Hiding your emotions affects your health



Concept illustration of a crying woman with a smilling mask in front of her face

Ashlyn Dupree, [email protected]

I don’t know about you, but for me I don’t like to admit I need help. I like to figure things out on my own, try to overcome my obstacles and deal with the consequences.

While it’s great to be independent and deal with your problems on your own, sometimes you need help- especially if you are having suicidal thoughts. Maybe you doubt yourself and your abilities to do a task.

Maybe you aren’t as prepared to tackle an opportunity as you thought you were. Or maybe life has become too much and you don’t want to face it anymore.

When you can’t face a problem on your own or you have suicidal thoughts, it’s time to get some help. And the best way to do that is through counseling.

Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “My situation isn’t that bad. I can handle this on my own.” Or maybe you are thinking, “I know I’m depressed, but I don’t want to bother anyone with my problems.”

In a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester, they discovered that suppressing emotions may increase the risk of dying from heart disease and certain forms of cancer, according to Huffington Post. According to HCF, a study done by the University of Texas found that hiding your emotions makes them stronger.

We need to see the difference between emotional suppression and emotional repression. Emotional suppression is intentionally hiding away your feelings and avoiding distressing. Emotional repression is lacking awareness of negative emotions, according to a study done by Dr. Benjamin Chapman and others.

It’s important to express your emotions. Counseling is a great way to express your emotions to someone without having to share with those closest to you.

Here, at ULM we have the Counseling Center which is one resource you can use. The Counseling Center is free to all students, faculty and staff. Confidentiality is an important part of the Counseling Center’s process so you can feel comfortable sharing your issues.

I have never used the Counseling Center, but I have friends who have. They shared how it really helped them get an outside perspective on their issues and also just let everything out that had been bottled up.

By bottling up how you feel, it causes you to feel insecure and hatred towards yourself. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the third-leading cause of death in people 15-34 is suicide.

ULM has programs set in place for those who are considering suicide or those who know someone considering suicide. One program ULM recently did is a suicide awareness and prevention workshop. While ULM has programs to help, there is a lack of funding for suicide prevention in Louisiana because of funding cuts, according to Longleaf Hospital.

Even with funding cuts from Louisiana, you still have options to contact if you or someone you know is suicidal. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK. The counselors are available 24 hours every day.

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable sharing how you feel with a stranger, but you need to find someone and talk to them. Normally, I bottle up my emotions. When people ask what’s wrong, I’ll hide my emotions away and say, “I don’t want to talk about it,” or “I am fine.”

If I don’t share my emotions, I eventually blow up and take it out on others or I become emotionally drained. This isn’t fair to the other person because it may not even be their fault. By hiding your emotions and then blowing up, you hurt your relationship with loved ones.

If I don’t blow up, I normally end up emotionally drained. Hiding your feelings is exhausting. So, when I’m tired of hiding my emotions, I talk to my mom. I share how I’m feeling with her and why I’m feeling that way. Sometimes she just listens and sometimes she shares advice.

Everyone needs someone to talk to. Don’t be like me and hide your emotions until you are exhausted. Share how you feel because someone cares and wants to know what’s going on.

Don’t let depression or suicidal thoughts overtake your life; get help. There’s nothing wrong with getting help.