Emotional Decision Making

When you think, speak, react, interact, and judge with your emotions most situations can be misconstrued. Relationships can become strained, and your motives and decisions may be questioned. Living with depression is living with a jungle of emotion. Our minds are clouded by what is going on inside of us and the pain we are feeling. We become hypervigilant toward the negatives that come our way.

I have difficulty putting a name to my emotions. They are confused and mixed to the point that what I feel has no name. I can describe it as a chemistry experiment. If I had hydrogen in one hand, it has the name hydrogen and the property of a gas. You can’t hold it in your hand because it is a gas, so it is a confusing emotion. I can have oxygen in my other hand, and again it is a gas that can not be held in my hand.  Processing these two confused emotions puts them together forming water (two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen). In this analysis, I have two confusing feelings mixing in unequal amounts forming an entirely different substance. If that is an emotion, what do I call it?

If I find myself in a situation that is negative, I am inevitably going to react emotionally. Depression and anxiety will pick out that negative and run! My reaction is so jumbled up it resembles an abstract painting. If I say something, it doesn’t make sense. My thoughts come from every direction. The nameless feeling I have is very distressing. This all leaves me turning that abstract painting around and around in attempts to figure which is the top and the bottom.

Many of us living with depression, especially if we have been through trauma, turn universal emotions around. My best example is anger. I have seen plenty of anger in others, but I haven’t felt it. I believe that in situations where others feel the emotion called anger I feel hurt. Anger turns inward. That is great in a clinically depressed world! (sarcasm) I am sure there are more examples of backward emotions, but I don’t know their names.

Helping myself through this complicated, confusing, and misunderstood mess has required some intense personal analysis and a good therapist. I highly recommend therapy. Depression, anxiety, mood disorders, codependence and a whole host of issues are best addressed with professional help. Even the most introspective person cannot see the life issues we need to address without proper guidance. I am incredibly reflective and I it has made many of my problems worse. With the supervision of therapist #6, I’m learning to use it productively, sometimes. I am a difficult client.

What have I learned? Much like the advice given to someone who is on fire, “stop, drop, and roll,” is where I begin. I may seem to be ignoring people in a conversation or indecisive in some situations because I am taking time to think. I’m sure you will see this self-help tool difficult, but I need to be mindful of catching myself in negatives that lead to the jumbled up emotions.

 First – “stop.” Being aware of my tendency to approach daily situations with jumbled emotions, I have to concentrate and be keenly focused on these happenings. I have done it for so long changing requires me to tell myself to stop often.  Second – “drop.” This is where the silence that is misconstrued as indecisiveness or ignoring someone in conversation happens. Dropping is my way of forcing myself to think before I react. I look at my negative thoughts and attempt to put logic into perspective. I may have to disengage myself from a conversation with a simple acknowledgment or walk away from a situation to give myself time to sort out my feelings. Third – “roll.” Here is the point where I save myself. I have seen where to stop, I have analyzed my negative thoughts and put logic into play, so I can now manage the jumbled up emotions. All of these things are a work in progress. I’m not sure if it will become natural to me or if I will continuously go through this process. Either way, it will be an improvement in my decision making.

I wish you well in your personal journey through depression.

Published by: Beverly Hughes

My journey through depression and anxiety has been a long fought battle. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling, but that only helped me to understand clinical language. I needed help and have learned so much about what I could do to help myself.


4 thoughts on “Emotional Decision Making”

  1. I starved a couple of them, but I’m watching them circle in therapy with my trusty pellet gun. I would appreciate any help with the techie stuff. Avery, my five year old grandson kmows more about it than me.


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