Lack of emotions

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Wispiwill, Nov 21, 2012.

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  1. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Does anyone here have times when they feel no emotions?

    I ask because I have those times. Sometimes I do feel a limited range of emotions but other times, nothing. The most I get is mild curiosity. I know that I used to have the full range. I remember that I had them. I just don't remember what they felt like. It's why my posts can sometimes be cold or blunt and why sometimes I find that I've offended someone without meaning to. I find it hard to predict how others might react to what I say and I get things wrong.

    So...anyone know what I'm talking about? (And before you ask, no, I haven't seen a doctor about it nor do I intend to).
     
  2. truthhurts

    truthhurts Well-Known Member

    around the time of two years ago, before i decided to end everything, with the span of a couple months i got to the state of basically zero emotions. i felt nothing. i cud stare at the ceiling for hours and not feel even slightly bored. i wudn't get angry or disappointed at all when i was called in front of the class at school to answer and i'd said "i don't know anything, u can fail me", but then when another student was called on the same thing, i knew all the things he said. i didn't feel betrayed when i was finally confronted about what i was going to do, even though i'd only told my best friend who said she wudn't tell anybody. i cud go on with this list. i basically didn't care about anything. even though i got convinced by some people not to end my life, and i no longer intend to, i'm still not really capable of 'fully' feeling the emotions in my life. sometimes i feel like an observer, like it's not really 'my life'. and before the time i described, i was also relatively 'normal' in this sense. and yes, it can also offend people. for example, there was a whole dispute when my family and i drove to another city that i was moving to, with all my stuff, but i cudn't get the key [tho i cud eventually still leave my stuff there, but they didn't get to see the place, which is kinda why most of them came along]. the thing that pissed them off somehow, was that i appearantly acted like i didn't care. i actually did care. obviously i wud've liked them to see the place and everything, and i was a bit sad that they were disappointed. i just thought that what right have i to be angry at something when it's them who got hurt. and i also didn't feel like 'acting out' really, i didn't think it was thaaat big of a deal. anyway, i think you get the point.

    sry it's such a long post. if u have any questions, feel free to ask.
     
  3. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    A sense of numbness is common after a trauma or loss of some kind. The mind shuts down because it's overwhelmed. The numbness can be retriggered if we find ourselves with an overwhelming amount on our plates. Counselling can be helpful because another person can help guide us through the mash of feelings that do eventually surface when we start to let them out. I hope things even out for you and not with numbness, but with happier times. :smile:
     
  4. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    truthhurts - any idea what started you not feeling? Do you feel anything now? If so, what? And what changed?

    Acy - I'm aware of numbness and have figured that that is what this probably is but since I'm now in a position where I have less time with emotions than without them, I thought I'd ask if anyone else had the same condition and what information, if any, they could give me. Does that make sense?
     
  5. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    OK...I guess I was getting at the idea that something could retrigger our sense of hurt/trauma, but we might try to shut off those emotions (consciously or unconsciously). Shutting down any one feeling can apparently shut down all the other feelings in the long run...Our emotions (I gather from my doc) are not like separate faucets for sad, angry, happy, etc. The emotions all come from the same place first. So, say for example, we might be angry about something, but we want to move on and forget it. We clamp down on the feeling we have - the anger. But that also clamps down on the other feelings. If we do it often enough, long enough, we can feel numb. So my line of thinking was that if there is a retriggering of a past hurt/trauma, and we try to stomp on the feelings it brings up, we might actually be setting ourselves up for not feeling much of anything. This kind of thing might happen without our realizing it if we are being retriggered without knowing that's what's happening.

    Don't know if I made sense, but if not, don't sweat it. I don't even know if it's right or wrong, or if that's how it's happening to you. Best person to tell you would be a counsellor or doc if you wanted to go that route (and not everyone does). :smile:
     
  6. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Ah, I see what you're getting at. I'm not aware of trying to shut down specific feelings and it throws up an interesting question as a result. If all the emotions are tied together, why is it that, when I DO feel emotions, I only get some - fear, despair and anger - nothing else. You'd think that I'd get others in there too, if those can resurface, so why not?

    Whilst I'm under an unusual amount of stress at the moment (and I have noticed that my emotions shut down in stressful situations before) I've been losing my emotions for at least the last 2 years - far longer than the current situation. So what's caused that? I have no idea. What I DO know is that I recently stopped fighting the erosion (as in the last week or so) and I've found that the emotional times (which haven't been much) have been far easier to cope with - perhaps as a result of that decision.

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I think it's the "access" to the emotions, not which particular one(s) we are feeling, that we shut off or open up. But please, remember, I'm basing this on a long-ago convo with my doc -- don't take my word as the truth on any of this.

    Hey, I was just thinking that maybe if you could get a good book on psychology, emotions and behavior, you might find the whole answer (without my guesses! - lol).

    And, while I'm thinking of it, do you get tired when you hold in your emotions? I find it exhausting. Doesn't leave me much energy for getting excited or upset about other things. Maybe that plays a role too. (In my next life, maybe I'll become a learned PhD in Psychology and have the answers for you. :smile:)
     
  8. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Your guesses are fine. It can help me think if I have someone to bounce things off of. Does that make sense?

    What confused me about the access to emotions is if it's an all or nothing deal, why was it that I felt some, sometimes, but not all? As it happens, I've been thinking about that, thanks to this thread and your guesses/thoughts. I think that I've been depressed for a while - which surpresses the good emotions and explains why I only feel the bad ones. The rest of the time, of course, I feel nothing. The length of time that I feel nothing is increasing but that may be because I'm subconsciously choosing to feel nothing rather than only feel the bad. What do you think?

    I'm always tired - that's a given with me. Certain things are constant, merely the intensity that changes. Having said that, I find it easier to deal with things when I'm unemotional. As if I'm not having to overcome my 'down' state to do whatever I'm doing. And no, there's no upset or excited. Simply flat. Everything's flat and not exactly real.
     
  9. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Maybe it has to do with how long or how much we can actually block. It's possible to hold one's temper and defuse and release the anger later. But while someone is holding their temper, they don't feel much of anything else. But when little bits of emotion start to come out, it's like a leaky tap. We rush to stop that annoying drip, drip, drip - we're blocking things again. Maybe our ability to block things becomes hit and miss until everything shuts down. And to keep using the tap analysis, turning things on again, is like turning on a rusty faucet - at first, it might be slow and drips and dribbles...and we may need to fix things at the source tap to get a healthy flow.
     
  10. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    That makes sense, I suppose then the question becomes - do I WANT my emotions back? Not to mention, could I get them back if I wanted to - especially since I'm not blocking them consciously. It may not be possible or advisable.

    Thank you for your help in this (feel free to keep talking if you wish).
     
  11. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I think our emotions are always there, we just don't (or sometimes cannot for a while) consciously recognize or acknowledge them.

    For me, when I have held things in (held in for years, in some cases), the emotions still "leaked out" slowly and rather messily because I didn't expect them or know what to do with them. The therapy I have received has been like having someone help put on a new tap...week by week, we worked on bits of the leaking emotional stuff, and I learned to feel my emotions and respond appropriately. And that's brought more of the good feelings back as well. I think that our capacity to feel good is proportionate to our capacity to feel bad: What would one mean without the measure of the other? (And yes, it's a little like the chicken and egg conundrum.)
     
  12. truthhurts

    truthhurts Well-Known Member

    In my case, well, i guess it was the fact that i was going to, well, kill myself, and that's kind of a lot easier to do when u feel basically no emotional connections to this world, if that makes sense. i do kind of 'feel' now, and i would say that most emotions, tho not to the extent that 'normal' people do. i just kind of got over my suicidality [the most of it anyway] and started to live a kind of more normal life again. sometimes to bring out more emotions i self-harm [tho i mostly do that for other reasons], tho i don't really recommend that.
     
  13. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    I agree. I know that I can feel the emotional undercurrent, as it were, when I'm transitioning back to emotions. I can feel that they're there but out of reach.

    Can I ask why you want your emotions back? Is it preferable?
     
  14. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Why do I like having my emotions back?

    I am by nature, an emotional person. And I like to be "expressive" of how I feel. I can't be that if I'm blocking feelings. In the past, my feelings were sometimes all over the place, but when I locked them away, I wasn't feeling anything, or the bad would leak out and taint the good. In feeling and coping with all kinds of feelings, I am more alive and aware of the whole world because I'm open to letting the world in now - for better or worse.

    I suppose I just feel better overall knowing that I can be both up and down - appropriately. The key remains finding and maintaining a balance for mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness. I believe there is link among those things, and that getting them all balanced is important.
     
  15. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Actually I feel LESS suicidal without emotions. I just don't see the point of killing myself - it won't change anything. It's when I feel the pain of living that I want to stop. Do you think that having emotions is preferable than not?
     
  16. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Balance IS important. The problem is that I appear to be more balanced when I'm unemotional as I'm not getting the positive emotions. I've traced things back in my mind (and from what I've written elsewhere) and worked out what I think happened (this time) and the depression definitely came first. It makes it hard to know what to do for the best. Especially since I think I'd have to go through some serious down in order to get through it - assuming I can. It may be simpler (and easier) just to stay as I am.
     
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