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Using analogies/metaphors to help explain/understand

ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,724 The Mix Elder
edited March 2 in Positivity Corner

---- Hope this is in right place 

This maybe bit of a weird post for some(?) then do ignore me loool for some people this doesnt help but i do love a good analogy to describe how i am feeling so i wanted to share them with others so maybe it can help them to better understand/explain it to someone else if feel similar. & i find understanding helps me deal with it a bit better. Most of these are what i have read/been told else where - not all of what ive thought off. & share some if know any cause i find them very interesting & relateable & so helpful. May make no sense cause all see/feel differently----

So when overwhelmed - i like to see it as we all have buckets in our head - when something goes wrong, it goes in your bucket if you do not deal with it & ignore it - it stays there - then it keeps adding up. Until it reaches the top. Then something 'small' like missing your bus makes you have a break down. Not because they have missed their bus but because their bucket is full and "cant cope" with anymore. And some extreme things could be in there - so when go to therapy/tell someone - it can feel worse - at start - as tried to ignore it but then after while would fee better that not having it weighing down. As had to gets worse before gets better sometimes. 

For your moods/depression - its been been describe to me that sometimes when you wake up in the morning - you have the most heaviest dog  (forgotten the name of it-maybe was just lots of black dogs) on you - that you can not move at all(depression). But then some days you could have a labrador on your chest - can feel it & took a bit of effort to move but did move it. Or some people just wake up with a puppy on them - takes no effort really -so can move it but could still stay in bed sometimes- but only because its comfortable & what you want. And that could go onto day with the lead and control your own emotions

(execpt for my actual dog - he pulls so much on the lead so thats more hard to visualise for me lol)

For anxiety i think about it as a car alarm that goes off everytime somene goes past it rather than it only going off when someones breaking in. 

For borderline personality disorder - i have read the usual third degree burns but i also like the description/imagery of it is like you’re driving a car on bumpy road at high speed cause have a very sensitive accelerator & the slightest touch makes the car race forward, but the car’s brakes are unreliable. And can end up crashed & dead. But can learn techniquies to make the breaks more reliable and manage it(your moods). 

Someone with an eating disorder may ask for help & then deny that they want it, like someone who has an intruder in their home & calls 999 but when help arrives, finds that the intruder is standing behind their back with a gun, forcing them to say everything is allright after all. But After some time living with the illness & giving up hope of being rescued, may start thinking of the intruder as a protector (the ED), believing that it is better to live with the eating disorder than to give it up for some thing that may make it worse or not work. But there is a better life.  

For recovery i like to see it as a roap trip in the sense that when we hit "bump in road"/ "relapse"  - though 'relapse' sounds like restarting all the way from begining but you dont start your road trip right from the begining - all the things in the past are still there of what you have learnt. Or could make wrong desicion/ go in wrong direction but then okay as can still get to where you want but may take longer but still going to where you want just not how the way you initinally wanted.

I also think that a lot times we treat the symptoms of mental illnesses more than the cause. Medication does that and coping skills. I mean it works temparly so i see it as thats like cutting the top of a plant you dont want and it keeps growing back & not finding the rot/cause

I find are better/clear ways to look at things

I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 


  • RileyRiley Posts: 298 Super Moderator
    edited March 8
    Wow @Shaunie this is a really great idea to share and all of these metaphors are so useful, I especially like the one about waking up with a dog on your chest! I think things like this really help put complicated mental problems into an understandable context for people who have never dealt with them.

    One metaphor like this that's always stuck with me is the idea of Spoon Theory. For those that don't know it's basically the idea that you start off the day with a certain number of "spoons" and as you do things throughout the day (making food, running errands, interacting with people) it takes away different amounts of your spoons. Once you're out of spoons it doesn't matter how early in the day it is you simply don't have the energy to do anything else even if it's something little. Obviously this theory isn't exact and it doesn't apply to everyone but it can be useful explaining to other people how a physical or mental disability can limit you.

    Hope I explained that in a way that wasn't confusing :lol:

    - Riley
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,724 The Mix Elder
    edited April 2
    Just found this on facebook. 

    ...sometimes things have to get worse before gets better

    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
  • SubrooSubroo Posts: 11 Fast Newbie
    Just wish people would say what they mean. Otherwise people get the wrong ends of sticks 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,216 Fanatical Poster
    Hey Shaunie,

    I've heard people say depression is like having a black dog quite a lot, and I must say it definitely felt as though there was always extra weight on me, extra effort I had to put into anything, that sometimes it broke me and I wouldn't bother trying.

    That tweet and the comment on it just about sums it up quite beautifully.

    Hope you're okay.
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,724 The Mix Elder
    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,724 The Mix Elder
    This was on my explore feed on instagram

    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
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