Second-Order Feelings

We have feelings about what we are feeling. These Second-Order feelings are more intense than the original emotions and can cause significant perceptual filters. We can start by feeling a little sad about something, then we can begin to feel afraid of the sad feeling because of prior experiences with depression, then we can feel angry about feeling sad and afraid because we see these as weakness, then we can feel overwhelmed by all these powerful feelings. This process can build on itself without any conscious awareness, creating even more confusion. Fear of “losing it” or anticipating being overwhelmed is a key element of anxiety and panic disorders.

 

Continuing Your Journey...