself can see how locked into depression he was where he felt overwhelmed and powerless to do anything about it.

    As he said himself he was just waiting to die and could not see the point of living and now he is full of life and wants to live...God willing he will get a few years of this happiness that he feels now.

    Love Mini xxx
  17. Isis

    Isis Ancient Egypt Nut!

    Hi Mini,

    I will get in touch with my Mum in France and ask her where she got her's from....xxx
  18. Mini

    Mini Administrator Staff Member

    Appreciate that Lacey!

    Love Mini xxx

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