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Uhmsir Offline
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help please - July 5th 2018, 01:11 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of suicide, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread therefore might not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I am a highly sensitive person and I react easily to negativity and hurtful comments. My family isn't always able to be outwardly supportive, and a lot of times when I break down, they hear me/know that I'm in pain but choose not to acknowledge me.

I feel like my emotional reactivity is bad for others, and now I am choosing to numb myself in order to not hurt other people or feel things so intensely anymore. When I get into a very dark mind space, I have suicidal thoughts that I end up wanting to go through with. Since I was younger, I have been worried that I would end up killing myself because it is so easy for me to feel hopeless. Because of this, I am choosing to not care about anything anymore.

I don't want to do this. There's just so much pain inside of me and I don't know how to control it. I have been seeing therapists since the age of 13 and my 19th birthday is in a few weeks. Honestly, I don't think that life will ever truly change. No matter how many beautiful things there are in my life, I keep going back to this dark place and I don't know what to do.

I told my family about my choice to be less reactive to things, and they initially hesitated, but now they're agreeing that I should try to do this. I think I told them this to see if they would try to help me or to have them tell me that I should never change anything about myself, but that didn't happen. So now I feel very lost. I don't know what to do. I'm scared. I'm depressed. I'm trying to numb my emotions, but it really isn't easy and I know that it's not healthy. Please help.
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Celyn Offline
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Re: help please - July 9th 2018, 11:34 AM

Sorry to hear that you are struggling with negative emotions and don't get much support from family. It's understandable that you may feel like shutting down and switching off from emotions rather than expressing them, but as you realise it's not easy and not healthy either.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with being highly sensitive, though I understand it can feel difficult to manage at times. It can help to recognise when you feel hurt, and acknowledge that feeling perhaps by telling someone, writing about it, or just crying, and then finding a way to make the situation less negative in your mind. For example, people can be unpredictable so if someone says something that you found hurtful, you can think that maybe they were having a bad day, in a bad mood or just didn't realise that what they said would be hurtful towards you. It doesn't excuse what they said nor does it mean that you are 'too sensitive' but it's another way of looking at the situation.

Would it help if your family was a bit more outwardly supportive? Sometimes family may not know how to help or support us, and so it may seem like they actively choose to ignore us instead. Maybe you can ask your family to be a bit more supportive or ask them for a hug, a chat etc. This way your family will learn what you need when you feel upset and will be able to provide that for you.

Your emotional reactivity isn't necessarily bad for others. Our emotions are our own responsibility. While family may have their own feelings when they see you upset and don't know how to help, that doesn't mean that you should numb your feelings to protect them. Your family will have to deal with their emotions, just as you'll learn how to manage yours. Not only that but numbing yourself and keeping your emotions inside may be worse as it will build up inside you instead.

I'm saddened to hear that you can get suicidal, but it's understandable if you feel hopeless at times. What do you do when you feel suicidal? For some people, calling a hotline can help while others may look for a distraction instead. For ideas on how to deal with negative emotions and urges, you may want to check out our alternatives resource: http://www.teenhelp.org/alternatives/

It's understandable that you'd feel hopeless at times when you have been in therapy for quite some time and don't feel that life will change. Sometimes it's a matter of changing therapists, other times changing the type of therapy. There's also medication and life style changes (thinking about anything that's stressful, or things that you might be missing out on and how to go about making those changes in your life) that can help a bit too.

If your family aren't very aware of mental health, your treatment plan or depression in general, then they might not have understood about your choice to be less reactive. It can seem like a positive thing to some people e.g. those who struggle with anger can benefit from not reacting angrily and so it's easy to see why your parents reacted as they did. Though it doesn't help you because emotions are part of you and I'm guessing that trying to change how you react, may feel like you are trying to change part of you to please others and ideally would've wanted your parents to say that you don't have to change who you are.

Maybe this is something you can bring up in therapy and perhaps find a way of explaining to your parents? It's common to feel alone and lost when others don't quite understand how we are feeling or what we are going through. But if we keep the lines of communication open and try to explain things, it can help us in recovery from depression.

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