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lonelydragon's avatar

True or false: Silence is medication for sorrow?

Asked by lonelydragon (7750points) January 25th, 2010

I heard this expression (an Arab proverb) a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. So I am wondering what you all think. Does talking about our problems really make them worse? Would our emotional problems hurt less if we simply bottled them up and didn’t speak about them?

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21 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

I don’t think it trumps “time is the medication for anything”.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I think that silence is necessary for sorting out your problems. It is good to be contemplative instead of just flying of the cuff all the time. But I don’t agree with this proverb. Bottling up your feelings is a recipe for disaster.

Shield_of_Achilles's avatar

Everyone is different. I’ve been trying to talk about things and all it’s been doing is bringing me further down, pissing me off, and making me do stupid stuff. Back in the day I’d just swallow everything down, take a deep breath, and keep on truckin. Worked fine back then and, with any luck, will work again in the future.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

True. In my depressed and mourning state, cheerful people irritate me no end. Time, solitude and medication are what I am depending on. When and if I’m ready, I’ll reenter the world. For now, being a hermit is as close to a soothing balm that I can achieve.

HTDC's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I could’ve sworn that was me writing your answer.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@HTDC welcome to the club of “keeping the black dog at bay”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think it depends on the person.There are things that I won’t talk to anyone about.Other times,I will go on a rant.If they try to get away,I trip them and make them stay until I’m done. Problem solved!

HTDC's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land It’s hard to keep that painfully aggressive dog at bay when it barks at you wherever you go and whatever you do.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Yes I agree with you that rehashing about our problems intensifies and makes more problems. Silence is needed for healing and for releasing the ouch.
And for realization of how we co-created/attracted the problem to begin with.
If possible.
I am aware that whenever I speak ill of anything, I see more of that in my world. Plus it makes me tired to complain. And none of my friends like listening to it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@HTDC and how well I know that, waiting for the meds to make the barking quieter

aprilsimnel's avatar

On the one hand, bottling up is not good. On the other hand, constantly talking about a hurtful event over and over doesn’t move one beyond the past and into today, where the awful thing is not happening. Repeatedly talking about bad stuff just reopens the wound. At some point, a person has to let it go and move one for their own healing. Believe me, I know how comforting it is to rehash shit over and over again. A smart person realizes, “Yeah, this shit still stinks! I’m walking away now.”

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

After a certain point, I’d have to disagree. Silence inevitably accompanies personal loss and some quiet time allows us to work out in our minds how to best deal with the loss, but talking about those feelings with someone you trust is a better, more efficient way to work out those hidden kinks that exist in our emotional armor and move on with our lives. Bottling up helps no one.

Sophief's avatar

I don’t talk about my problems, and I really have a lot going on in my head. My parents don’t live in the same town, and they don’t know anything anyway. I don’t have any friends in the town I live in now. I talk to my boyfriend a little about my problems, but I know I hurt him with some things I have to say, so I don’t bother him with it. My doctor has referred me to see someone and I never went, the last time I did she made me feel like everything is my fault. So, I just keep quiet, if thing get too bad I just deal with it, in my own messed up way.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@aprilsimnel sometimes a really bad wound has to be left open and heal from the inside outward

downtide's avatar

It wouldn’t work for me. I would just end up brooding even more. My cure for sorrow is a party.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@downtide I like to see other people being happy, but I feel very uncomfortable being in the middle of it.

downtide's avatar

I think everyone’s different. I need distraction when I’m unhappy and for me that’s best in the company of other people. But then, I’m an extrovert..

MrsDufresne's avatar

When I read the question, it made me think about the term “You’ll find the answers within the silence.” Silence, as in the repression of feelings, didn’t enter my mind, but rather the peace that stillness (silence) can provide.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@MrsDufresne I most agree completely.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

To amend my previous remarks: Silence and isolation may be therapeutic up to a point, But there comes a time when it becomes the “slough of despond”. I’m now planning on closing up this cabin and forceably throwing myself back into the world of academia, after a 30 year hiatus. I plan on limiting my interpersonal contacts to that of academics only. It’s going to be awkward and painful, especially with my lady’s friends. I’ll also have access to more competant mental health professionals, maybe access to better medications. I’ve begun to notice slight improvements with what I’m on (Paxil) but the current doctor won’t increase the dosage even though I’ve volunteered to sign a liability waiver.

john65pennington's avatar

Holding ones problems inside, causes ulcers and people to become alcoholics. I had an uncle, by marriage, that is a classic case, concerning your question. He worked for a big company and made good money. He would go to work with just one thing on his mind, quitting time and alcohol. I suspected he was drinking on the job and covered his tracks pretty good.

As time progressed, holding in his addiction, lead to a stomach ulcer. One day, he was transported to the ER with a bleeding ulcer and eventually died from it and kidney disease.

Did holding or bottling in his problem lead to his death? I think so.

This is why we have friends. Friends are to share the good and bad times in ones life. I have heard many peoples problems in my career. A good friend is forever.

Good question.

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