Just listening to an interview recording artist Halsey gave and was shared on a followers blog and I got a bit triggered by it.. Especially when a psychologist talks about a ‘disorder’ and I am aware ‘bi polar’ is now a blanket diagnosis and even young kids are being slammed with the ‘diagnosis’. I am with James Hillman who says its not the person who is sick due to feeling extreme feelings, it’s the society that makes them into someone who is ‘disordered’ when they are actually dealing with intense feelings.
As many of us know by now the way we relate to our feelings with our minds and thoughts makes a huge difference.. when we welcome the feelings in with love we make a place for them, we act not as a rejecting, shaming parent who didn’t have the time, empathy, skills, patience to deal with those young intense feelings and we allow the child to be an overwhelmed child for a time not having to act it out.. that said if we have a lot of pent up assertive energy now become explosive due to rejection sometimes an intense physical outlet is needed and it is something trauma therapist Peter Levine gives to kids forceably held down via traumatic procedure or held down by the parent who lacks the skills to deal with their overwhelm and allow them an outlet or a diversion for the energy.
We need to understand e-motions as energy in motion and they don’t work when blocked for too long.. they get banked up and then become even more problematic and intense. This is where people become ‘manic’. The point Halsey makes in the interview is that we do not have to conform to ideals of balance, order and emotional coolness and she speaks of how she had to learn to love the ‘manic’ side of her as filled with creative ‘juice.’ And creative people burn with a fire that may be feared at times that it may burn then up rather than burn through to bring a new creation into being. That is just not a human reality where we feel all degree of feelings along a spectrum.
Also with the oscillation into depression then we recognise the person involved endured some fairly heavy sad shit in their lives, their self concept could have been severely damaged by abusive or insensitive care givers and there may be times they need to ‘descend’ into the darkness and even into ‘winter’, in fact wintering maybe part of a cycle that goes through what one of my first therapists called ‘deep dives’, we may have to dive deep to bring up lost parts of our own wreckage or other things consigned to a basement and a past the world would rather we shut the door on.
In depression, too, loss of vitality and ‘spirit’ can occur which is part of a cycle or can become more frozen if the feelings inside do not get to be expressed mediated released if understood in some way.. So sometimes an art form may be necessary as a container or ‘channel’ for those emotions but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET’S STOP PATHOLOGISING INTENSE FEELINGS AS DISORDER.