Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 945985

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emotional flooding?

Posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 14:50:37

I came across the term. Some Google searching didn't yeild any satisfying results. Is there a biological basis? Is this an accepted term for widely a recognized phenomenon? What is it exactly? Effective ways to deal with it?

 

Re: emotional flooding?

Posted by Roslynn on May 2, 2010, at 16:21:48

In reply to emotional flooding?, posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 14:50:37

Hi floatingbridge,

I could be wrong but I thought that was when you tried to bring back a painful memory (during therapy) so that your therapist could use EMDR or another technique to help your brain re-process the event. Does that sound right?


> I came across the term. Some Google searching didn't yeild any satisfying results. Is there a biological basis? Is this an accepted term for widely a recognized phenomenon? What is it exactly? Effective ways to deal with it?

 

Re: emotional flooding? floatingbridge

Posted by workinprogress on May 2, 2010, at 16:58:23

In reply to emotional flooding?, posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 14:50:37

My therapist uses this term a lot and I've come to use it as well. Here's how I'd describe when I flood... basically, the feelings are so intense that I can't think it through, I'm totally overwhelmed by feelings- in other words, I am "flooded with feeling". It shuts off your brain. Once you flood, neither you, nor anyone else can really talk you down, it's a wait it out sort of thing. So, the goal is to not "flood".

The way I'm learning to do that:

1) stay present and recognize and name my feelings
2) don't push away feelings (flooding usually results from pushing away our feelings or ignoring them- they get too overwhelming and break through the damn you've built).

Does that fit for you?

In what context did the term come up for you, before you searched for it on Google?


> I came across the term. Some Google searching didn't yeild any satisfying results. Is there a biological basis? Is this an accepted term for widely a recognized phenomenon? What is it exactly? Effective ways to deal with it?

 

Re: emotional flooding?

Posted by rnny on May 2, 2010, at 17:05:47

In reply to emotional flooding?, posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 14:50:37

Emotional flooding happens quickly to people. It pertains to their emotions and the use of the word "flooding" is two fold. It concerns both the rapid onslaught of emotion and the incapacity at least temporarily that the "flood" causes.
Depending on the amount of hormone released, the heart rate
can jump 10, 20, or even 30 beats a minute within the space of
a single heartbeat. Muscles tense; it can seem hard to breathe.
There is a swamp of toxic feelings, an unpleasant wash of fear
and anger that seems inescapable and, subjectively, takes
forever to get over. Perspective narrows, thinking is
confused, and receptivity ends.

 

Re: emotional flooding?

Posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 18:13:47

In reply to emotional flooding?, posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 14:50:37

Well, I think it came to mind about my young son--his feelings are intense compared to some of his peers though not abnormally so. I realized (or more deeply realized) that these moments call for different response--he's not 'rational'. (In addition to being a child....)

So while slowing down, being present for him, asking myself what he really needs, it dawns on me that I get that way, too. As a matter of fact, it's a big portion of maladaptive behavior AND, I suspect, a kind of emotional response that years of abuse, stress, and compensation, all piled on top of what was probably a emotionally sensitive temperament left unguided.

I haven't had intentional therapeutic flooding, though have had the flooding experience triggered by memory. Has anyone used this approach?

Lately, I'm more aware of how often I have 'flooding' in the sense of being triggered and thus not available. I'm learning to stay with the awareness of being activated (which is pretty darn activating in itself! like, wow, I really am a nut case like my dad type thoughts....) and to somehow take a chill pill--recovery time until other parts of my brain begin to work. Decreased arousal.

I'm on a mobile phone and can't look back to see who posted what information--. Was it you WIP that posted helpful approaches? Thank you.

So, 'this' is something others do too?

Thanks for your posts.

 

Re: emotional flooding?

Posted by emmanuel98 on May 2, 2010, at 19:21:23

In reply to Re: emotional flooding?, posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 18:13:47

Until I had therapy and DBT, I would constantly get flooded emotionally. My husband would argue with me over some little thing and I would freeze up, overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn't express. He said I looked like a deer in the headlights or a cyborg whose program had crashed. I intepreted anger as rage, unhappiness as bottomless grief. I couldn't handle other people's emotions at all because i would get flooded trying to respond. I walked away from relationships rather than confront little things because I knew I couldn't confront anything without getting flooded. It made it hard to have a friendship.

 

Re: emotional flooding? emmanuel98

Posted by floatingbridge on May 2, 2010, at 19:47:52

In reply to Re: emotional flooding?, posted by emmanuel98 on May 2, 2010, at 19:21:23

> Until I had therapy and DBT, I would constantly get flooded emotionally. My husband would argue with me over some little thing and I would freeze up, overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn't express. He said I looked like a deer in the headlights or a cyborg whose program had crashed. I intepreted anger as rage, unhappiness as bottomless grief. I couldn't handle other people's emotions at all because i would get flooded trying to respond. I walked away from relationships rather than confront little things because I knew I couldn't confront anything without getting flooded. It made it hard to have a friendship.

Ummm. Ditto here, without being trite. You must have done quite a bit of recovery to be able to write it out so plainly. I still struggle lots with safety issuses. Only a few safe people. Superficial friends, which are fine, and they're good people. I get lonely often.

 

Re: emotional flooding?

Posted by sigismund on May 3, 2010, at 15:54:15

In reply to Re: emotional flooding?, posted by emmanuel98 on May 2, 2010, at 19:21:23

Sounds a bit like engulfment, except that engulfment is not so much an overflow of feeling as a loss of self and organisational ability, for example organising yourself out of wherever it is.


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