Dr. Jeremy Bartz was raised Mormon and is a psychologist specializing in chronic pain, and when medical conditions can be aggravated or exacerbated by psychological stress (psychosomatic disorders, or mind/body stress). He and Kristy went to graduate school together at BYU and he shares his faith journey: how he left the LDS church (partly from what we learned in our classes together), and later experienced rage so intense he felt it physically, and MRI scans couldn’t explain it. He talks about how our genetic link to primates translates to having unconscious ‘gorilla brain’ urges to do harm when angry, but we humans also have ‘big hearts’ so to speak. So when we unconsciously harbor these horrible urges toward those we care about, or another human who of course we wouldn’t really want those things to actually happen to them (think an orthodox loved one or a church member/leader), we feel intense guilt, which we then turn inward and punish ourselves with the same punishment our urges were unconsciously dealing out (physical harm we feel in our bodies–headaches, back pain, aches, chronic fatigue, etc). This is an interesting theory to step back and think about, especially soon after general conference when many feel a lot of anger. Stepping back to look at the unconscious processes that may be at play can perhaps help us understand ourselves a little better and how our biology/genetics interact with our emotional health when we’re upset. DISCLAIMER: The actual intensive emotional processing Jeremy describes “should not be tried at home. It’s meant to be done with the guidance of a therapist and we are NOT advocating violence. The violent impulses that Jeremy was referring to are processed mentally and NEVER in real life.
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Jeremy can be reached here