Expressed Emotion.... Sad to see it come back

There is a term that got introduced into our family about 8 years ago when the kid sis was about 9 to 10 years old. Expressed Emotion.

I was 21 to 22… I was hospitalized for the long term and finally starting to recover from the mess I made of myself being homeless and rabid. I was about to be moved to a group home.

A fancy brained PH’d expert really laid into my kid sis and my middle brother Jack after some family caregiver session. The fancy brained expert went on and on about Expressed Emotion and really scared the hell out of her. He used proper latin and told her about the high percentage of relapse in household with high E.E. numbers and how damaging it is to patients with SZ and if I had any hope of recovery, a low EE would be a very important factor…

She was 9. How much latin and medical lingo does a 9 year old know? So my sis took it as if she expresses any emotion at all… I will instantly relapse and spend the rest of my life in hospital. So she got very neutral. If you asked her how she felt she would say… “I am very neutral today, I have nothing to express.”

So this expert was very helpful (NOT) … My sis still has a fear about EE and will needlessly check herself all the time. She will try to shut off some of her emotions so there will be a low E.E. number. It’s like choosing wax build-up. I hate it.

Through therapy and fighting anorexia this has been coming up hard for her. So NOT expressing emotion has not helped me or her.

It’s a concept I’ve pondered for ages, and now that the CBT for anorexia and this whole EE thing has been coming up again, I am still trying to get my head fully around the concept.

I really don’t think I’m going to instantly relapse if she expresses any emotion about my S.Z. It kills me to think that the anorexia she is fighting off has it’s roots in my SZ. Just more collateral damage. I was really hoping someone would have gotten out of this with minimal damage, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

This is just a hint of my research so far.

Does anyone else have any idea about E.E. (Expressed Emotion) Have they had to ponder it. I am really still trying to figure out what it is. I can read these articles and all, but I’m trying to find examples. I’m sure there are some.

I sometimes think that if I lived closer you guys just might find me on your doorstep just to give you guys a big hug.

Whatever this expert was trying to relay it seems he messed it up. There is a difference between emotions and extreme negative emotions.

“Of particular relevance to schizophrenia is the level of “expressed emotion” (yelling, shouting, fighting, or critical or hostile comments) and stress that is in the living environment of the person with schizophrenia.”

I don’t take away from this that a person is not supposed to express emotions. Yelling, shouting, fighting and hostility doesn’t serve anyone in any relationship. While in crisis then yes even small showings of negative emotions can have an impact. You are not in crisis anymore. I don’t think this means that the other person is not allowed to have negative emotions either. While being told not to express this around you they should still have been told that they need and have the right to express these emotions elsewhere. Not act like they don’t exist.

Anyways… Good morning :smile:

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From what I’ve read from your posts it seems like you guys are really doing well and working hard. I hope your sis can relax some. I think she’s a great help for you.

This illness is chaotic, there will always be ups and downs. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop it. She shouldn’t feel that your well being is so dependent on her behavior. That’s a tough burden to bear.

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Maybe that is why I’m confused… I’ve only gotten that from two younger brothers… (Jacob and Jack, the two nearest in age to me) I just figured later that teenaged boys fight for the big chair no matter what is happening in the house.

This topic has hit my kid sis pretty hard in her life. Now that she’s in therapy to try and beat this anorexia, this old can of worms is getting opened again. So I’m trying to learn about it and maybe get some clear view on this.

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Ok so this was in abnormal psychology last semester, I know this fairly well. By highly expressed emotion, they mean drama queen bullsh1t. My sister is bipolar and refuses to take a mood stabilizer, she exhibits highly expressed emotion.

Highly expressed emotion most often means negative behavior, verbalization of problems and complaining and fighting.

What IS NOT highly expressed emotion is like being cheerful on someone’s birthday or congratulating someone. What WOULD BE highly expressed emotion is throwing a tantrum and yelling, basically fighting. Having a parent raise their voice often is highly expressed emotion. Spouting off hypo-manic nonsense and laughing loudly at your own jokes is highly expressed emotion.

Basically, anything annoying is a good candidate for qualifying as highly expressed emotion. Any behavior that is fueled by emotions and is distracting/distressing/obnoxious is highly expressed emotion.

Some people with schizophrenia often act like “oh please you ####ing infant” when people exhibit this behavior. I think it’s because when people think they have problems, we just imagine how they would do in one hour of our episodes, LOL. That, or we get upset and emotional ourselves, which can trigger psychosis.

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