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Too Much Sorrow

Question:

How can I have more control over my sorrowful reaction to events whether small or large? I have such an overwhelming feeling of sorrow and grief either over a person who becomes angry at me, or losing all family relationships because of turning in family members for acts of child abuse, or losing a loved one to death. In other words, I do not know how to control my emotions and go to the depths of sorrow whether the event is small, medium or large. To me, they are all extra large. I am on an antidepressant, and I don’t feel depressed. It works well. This seems to be something I need to obtain instruction for.

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Answer:

Anti depressant medications work as well as they are able to but they are no substitute for psychotherapy. In effect, while the medication can boost your mood, it does little or nothing to change the thinking that is at the bottom of the depressed mood. That is why I suggest psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

With CBT you learn to examine whether your thinking about a life issue is based on sound logic or forms part of what are called automatic thoughts. These are thoughts that were learned long ago and are unrealistic and distorted. In your case, even a minor event brings about depressed feelings because you have thoughts that bring you there. Once the automatic thoughts are identified you work on substituting more logical and realistic ways of thinking. The nice thing about doing this is that it is a tool you use the rest of your life.

CBT has been found to be as effective as medication. The combination of CBT and medication has been found to be powerful.

I urge you to find a therapist who is trained in and uses CBT.

Good Luck

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