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Fear of Emotions

What is it about strong feelings and emotions that are so frightening to us? Why do some people cope with tragedies and everyday stress with no ill effects, yet others get caught up in self-harming behaviors such as not eating, eating too much, self-mutilation, illegal drug abuse, or any number of other unhealthy and harmful actions? Many men and women see it as a sign of weakness to show emotions outwardly. Society's accepted norms don't usually include crying, expressions of anger, or even expressions of friendship and love. We have become a society of robots, expected to handle life and all it's various challenges with no reaction. Eating disorders are much about masking emotions for fear of being scrutinized or rejected. When a person is starved, or focused purely on bingeing and purging, or their weight, a certain numbness takes over, which is mistaken for relief, therefore empowering the disease and symptoms thereof. There is no easy answer, but as individuals, we must begin to respect the miracle of our complex emotions, and embrace them. If we don't allow ourselves to be angry or sad, then most likely we aren't feeling joy or peace.