Just when I think The Avengers couldn’t get any better, another piece of the movie is applied to our lives. A columnist expert on Bipolar disorder shares how The Hulk, or Dr. Banner describes dealing with his rage, changing into a monster he cannot control. He then links it to helping those with psychological disorders such as Depression, Bipolar and Anxiety. Our immediate reaction to negative feelings tends to be to suppress them, deny them and shut them off. We push things from our minds and convince ourselves that if only we can forget them for awhile, it won’t be there upon our return. All we are actually doing is putting them off. When they come back, it is usually with a vengeance and there aren’t any more effective coping strategies learned. Tony Stark continues to question the good doctor as to how he has managed to control his rage, harness it and to keep calm. Eventually we learn that Dr. Banner has learned that his anger is a part of him, not a symptom and there are limits and boundaries like all other emotion. Dr. Jekyll learned this lesson; Hyde was within him always, not some creation out of a lab. Human nature is not a question of duality of good vs. evil, it is infinite, it is all-encompassing.
Negative feelings are not something we can cut out; instead we must accept them as part of the normal range of human existence. It is alright to be angry or sad just as it is alright to be happy; ignoring those feelings is not helping, learning the lines are. For those with psychological disorders such as bipolar, anxiety, depression and anger it will be possible to remove these feelings, and to try would be setting them up for failure that will only set it off more. Treating them with medications works, but without the necessary component of learning to live within this state means that they are doomed to only ever be medicated. We can learn a lot from our superhero friends, The Hulk might be onto something, we might have to revamp anger management techniques in his image.
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
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