“I can’t take it Anymore!”: How to Calm Mental Pain and Live Happily?

Aug 05, 2019

“I don’t even know how to describe what I felt. Well, what could I say? “Something is lousy in my mood”. But this was not even close to the reality. It’s like a funnel inside. Huge, constantly humming, sucking in everything that happens around. Any joy is sucked out and leaves only pain and emptiness. Such is the pain that I want to scratch my chest and grab it, squeeze it, not to be hurt. There are thoughts about only one thing, about this damn pain. And about when it will all end? How can I drown out such a mental pain at least a little? And there is one desire. I wait only for the moment when in the evening I can go to bed and sleep. Sleep as the only salvation.”.

– Marina, 34

Mental pain can cause very intense suffering. Unfortunately, relatives and friends may not always support us, especially if the reason, in their view, is insignificant or not obvious. Instead of sympathy, you can run into accusations in the style of “you are talking nonsense, children in Africa are starving, you have nothing to worry about”. But it hurts. And accusations most often only aggravate the pain. How can you escape from this trap? How do you relieve pain and learn to feel joy and happiness again? This is today’s article.

Contents:

  1. Why is mental pain harmful?
  • Pain may become habitual
  • Worries can lead to physical illnesses
  • Worries can lead to depression and similar illnesses
  1. Why does it hurt so much?
  • Causes of mental pain
  • Signs of mental pain
  1. How can you survive mental pain?

  When does mental pain become a habit?

  1. How do you deal with severe mental pain?
  • You are much stronger than you think
  • Find positive points in what happened
  • Be active, do not get isolated
  • Do some activities and don’t worry
  • Take advantage of special assistance programs

Why is mental pain harmful?

Continuous anxiety can cause discomfort and reduce the quality of life. But there are some other, not always obvious, consequences of prolonged mental pain.

Pain may become habitual

The way we respond to circumstances can turn into a familiar pattern of behavior. We can habitually give up on failures, automatically engage in self-flagellation or by inertia worry for the slightest reason. In fact, the brain gets used to such reactions and builds new neural connections to make it easier to worry and grieve. [1] And the more often and longer we worry and suffer, the quicker it comes to us in the future.

“I recently discovered that I’m used to reacting like this – dropping my hands and worrying at almost any situation. A small thing happens, and I am immediately discouraged, although the situation itself is not worth a damn. Well, a medical opinion is needed. It is necessary to do a fluorography and make an appointment with the therapist. And I go on like that – oh, again. I think I won’t get into this circle, what kind of crap is this? Everything is bad again I sit and suffer. And then I  become so angry, I get up and do everything frantically. This helps me put my brains straight and in place. I begin to look after myself and realize how quickly I give up, because I am used to giving up quickly. And I sit and worry that I can’t do anything. Of course it doesn’t work, because I’m not even really trying ”.

– Olga, 29

Worries can lead to physical illness

Long-term stress – and strong mental pain is stress – negatively affects the immune system and weakens it. [2] As a result, the body copes with diseases badly, the susceptibility to infections increases, and the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.

Worries can lead to depression and similar conditions

 

Prolonged mental pain in both girls and boys can lead to the development of depression, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. [3] It becomes very difficult to cope with these diseases on our own, and more often psychological and medical support is required.

Why does it hurt so much?

Ways to relieve pain largely depend on the cause. Therefore, first of all, you need to understand why you are hurting. What or who leads to the fact that you are so hurt? We will name a few of the main reasons that lead to worries and stress.

Causes of mental pain

All reasons can be divided into 2 groups:

1st group – behavior disorders and mental illnesses. These include fears, phobias, anxiety or depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depersonalization, panic attacks and other conditions. Solving these problems may require behavioral therapy, medical support, and a psychiatrist’s consultation. Be attentive to yourself and do not ignore a serious illness.

“I don’t know why I didn’t look for help. I understood that something was wrong with me. Well, it can’t be like that, a person shouldn’t feel bad every day all the year round. But it seemed to me that I invented it all, because a person can’t feel bad all the time… I was afraid that I would come to the therapist, but he would tell me: “Why did you come? Go home, pretender, you have nothing”. And I just stayed at home. I went to the therapist when I was seriously ill, when I almost stopped sleeping. And it turned out that I’m not a pretender. I was prescribed a treatment. And it turned out that there are so many joyful and diverse emotions in life. But I just didn’t see them…”

– Polina, 31

2nd group – psychological reasons, conflicts between the desired and reality, grief from loss. These include separation and divorce, the death of loved ones, problems in the family, difficulties with work and finance, low self-esteem, self-perception issues, mental pain from betrayal and many more. You can cope with the conditions from this group on your own without medication or with the support of a psychologist.

In fact, there are no prescribed or objectively weighty reasons for worrying – any events or problems can lead to mental pain. And you should not feel guilty for worrying or for the fact that your emotions are very strong by other folk’s standards.

“It’s very difficult for me now. In my case, mental pain was mixed with taking offence. And also friends… I will clarify, ex-friends – were telling me all the time: “Forget about it, you’re worried about nonsense, everything is clear, it was your fault, you should have noticed it before”. And I finally noticed. But there were no signs. And love didn’t block my eyes. And she did not have on her forehead a sign: “I’m cheating on my present boyfriend with my exes”. Not everything can be predicted. But it still hurts. They betrayed me twice – my ex-girlfriend and ex-friends”.

– Oleg, 25

Signs of mental pain

Mental pain is often accompanied by a change in mood:

  • sadness, longing;
  • excitement, anxiety;
  • apathy, depression;
  • feeling of loneliness;
  • lack of pleasant, positive emotions.

Also often mental pain gives quite real physical feelings:

  • pressure or pain in the head or chest;
  • burning sensation in the chest or the throat;
  • a feeling of a stone in the chest, heaviness on the shoulders, as if carrying a weighty load;
  • pain or discomfort in the abdomen;
  • vomiting, dizziness, palpitations.

Mental pain or heartache can be very severe and cause real suffering. Your sensations are not an illusion or a twist. This is reality. But you can change this reality, you can help yourself and reduce the intensity of pain.

How can you survive mental pain?

Is there any way to calm the mental pain forever? Of course there is not. It is impossible to completely avoid mental pain. We will inevitably encounter situations that will cause us discomfort. We are living and we experience emotions that cannot be simply turned on and off. Of course this is not necessary. Emotions, including negative ones, help us adapt to difficult situations and accept the inevitable [4], and facing difficulties can help us become better and stronger.

“A very relevant topic! Not so long ago I had a major change in my life, and I cried for a couple of days, and then it became so easy, as simple as if it had never been. People try to feel sorry for me, they say: “Poor thing, how did you get rid of the mental pain? Was it very hard for you?” But on the contrary, I feel strength and energy and a gratitude to life”.

– Yana, 22

How is this possible? Studies show that many people who experience difficult situations — losses, military operations, injuries and illnesses, accidents, or dangerous situations in which they miraculously survive – experience post-traumatic growth [5]. Often, they:

• become stronger and more stable in the psychological sense;

• increase their self-confidence;

• begin to appreciate what they have;

• improve relationships with family members;

• begin to notice prospects for their development.

There is only one “but” – this growth and development does not occur if we are stuck in negative emotions and we believe that we cannot cope with the situation. Worries begin to accompany us constantly and absorb and occupy our whole life. Therefore, it is so important to be able to live through the pain correctly and not to turn it into a habit.

When does mental pain become a habit?

How can you understand that worries get out of control and begin to turn into a habit? There are 5 signs that may alert you:

1. It is difficult for you to distract, switch to another thing.

2. Your emotional worries last too long according to your own feelings.

3. You rarely feel any joy in life.

4. It seems to you that this will never end.

5. It seems to you that you will not be able to cope with this pain yourself.

 

If you observe 2 or more symptoms in yourself, please do not wait for the pain to pass by itself. Help to calm it down.

How can you deal with severe mental pain?

If you can change the situation that causes suffering, then you need to begin with this. For example, if you have conflicts at work, plan a job change or try to find a common language with colleagues. If you are concerned about your self-esteem – pay attention to its growth. And so on. However, there are situations that we cannot change: divorce, loss of a loved one, betrayal. In such cases, you should pay attention to your worries. There are several ways to reduce their intensity and relieve pain.

1. You are much stronger than you think

The belief that you must feel bad for a long period forms the habit of negatively evaluating events and prolonging experiences. In fact, the psyche is more like an elastic ribbon than a fragile vase – it can bend, but then return to its previous state. Believe that you will cope with the situation, even if now such a prospect seems unrealistic.

2. Find positive points in what happened

This is an important condition for post-traumatic growth. [6] In any situation, you can see what makes you stronger or better. This does not mean that you should enjoy your grief. What happened has caused pain. But this situation can help you better understand yourself. For example, by miraculously avoiding death, you can learn to value each day. After breaking up with a loved one you can learn to direct forces for your own development. Avoiding an attack makes you sure of your own strength and stamina. And so on.

3. Be active, do not get isolated

There is no need to avoid communication and close yourself at home. Mental pain from love or loneliness reduces more effectively if you actively interact and communicate with other people. Any group physical activity [7], volunteering and helping other people will be advantageous.

4.      Do something and don’t worry

Studies show that focusing on one’s worries worsens a person’s well-being and deprives him/her of vitality. [8] Conversely, shifting the focus of attention to actions helps alleviate mental pain. You should not completely forget about your feelings, but it’s better not to over-think why they are happening with you, rather than what to do next.

“I had just a case when, instead of saying to myself “how strong and firm I am, well done that I did not get confused and it’s only thanks to myself I ran away from the rapist” I slipped into repeating: “I am poor and unhappy, how did this happen to me”. Re-evaluation helped me to cope with the situation and live on without continuing fear”.

– Alena, 39

5. Take advantage of special assistance programs

Pay attention to programs that help you survive the loss and deal with the heartache. These may be assistance groups in your city or special programs for survivors of loss. The choice will depend on the reason for your worries.

For example, if you are looking for ways to deal with heartache after breaking up, then you can use the 7Spsy behavior modification technique program, designed to help people who have experienced a divorce or separation. Also in the relevant article you will find several more ways that will help you survive separation and reduce your heartache.

If you are living through the death of a loved one, then a program is available that gently helps you to survive this difficult situation and learn how to live again.

Both programs are designed to aid you to  cope with your loss, reduce mental pain and avoid turning unhappy experiences into a habit. And most importantly – you can find the strength in yourself for post-traumatic growth and return to living a full life.

Remember, not always can a person cope with mental pain alone. Emotions can prevail over the mind, plunging it into deep suffering. Therefore, if you feel that you can’t cope on your own or don’t know how to release your 

Information from this website cannot be used for self-therapy and self-diagnostics. 

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