Other People In My Head
(Memphis, TN, US)
I don't know how this started. I have been mistreated all my life by my brother, my momma, and the people I dated. I become angry so fast to the point my head starts to hurt.
Sometimes when I'm on the computer I find myself getting jealous of other people because of what they have. People call me ugly, fat, lame, and other things. I always had low self esteem since elementary school.
When I was younger I used to cry but now I try to hurt people physically and if I can't hurt them I hurt myself. I'm afraid of pain so I overdose on different sleeping pills. I don't think anyone likes me, and I try very hard to keep friends but they always bring me down or stop talking to me.
Lately I have been very aggressive and very controlling. Sometimes I flip out for nothing. My mood changes within 5 mintues.
Sometimes I think about suicide. In school I always had a problem with destroying school property and trying to hurt people. Sometimes my girlfriend asks me things and I just get mad. Now I have noticed myself driving fast when someone makes me angry. I don't know what else to do.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Lucky, and thanks for telling your story here. The reason you wrote about your problems on this site is that you are a good person, and you don't like how your anger is causing you to hurt others and yourself. You're alarmed about how bad things are getting, and that's because you're better than that.
I don't know if you're willing to do it or not, but if you are, I think these exercises will really help you.
Do the three journaling processes described on this page. This will take you through your past trauma, help you contain your anger, and begin to retrain your brain to focus on the good things inside and all around you.
There is more right than wrong with you, Lucky. Start looking at the good things about you, and that will really help.
You are a unique person, and you have your own gifts and value. Focus on that and your good heart, which is who you really are inside.
This will help you deal with those "other people in your head." Try this exercise for seeing, containing and understanding your anger:
1) Come up with a mental picture of your anger. Keep searching for an image until you have a clear picture in your mind. Amplify it, making it larger than life, even if it is cartoon-like. It needs to fully embody your anger, so that it is completely consumed and illustrates exactly how you feel when you're filled with rage. Keep going until you know for sure that it is accurate and really "captures" your emotion.
2) While picturing it in your mind, say this to it: "I can see that you are a part of me. I created you a long time ago, for my protection. If I let you run my life, you will destroy it. I'm not going to try to kill you or make you go away. You have a place here, but you're not going to be in charge any more. I'm taking over, which will keep both of us safe. I know you're strong, but your strength belongs to me, and I choose to use it for good things."
3) Notice how the image responds or changes in your mind while you say these things. Keep working with it in this way until you begin to see a healthy anger image start to emerge. Ultimately, you want to transform it into a loyal ally--that's what happens when your anger is healthy.
4) Every time you start to get angry, picture this image of your anger--keep at it until you can see it clearly. This is called "See It Don't Be It," and it will help you to manage your anger.
You can do this, Lucky. Never give up on yourself. Write again if you want to.
My very best to you,
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