Why am I sad and sad all the time? The psychologist answers
We psychologists often meet people who ask themselves "Why am I sad and sad all the time"?
Especially younger people, but also people of all ages, can at times feel sad and upset all the time. Why?
The boring answer, of course, is that there are many reasons for it.
A little more exciting is that the reasons can be almost completely contradictory.
In this article you will learn how exactly it can be connected. And understand more of why exactly you feel sad and bored all the time.
Both factors in your actual life situation and the often automated coping strategies and your defense mechanisms can come into play.
Sad and sad all the time: A life or an emotional problem?
It is natural to think that if you are sad and sad all the time, then life is hopeless.
And at times, our emotional state may reflect our actual circumstances.
We are sad all the time because sad things happen all the time. We are sad all the time because rental things happen all the time.
So far so good, a psychologist could then say. Then maybe not have an emotional problem. On the contrary, you function emotionally normally.
It's healthy to be sad about the sad. It is normal to get tired of the sad.
Good news and bad news. You're not feeling well, because you are not feeling well.
In a way, it might have been more worrying if you smiled and laughed while things collapsed around you.
Problem or emotion-regulating coping?
In such a situation, one can say that it is conditions in the life situation itself that are the main problem. It's something that's constantly lying there and hurting.
A problem-solving coping strategy can have the greatest potential to no longer feel sad and bored all the time.
So: Is there anything you can do about the situation?
Here it can be difficult to judge for yourself. It can be very wise to discuss the details of the situation with someone.
Often others can see opportunities where we are blind to limitations. Especially when we are stuck in a state where we are sad and rent all the time.
This may seem like an obvious and clichéd piece of advice. But the truth is that very few people think thoroughly about the fact that this advice is actually highly relevant to just oneself.
Do you really share the really difficult?
Even many psychologists can get lost in the notion that they are open about their difficulties and good at sharing worries.
The truth is most often that one only shares a highly made-up version of it all. It tells about the safe parts of the problem. In the way that does not feel so risky.
Then you can not move on. To get ahead, you have to go all the way to the leg.
We will return to this by sharing with others. First, we will look at the possibility of "sharing" with ourselves at all.
We are all equipped with a number of automated defense mechanisms that can make it difficult to get in touch with what it really is that makes us sad and bored.
Sad and bored all the time - because of defense mechanisms?
For it is not always that the world outside us is actually the way the world feels inside us.
The world can feel hopeless, even if there is hope. Gray, even if the colors actually shine towards you. Cardboard-like and fake in all its diverse and hyper-real splendor.
Our emotions play a trick on us in a way. Or more precisely, our defense mechanisms play a trick on us.
When one experiences a feeling, such as being sad and sad, but at the same time not knowing why, it is in the nature of things that the reason lies in the unconscious.
We are simply not fully aware of where this feeling of being sad and sad all the time comes from.
Most often we may know about something of what makes us sad and rent us. But that the things there are not good enough reason to be so sad and sad all the time.
This may be partly because many of us tend to use defense mechanisms such as minimization, trivialization and rationalization.
Also read our article about how therapy with a psychologist can help.
Defense mechanisms are automatic ways that our minds turn to keep emotional reactions at bay. Under the consciousness radar.
Not so few of us can tend to downplay the sad and painful things we carry. "It's not so bad, many people feel much worse."
Or a rationalization "I'm just sorry because I'm a teenager, and am a little hormonal."
Of course, these statements can be completely true. And sometimes enough things like hormonal imbalance can come into play in periods where you feel sad and sad all the time. And it can be helpful to take such a perspective.
Other times it is just the way we have learned to suppress bad feelings.
Sad and bored - feeling or defense?
It can sound strange to suppress emotions, if you feel just being sad and sad all the time.
Isn't being bored and sad just being in too much contact with emotions?
Or can emotions also be "defensive", ie cover over other emotions, which go even deeper and are even worse?
When you ask yourself why I am sad and bored all the time, there are two things that make me as a psychologist suspect that so-called defensive processes are going on.
That is, defense mechanisms are active, which keep deeper emotional layers away.
To embark on moving
When emotions pass through us completely unhindered, they can be compared to a wave. They build up, break and then they dissolve. Then the water is still, before a new wave eventually builds up.
There is movement and dynamism. Up and down. Movement followed by silence.
When you are sad and bored all the time, the condition is often characterized by stuckness and depression rather than movement and energy dynamics.
"Something" is admittedly on the way up, but it scares us and we stop it, both physically and mentally.
Animals and children react when they go through something traumatic. For example, they shake (it off).
The bodies of the adults remain still in the bomb room, while the children tremble. This does not mean that adults are less afraid. They have learned to suppress the body's natural reactions to both the frightening and the hurting.
There are probably deep cultural roots to this pattern.
Who said big kids don't cry? The one who heard it himself. But who started?
When you are sad and bored all the time, you are often stuck in a mixed state between the emotions, the "anxiety" for them and the lids over them.
You can read more about such mixing states in our article on when to crying apparently for no reason.
Dont stop the waves - learn how to surf
Nothing can stop a wave. It is wavy that the organism will actually process emotions. The word emotion even means movement.
Our emotions, the emotions, make the body move, energies build up, are released. It is in the language, to be moved.
Then you have to lose control and it's scary. Should one dare to let the body be moved by what is going on inside? It's vulnerable. Naked.
It's safer to overrule, tense up, push yourself down, stay away, go up to your mind and spin around up there in the tuber.
Give up, make yourself powerless, helpless and do not allow yourself to have hope for anything. Then you do not risk anything either.
Maybe even whip themselves into place. Sharpen up, take it together, honestly, you just feel sorry for yourself.
All these maneuvers are defense mechanisms. You "safe", guard yourself do not take the risk that old wounds will be torn up, that you will burn yourself again, that you will show who you are without being received.
You reject yourself before anyone else does. Or attack themselves before anyone else gets it.
Sad and bored - due to self-harm?
Of course, it happens that you are sad and bored simply because something sad has happened. But then you usually know why. Feeling sad and bored can just as easily be called being depressed.
It often has little to do with it pure grief in a crisis to do. More with something that gets de-pressed to do. Lids that are placed over us to keep the deepest layers in place.
Self-attack is one such mechanism. One often attacks and criticizes oneself without being aware of it. Many are chronically held down because they push themselves down in various ways. Mentally and physically.
When I, as a psychologist, make people aware of this, most justify the self-attacks as something rational. There is almost no one who understands that it is a defense mechanism.
For self-attack is always a defense mechanism.
Attacking oneself is painful, but it keeps some even worse and scarier feelings and realities away.
It may sound a little strange, but it's true.
And absolutely crucial to realize. For anyone who has this rent but alas so all too normal the tendency to resort to self-criticism, pointing the finger inwards, when things get difficult.
You do not kick someone who is lying down, it is said.
Self-attack as a defense
It may be safer to attack yourself than to attack someone else. Then you would get so horrible guilty. And be afraid of losing the other.
It can also be safer to blame yourself, then you still have a dose of control over things and a little you should say. It can be scarier to take on your own powerlessness in this world.
Almost all children think that if only they had done something different, then maybe the parents would not have divorced / beaten you / argued.
We often carry such a part with us for the rest of our lives. A part that gives itself a disproportionately large space, right near the navel of the world.
This is perfectly normal. But it is not very healthy.
Many people who are stuck in feeling sad and bored all the time are stuck in this because it automatically starts to criticize and blame themselves when something gets difficult.
Often in combination with downplaying the seriousness of what they are actually going through. Or be too conflict cloud to hold someone around them accountable.
But some may also have an almost opposite pattern that we will now look at.
Sad and bored all the time - a victim of the circumstances?
You can also get stuck in being sad and bored all the time because you constantly feel that you can not influence your own life situation and that things simply happen to you.
Sometimes, as mentioned, this is true.
Other times it's more of a feeling - or wait, again one defense mechanism.
By putting yourself in a position where you are a kind of "victim" for the misdeeds of others and for fate, you deprive yourself of responsibility - and hence opportunities and freedom to do something good for yourself.
To dwell on the evils, the hostility of the world, and the inadequacies of others, one again places oneself in a relatively safe, but dark, place.
By removing personal responsibility, you also remove negative feelings related to the self, feelings related to responsibility and guilt, the way you yourself affect others and feelings related to defeat and rejection.
All defenses have been good defenses
It is difficult to talk about these things because those who have the former pattern of exaggerating their own responsibility and guilt, and underestimating the significance of their surroundings, will immediately suspect themselves of just taking on the role of victim.
In fact, this can be a litmus test of whether this applies to you or not. Anyone who goes straight to thinking that you are only playing victim, most likely does not.
There is in fact quite a lot of shame and guilt associated with being characterized by a victim mentality and not something that is easy to admit to oneself.
It is a pity. Because there are good reasons why all defensive patterns develop.
Throughout a course of therapy, it often turns out that the individual patterns were the best - and perhaps even the only - thing they could do at the time when everything was going on.
Even how destructive the patterns must have become when they are overgeneralized and one encounters every brand new event with such thick spectacle lenses that actually keep you trapped in eternal repetitions rather than being able to face every moment as it is: new and colorless.
It is no shame to have developed defenses. There is a lot of smartness and strength in it. Moreover, it is not only highly human but also absolutely necessary.
Why all this fuss about different defense mechanisms?
In the search for the reasons why you are sad and bored all the time, all the aforementioned defense mechanisms will stand in the way of you being able to find out.
We could even say that it is because of the defense mechanisms themselves that you are sad and bored all the time.
How and why get past your own defenses?
Most often you will not find the reason in the team. By thinking and pondering, you stay in the already enlightened parts of the brain. The areas where you have control.
It is difficult to think thoughts inside the closed rooms. The key to getting there is through the loss of control.
You have to lose yourself for a moment and let yourself be moved by the deep emotions that are on the way. Emotions are the king's way into the unconscious.
A problem cannot be solved from the same state of consciousness that initially created it, Einstein said. We need to change our state of consciousness to gain access to new insights, which the brain's standard mode keeps hidden.
To let go completely to the depths of our own emotional life can in many people's ears seem like a joke. Or worse, like a game of chance. Surprisingly many are convinced that they will not like what they will then find.
And that no one else will like it either.
Many are even afraid that it is the pure and simple monster that will reveal itself on the inside.
How to let go of the basic mistrust?
Opening the body to the flow of a pure feeling is like going down once. The further you walk / let the feeling go, the more rooms will reveal themselves on each side further down the hall.
Rooms you can only reach by following your body when it wants to move away with a feeling.
If you get too anxious about this, the defenses come. Fortunately and unfortunately. They helped us at the time when our patterns arose, when we did not have, or did not think we had, someone who could receive us with skin and hair.
And the defenses still help us in the short term to keep painful and frightening emotions away.
But in the long run we are stuck in the pain and we do not recover from the stain. We will always remain trigger sensitive when the untouched, sore spots are activated.
At some point, you have to find enough confidence in yourself to dare to move - without knowing exactly where it will end. Can we trust ourselves? Or is it some kind of taboo?
You like to come just a bit alone in this work. For example, it is difficult to overcome feelings of loneliness and rejection on your own.
It is not necessarily impossible, but often what has become painful and difficult in relation to others must be healed in relation to others.
But not necessarily in the same relationship - with father for example. This will presuppose that both parties are on a healing journey at the same time. Otherwise, only Dad's old defense mechanisms will kick in - and stay in for a while.
Here you can read more about how we think therapy can help. But this other does not have to be a psychologist.
Sad and bored all the time - to bear the pain of loneliness
When you are sad and bored all the time, you have usually always experienced something that has been shocking and traumatic.
It does not have to be dramatic stuff. They may well be subtle. A rejection when one really needed to be met, for example. This is how it settles. All the pain settles if it does not later get through the body and can be divided.
When you are bored and sad all the time, it has almost always accumulated a lot of strange things inside. Big and small. Maybe just a lot of "small".
The worst thing about such an accumulation of minor traumatic events - in the broadest sense - is not the event itself. But the potentially eternal imprint that has settled on the inside.
What we do to ourselves in the face of trauma and its triggers.
The child's need for attachment will trump the simultaneous need for authenticity. We end up rejecting the parts of ourselves that others reject, such as vulnerability. In the next round, we will then also reject the vulnerability of others.
This gives a serious spiral of a traumatizing experience throughout cultures and through generations. It is almost a form of dehumanization. This is how we harden, and this is how we harden others.
Another thing that almost everyone does is that they do it alone with the pain. And that's actually the worst.
For what is never shared, it remains unchanged inside. From cradle to grave.
It is a great step for both oneself and humanity to be able to break such generational, oppressive mechanisms.
You have to start with the way you meet yourself.
Never walk alone
Only the very safest among us do not deal with the pain alone. Because there lies fear, guilt, shame and other non-German. The defenses are well-meaning. They want to protect us from all this.
But in the end they do us a disservice.
Because they not only keep us away from the pain. But also the liberation.
The liberation that lies in letting the organism react naturally to what it has been through. The liberation that lies in sharing, making oneself visible, being seen and stepping out of the eternal and eternal loneliness.
Why sad and bored? Make the unconscious conscious
It should surprise me a lot if none of what I write here is relevant to everyone who feels sad and upset all the time. Everyone has experienced something painful. Which they have not been processed, along with any.
Things that are still stuck in the body. Halfway out, halfway inside.
The first step is to become curious about how you yourself, completely automatically and without deciding on it, actually handle difficult things.
Eventually you also have to take the chance to share your inner self with others. And take the chance to trust yourself and your own body, your own emotional life.
Until you make the unconcious concious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate, sa Carl Gustav Jung.
He said what is true.
We want all people to get to know the operations in their own minds. Only in this way can you become a master in your own house.
And find out why you are so sad and bored all the time.
Here you can read more about how we set up therapy at Psykologvirke and schedule an appointment, online or at our office in central Oslo.