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What Does it Mean to Suppress Emotions?

a person sits on the edge of a bed reading possibly about suppressed emotions

Every person will experience emotions; they are a part of being a human. Anger, sadness, joy, and shame are all common feelings that play an important role in daily life. When people have a hard time expressing or accepting these feelings, they may be struggling with suppressed emotions. Sometimes suppressed emotions are part of the bigger picture, which could include substance use or mood disorders. Finding a mental health treatment program can be critical to relieve these built-up emotions and begin living a healthier life.

If you or a loved one struggles with suppressed emotions and are ready to take steps to find mental health treatment, The Arbor is here to help. Our professional, compassionate team can help you understand the root of your feelings and how to manage your emotions healthily. Call 844.413.2690 today to discover if we are a good fit for you and develop your treatment plan.

What Are Suppressed Emotions?

It’s no secret that people can suppress emotions. Some people may not want to feel certain emotions or think they can’t handle them. So, they push them down. But, this isn’t healthy. Suppressing emotions can lead to a host of mental and physical problems.

When suppressing emotions, people may:

  • Feel numb or disconnected from others
  • Have trouble expressing themselves
  • Experience anxiety, irritability, or moodiness
  • Feel like they’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight
  • Suffer from physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches

If you find yourself suppressing emotions, it’s important to find healthy ways to deal with them. Talking to a therapist or counselor can help you understand and process your feelings. Journaling, spending time in nature, and talking to friends and family are also helpful coping mechanisms.

Who Suppresses Emotions?

Anyone can suppress emotions. But, certain groups of people may be more likely to do so. For example, people who have experienced trauma often struggle with suppressed emotions. This suppression is because they may feel like they need to keep their feelings hidden to protect themselves. Other groups of people who may be more likely to suppress emotions include:

  • People with anxiety disorders
  • People with depression
  • Women
  • Children
  • LGBTQ individuals

What Causes Suppressed Emotions?

There are many reasons why people may suppress emotions. One reason is self-protection. People may think that if they don’t feel their emotions, they can’t get hurt by them.

Other times, people suppress emotions because they think it’s what others want them to do. They may have been told not to express certain emotions or that their feelings are invalid. As a result, they bottle up their feelings instead of expressing them.

Sometimes suppressed emotions often have roots in early childhood experiences. For example, if a child is constantly told to “be good” or “stop crying,” they may learn to bottle up their emotions.

How Are Suppressed Emotions Treated?

If you’re struggling with suppressed emotions, there is hope. There are many effective treatments available that can help you learn to cope with and express your feelings.

One of the most common treatments for suppressed emotions is talk therapy. This type of therapy can help you understand your emotions and why you’re suppressing them. It can also teach you healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with your emotions.

Other treatments for suppressed emotions may include:

  • Medication
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Exposure therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

If you’re struggling with suppressed emotions, reach out for help. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Suppressed emotions can lead to serious mental and physical health problems. But, with treatment, you can learn to cope with your emotions healthily.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at The Arbor

The Arbor specializes in treating clients with dual diagnoses. This treatment is effective for our clients who have both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem. We believe in treating the whole person, not just their symptoms.

If you’re struggling with suppressed emotions and addiction, we can help. Our team of expert clinicians will create a treatment plan specifically for you. We’ll help you understand and healthily cope with your emotions. Contact us today by calling 844.413.2690 to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program.