Denial over feelings

I am in a social service sector and i find myself to be a hypocrite for advicing my clients to get in touch with their feelings. However, I am unable and refuse to do that to myself.

My supervisors and friends observed how I am in denial over feelings and prefer to keep it to myself. When I am in touch with my feelings, I feel like a different person - getting teary over the emotions I am feeling and unable to function normally for the day. It has been like this since childhood and yes, some work or relationships may have attributed to it. I am aware of it but I don’t know if that is something related to mental health/trauma. Is this normal?

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I think you should be really proud of yourself @user769 that you’re reflecting on your own feelings and experiences. I think it’s not uncommon for people in helping professions to find it challenging to apply the same advice they give to others to themselves. It can make you feel like a hypocrite, but it’s important to remember that you’re human, too. :people_hugging:

Feeling teary and unable to function normally can be a sign that there might be deeper emotional issues at play, possibly related to past experiences or trauma. A therapist might be able to help you uncover these in a proper session. Whether what you’re going through is “normal” can vary greatly from person to person. :face_with_monocle:

What’s most important is how these feelings are impacting your life and well-being. If they are interfering with your daily functioning, then I think it’s a sign that it’s worth exploring with a therapist.

Remember, seeking help is a courageous step, and it doesn’t make you any less capable in your role or as a person. In fact, it can make you better equipped to help your clients and yourself. :dizzy:

Hi @user769, thank you for being honest and authentic with your thoughts and concerns. I want to let you know that your experiences and emotions are all valid – I personally would feel the same way too if I were you. It’s actually quite common for people working in the social service sector to find it challenging to apply the same advice they offer to their clients to themselves. It’s important to remember that you, too, are human, and everyone has their own unique journey when it comes to understanding and processing their emotions.

I want to commend you firstly; your awareness of your difficulty in connecting with your feelings and your preference for keeping them to yourself is an important first step! It’s also noteworthy that when you do connect with your emotions, you experience strong reactions, such as getting teary and having difficulty functioning. It could be possible that these reactions indicate an underlying emotional challenges or perhaps you may have some unresolved issues.

While I can’t diagnose you (and neither is this platform appropriate for any kind of assessment or diagnosis), it’s possible that your experiences could be related to various factors, including past experiences, trauma, or mental health concerns. It’s true that our childhood experiences and past relationships can influence how we relate to and express our emotions even through till adulthood.

I think it’s important that you seek support from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor – this could benefit you tremendously. As you would likely know, therapy can help you explore your feelings, understand the underlying causes of your emotional reactions, and develop healthier ways of coping and processing your emotions.
Meanwhile, I would also encourage you to try out these exercises and activities to help you remain grounded, especially when you feel overwhelmed by the mixed emotions:

Again, I commend you for seeking help and addressing your own emotional well-being! It truly is not hypocritical; but it’s a courageous and self-compassionate act. This can also enhance your ability to support your clients more effectively by providing you with insights and tools to better understand and connect with their experiences.

Last but not least, you’re not alone in this journey! :blush: Your well-being matters, and taking steps to address it is a positive and caring choice for yourself.

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