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I feel out of control. Please help.

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Hello, Mark.

I am in a somewhat desperate need for advice and I would really appreciate a demonstration of that, apparently, endless insight and knowledge you seem to possess on psychological phenomena (and other things).

I feel totally out of control, both over my emotions and my thoughts. I cannot get up in the mornings and I can hardly speak properly; my voice sounds strained and weak, lacking all personality and strength. Concentration and clear thinking are things of the past. Even trying to label my emotions is a futile exercise most of the time, that is how overwhelmed and out of control I feel. It is truly a terrible pain and beginning to speculate that there is something horribly wrong with you does not really help...

My actual question is, does all this mean I have a high level of autonomic arousal (or what's it called)? My body does exhibit stress-related symptoms. I'm no professional on the subject, but doesn't stress and how the nervous system reacts to feelings, thoughts, etc. play a huge part in states like these?

How would you as a therapist begin to tackle this?

With utmost gratitude,


This question was submitted by 'Jesse'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Jesse, and thank you for your kind comments. How can I resist that flattery? Although I certainly don't have all the answers, alas, I'll see what I can do. ; )

Of course, I can't diagnose from a distance and I hope you can get some kind of medical check-up just to rule out any physical cause. But if you are otherwise fit and healthy, then I would want to know such things as:

  • When did you begin to feel like this? Was it during a time of higher than normal psychological stress?
  • Are you eating and sleeping well?
  • Are you spending lots of time 'in your head'? Worrying, negatively introspecting, and ruminating?
  • Are there problems you feel you can't solve (other than the way you've been feeling)?
  • Are you waking up exhausted even after you have slept?

In answer to your question (and again I'd like you to get a medical 'all clear'), certainly the symptoms you describe could well be indicative of high stress arousal. It may be that you are a bit depressed and it would be good for you to check out the Depression Learning Path and see if any of it echoes your experience. Depression, which used to be better named as 'nervous exhaustion', is a loss of energy through the exhaustion of a build-up of long-term stress.

It's important you seek to relax regularly, Jesse, to lower stress levels and clear your head. Any (healthy) way you can do that will pretty quickly have you feeling better if this is just stress-related.

I hope you feel much better soon, Jesse.


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - July 17th, 2014 in

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