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Home » Ask the Therapist » Help. I’ve lost my “filter”!

Help. I’ve lost my “filter”!

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I’m not married, but I am in a long term relationship. I would say this was an issue with my partner, but I’m not sure. It seems to be more of an issue with myself which of course is affecting my partner.

For the most part, I feel that lately I’ve lost my “filter,” in that things will sometimes come out of my mouth that I certainly haven’t thought through, and am sometimes surprised by. Initially, what I would find myself saying wasn’t necessarily inappropriate, and may have only felt embarrassing to me, but the longer this has been going on, the more inappropriate my words, and now actions, have become.

It doesn’t always happen when I’ve been drinking, and I will say I’ve been drinking to excess lately. Sometimes it happens in class when I’m completely sober, and I say something negative, inappropriate, and or just completely strange. Drinking obviously intensifies my lack of a filter, and the other night I found myself in a somewhat physical altercation with a man in a bar. I don’t remember what started the argument, but I do know that it is not characteristic of me to let anything like that escalate. I found myself yelling things at him that don’t seem to make sense, and that I can’t be sure were even relevant to what his issue with me was.

I guess in a nutshell, what’s troubling me is that I’ve become increasingly hostile, maybe a little paranoid, and I don’t feel I have much control over what I say and sometimes over what I do. I’m sorry this is so long, I’m just worried. It makes me not want to have conversations with people for fear I’ll say something too weird or off the wall, or maybe get into an argument and start causing a scene. I don’t understand where this is coming from, I don’t know why I’m so angry and out of control.

Help. I’ve lost my “filter”!

Answered by on -

A.

And I don’t understand why a smart girl like you is drinking so much. Alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain. This is the locus for decision-making, judgement, and impulse control – what you are calling your “filter.” At your age, the brain is still growing and changing. The amount of alcohol you are putting into your system is obviously having a negative effect. Your behavior is a clear message that you have crossed the line from having a few social drinks to having a drinking problem.

It’s time to stop just worrying and to start taking care of the problem. If you can’t stop drinking on your own, seek out a counselor who has expertise in addictions or get involved in a self-help program. Please take this seriously. It’s your brain we’re talking about here!

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Help. I’ve lost my “filter”!

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Help. I’ve lost my “filter”!. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/03/13/help-ive-lost-my-filter/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.