Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Rain_Man

Why Am I Losing My Emotions?

Recommended Posts

Sent this on another website and they locked my thread. So, here I go (warning: it's a bit wordy and long)

As a kid -- I used to be overly emotional. Angry outbursts, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, having new crushes every once in a while -- you name it. Every emotion was like burning with a ferocious intensity. However, normal days of childhood was soon lost. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder in my early teenage years. I have been on anti-depressant since the last 8 years (I am 22 now).

Luckily, my depression has been dwindling for the last couple of years. However, it seemed to have replaced with something worse: emotionlessness.

Now I am standing at a moment in my life where I have barely any emotions at all. For example: I used to be such a romantic soul back in my childhood. Even two years ago, I seeking romantic movies and books, and I also started writing a romance story of my own. However, for the last couple of months, no matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to watch or anything remotely related to romance. I have abandoned the thought of finishing my novel because the thought of 'writing' romantic scenes make me gag. As for my real life -- I do find particular people good-looking and often wonder how they will be in bed, but can't get myself to actually 'feel' for them at a deeper level.

Another example - I used to love kids. Kids were crazy for me too. Now I don't particularly care for them. 3 of my cousins came from abroad after about 6 years. Back then, I used to adore one of them (she was only 3 years old then) so much, and this time I didn't even care they existed.

When I do good for others, it's not because it makes me feel emotionally ' warm and fuzzy' inside, but because I have a strong sense of ethics, and know what is right or wrong. I 'help' my friends in studies and everything, but can't really care enough for them to know what is going on in their lives. Same for my family. I look after them more as an obligation than anything. Sounds harsh and cruel, but what can I do? I just don't have any strong feelings.

I haven't cried in nearly a year, and haven't felt very hopeless or depressed either. But on the other side, I can't remember feeling extremely happy or ecstatic either in a very long time. When I fail an exam -- I am like, okay, it doesn't matter, I will try again (when most student would almost have a heart failure). When I get the highest in an exam, I am still like, okay, it doesn't matter, it makes no difference to me. My feelings and emotional reactions are pretty much the same regardless of either good or bad events occurring around me.

Someone very near to me could die, and I doubt I'd shed more than two tears for them. Nothing seems to move me anymore -- good, bad, nothing at all. I feel very little. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit -- i do have emotions, but not what an average person does.

What can I do? Should I seek help from a doctor/therapist? Suggest me help please. I am a good reader, so any self-help book (accurate and medically approved books please) will be fine. Also the wise members here, is there a psychological disorder for this?

[Copy-pasting it from the depression central board after someone mentioned that is not the right forum.]

Please help me, or at least refer me to academic websites regarding this matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see where you're coming from. Believe me, I really do. It's scary, isn't it? Not being able to feel nothing. Sometimes pain is better than feeling nothing.

What I learned from my experience from anhedonia, is that, it can come in stages. It can make you feel like you're in fact bipolar. One day the sun shining and a week after everything is of no use.

It's the feeling of not having a feeling. And the things you used to love seem stupid all of the sudden, and useless.

I think that Anhedonia comes when depression has passed to another level. The person becomes so accostumed to the pain, the sadness, that he/she searches to defend himself/herself by blocking away all feelings, good or bad. Some people never even recognize they have depression until they have anhedonia. But it's impossible to have anhedonia without any prior experience regarding depression.

Personally, I have no good experience with anti-depressants. At first they made me irritable, and then they made me apathetic. Sometimes they make anhedonia worse, in my experience at least. I would suggest you search for other possible methods. Therapy is good. As long as you find the best possible therapist, it's good. You can vent to them about anything, anhedonia and all, without feeling pressured.

I recently went through a dark anhedonia phase myself. I was always a pretty active person. I like to be busy throughout the day because it kept my mind off negative thoughts. However, I suddenly lost all interest in doing things other than sitting at home. I thought about going out to find friends and I felt exchausted. Nothing was good enough, nothing moved me. It started ruining my relationship, as well. My boyfriend is a very lovely person and I doubted him constantly. I felt out of love with him, I started questioning if I ever loved him in the first place. I no longer enjoyed spending times with him.

What I did might give you some ideas as to what to do. I had to force myself, because at the time everything seemed helpless, to do new things. To get out of my routine. I spent a lot time alone, watching self help videos, reading self help stories. I started practicing yoga (which really works, by the way). No, I didn't instantly feel something. But with time it slowly came back to me. I spent some time away from my boyfriend and found out that I missed him, a lot. I visited other places and started discovering new habits. New was my way of therapy. You have to stand back from what you live through everyday and try something else before you start really realizing that not all things are bad about your life. It's only when you view it from a distance that you understand how much potential there is to be created by you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Untouchable said, I also know where you're coming from and how you are feeling.  

 

I've been feeling this way for the past 3 years and have spent hours and hours and hours looking online, searching academic resources and reading books.  I have talked to 3 different counsellors and none of them could really understand or provide much help.  I have never found anything that matches so closely to how I am feeling than the post here.  Even when searching about depression, emotional numbness and anhedonia there are not a lot of resources.

 

I'm with you on trying to figure out the next step.  Is it a doctor or therapist?  Personally, I'm thinking a psychiatrist or psychologist that specializes in depression will be the most helpful.  I'm a big believer in science and psychology and I have found that counsellors are too wishy washy.

 

Good luck, I hope you're able to find something/someone to help with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds so much like me I'm wondering if I have anhedonia myself. I also used to have bursts of anger and intense emotions, and a much different approach to life. Compared to now, when I can barely muster the motivation to write this sentence, and once pleasurable activities seem completely alien to me.

 

I'm afraid I can't offer much in the way of help, only to tell you that you're not alone. It's confusing and discouraging, but there must be a way out.

Edited by Errant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never knew there was a name for this s. Anhedonia.

I was very sad and depressed for so long that one day I felt my brain change and the this. Not caring anymore.

I wouldn't say its that you get used to the pain sadness, more like a biological defense mechanism against depression. Your sad for so long that the brain re-routes or that part gets damaged. At least that is how it felt for me.

I don't post here often but I came to the site today because I was feeling sad - and I haven't been sad in years. At least not at this level.

After reading this I'm starting to think maybe my brain is healing and I can feel sad again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh how I feel your pain, after a bad stomach inflammation and a dose of heavy anti biotic. My anhedonia started. Used to be sentimental, sensitive, loved music meditation and was incredibly empathetic, but all gone now. I'm like s person with no feelings. It has been like this for three years now. You see I don't think I'm depressed I'm just not who I used to be just no emotions, don't get excited or sad. Haven't cried for s long time. I don't read books anymore and I'm not interested in people like I used to be. I've tried a lot of different approaches. Even psychiatrist doesn't know how to help. Nothing worked, exercise yoga anti depressants. It's like someone turn off the music ?

Edited by Abs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a theory that Anhedonia is triggered by severe stress/anxiety.

I'm doing an experiment. removing myself from all stress, getting off work for an extended period of time. I noticed since off work, im getting some feelings back.

If your lifestyle has alot of stress factors, even though you dont feel stressed, maybe try swapping things up. Some people handle stress differently, alot of people get alot of physical symptoms of stress, for us, it's a form of numbness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a year, how are you Rain_Man?

I get you.

Me before anhedonia - Getting accepted as a comic writer in a measly school paper: literally jump up and down with joy and excitement.

Me with anhedonia - passing the board exam for architects: Yay, k. Next?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 8:30 PM, jaiho said:

I have a theory that Anhedonia is triggered by severe stress/anxiety.

I'm doing an experiment. removing myself from all stress, getting off work for an extended period of time. I noticed since off work, im getting some feelings back.

If your lifestyle has alot of stress factors, even though you dont feel stressed, maybe try swapping things up. Some people handle stress differently, alot of people get alot of physical symptoms of stress, for us, it's a form of numbness.

cant speak for others but can say for sur stress did not cause mine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rain_Man - I had EXACTLY this problem - for OVER THREE YEARS.  My life positively SUCKED for those three years.  I chalked it up to a relapse of depression, or a midlife crisis, or possibly both; I told my psychiatrist about it but she did not know what to make of it.  It was my therapist, an LCSW, who helped me and recommended that I start taking ABILIFY.  It has completely changed my life!  I am happier now and more well-adjusted than I've ever been in my entire life, even before I developed depression in my 30's.  Seriously, I've never been happier.  If you're still suffering from this problem, then I recommend you try it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/22/2015 at 5:11 AM, Rain_Man said:

Sent this on another website and they locked my thread. So, here I go (warning: it's a bit wordy and long)

 

As a kid -- I used to be overly emotional. Angry outbursts, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, having new crushes every once in a while -- you name it. Every emotion was like burning with a ferocious intensity. However, normal days of childhood was soon lost. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder in my early teenage years. I have been on anti-depressant since the last 8 years (I am 22 now).

Luckily, my depression has been dwindling for the last couple of years. However, it seemed to have replaced with something worse: emotionlessness.

Now I am standing at a moment in my life where I have barely any emotions at all. For example: I used to be such a romantic soul back in my childhood. Even two years ago, I seeking romantic movies and books, and I also started writing a romance story of my own. However, for the last couple of months, no matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to watch or anything remotely related to romance. I have abandoned the thought of finishing my novel because the thought of 'writing' romantic scenes make me gag. As for my real life -- I do find particular people good-looking and often wonder how they will be in bed, but can't get myself to actually 'feel' for them at a deeper level.

Another example - I used to love kids. Kids were crazy for me too. Now I don't particularly care for them. 3 of my cousins came from abroad after about 6 years. Back then, I used to adore one of them (she was only 3 years old then) so much, and this time I didn't even care they existed.

When I do good for others, it's not because it makes me feel emotionally ' warm and fuzzy' inside, but because I have a strong sense of ethics, and know what is right or wrong. I 'help' my friends in studies and everything, but can't really care enough for them to know what is going on in their lives. Same for my family. I look after them more as an obligation than anything. Sounds harsh and cruel, but what can I do? I just don't have any strong feelings.

I haven't cried in nearly a year, and haven't felt very hopeless or depressed either. But on the other side, I can't remember feeling extremely happy or ecstatic either in a very long time. When I fail an exam -- I am like, okay, it doesn't matter, I will try again (when most student would almost have a heart failure). When I get the highest in an exam, I am still like, okay, it doesn't matter, it makes no difference to me. My feelings and emotional reactions are pretty much the same regardless of either good or bad events occurring around me.

Someone very near to me could die, and I doubt I'd shed more than two tears for them. Nothing seems to move me anymore -- good, bad, nothing at all. I feel very little. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit -- i do have emotions, but not what an average person does.

What can I do? Should I seek help from a doctor/therapist? Suggest me help please. I am a good reader, so any self-help book (accurate and medically approved books please) will be fine. Also the wise members here, is there a psychological disorder for this?

 

[Copy-pasting it from the depression central board after someone mentioned that is not the right forum.]

 

Please help me, or at least refer me to academic websites regarding this matter.

Hi Rain Man; I can relate to your lack of feeling.  It's been a large part of my life for many years now.  Every so often, I feel emotion, but most of the time, I feel nothing (people could die...etc, all the negative events you could imagine).  I would certainly seek out a psychologist; it might be helpful to talk to someone like that on a regular basis.  I hope you feel again soon!!  Best wishes for your well being!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey.

Yes, Like all of you, Iv'e been experiencing the EXACT same thing for 11 and a half months now- the lack of emotion ,feeling, the anhedonia, apathy.

And each and every single one of you had described what Im experiencing better than I'll ever be able to.

But here's the wierd thing, we all had/having the EXACT same issue (well, a 95% accuracy because we're not the same person) and as far as I know, it has no "name", maybe because its a combination of a few things- anhedonia apathy ect...

So maybe it IS a "thing" but its just yet to be explored deeply, casue' its so specific that maybe its some sort of mental disorder of its own.

And that's why im posting this post, i want to help people who are/will have/ing this problem.

But i NEED more information! when did it start, for how lond did you have this Thing ("Over three years" as some of you said, tells me nothing. How long over three years? four or five years or something around three and a half years?) so i will be able of studying it and exploring it more deeply. So please, comment or send more information to my email: Zovios0@gmail.com

A lot have told me to let go, to embrace this void, but I disagree.

What will I achieve by giving in? by letting go?

Nothing. 

WE need to fight on, to question, to try, explore, wonder- Becuasegiving up on your emotion, or your feelings, or your excitement is giving up on who and what you are.

So here is my advice to you.

Try.

Hold on.

Do not give up.

Do not let go.

 

Hope you all find your way, and let me help you.

Quote

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had anhedonia for about a year now and this void that I have within me can be dreading. A friend of mine has suggested therapy but I haven't gone for one yet. I took lexotonil yesterday, I did feel a bit light today (I didn't know inwas heavy ) but the feelings aren't there. People around me can't detect the changes much because I seem to be the same.  Rather they say that I've become more caring. But honestly I feel like a robot with programmes systems that can react to different situations accordingly. It's like when you hear a joke you automatically smile. Not because it was funny but because the system within you commands you to do that. You make that was face when someone gives you had news .. not because you're sad, but because its installed in you and you do it although you are not worried and do not give a damn... I hope it goes away   .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know what you mean. Personally, the slide into it was so gradual that I didn't even know what was happening. It seemed only natural for the zeitgeist of the social media age that I should come away cold and unfeeling. And honestly, I do think that's a part of the problem, but it's far from all. When I moved houses last year, I spent two weeks with no internet reading as many classic novels as I could, and none of them let me feel anything. Only after that was I confident there was a problem. Once I figured that out, I searched my memory, and immediately realized how much sensation had slowly drained away from my life. It's so uncommon that I find the average person can't relate to it in any way.

My advice is to take up meditation, improve your diet, and exercise more. If you have excessive free time, get a job. The meditation should keep you from panicking and letting negative emotions overcome you, and reaching the jhanas is something you can aspire to. Diet and exercise fix a lot of the basic physical problems, and having a job will also keep your mind occupied while putting aside money for when you can feel again. I'm no expert, like all of us here, that's just what has worked so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anhedonia, huh? I can relate to this too much. I can't really say how long I've been like this, maybe 3 years? Its pretty hard to describe or talk to people about it too. "I just don't feel anything" 

and just like Kyrakr said, I can easily "react" to things, just because I know the appropriate response to the situations. I've tried talking to my friend about it, he said just fake it, which I find very hard to do. The bad part is, it's about to cost me my marriage of 4 years, and when my wife asks me for detailed answers on why I feel the way I do, I cannot give her a suitable answer, except. "I don't really know. I've tried to ask myself, and I come up empty handed."

i just got back from overseas, and I know I should be really excited, but I'm just kind of blank. I've tried to talk to therapists years back about depression and anxiety and they didn't help me in the slightest bit. I don't want to say it's too late to save my marriage, but, I think it is. I cannot provide her with the emotional, physical support that a husband needs to show to his wife. I told her she deserves much better than me, which she does. She asked me last night (the night I got back) 'when you look at me, or even think about me. What do you feel? When you were deployed, did you even miss me in the slightest bit?'

yeah, I could have lied. But I was completely honest with her, and said 'idk. Nothing really. And no'

i know I should feel like the biggest piece of s*** in the world, but I don't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey The Little Shadow, I totally get you. It's just a vague fineness to life. Everything is okay and fine. I too have learnt to react in the way I know I am meant too, I pretend along with my friends with laughter or sadness. In reality it's all just fine. 

I didn't even realise I felt nothing at all until my husband cheated on me, and I couldn't even muster up enough care to cry...I tried to be angry and hurt for like a week and then I was like, okay whatever. 

Feel empty and numb, I too feel crap. Not hopeless or depressed just nothing. 

Maybe look for some therapy and hopefully you and your wife can rekindle what it lost? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely brought on by stress reaction in my experience. It seems like an evolutionary instinct towards survival, possibly because the emotions could cloud your judgement, they shut down temporarily to keep you alert. I've definitely experienced that due to violence in my early life I am constantly on high alert and it often leads to feeling disconnected or uninterested in anything. Now when I enter these emotionless fugue I just keep moving and keep my routine. It can help to have a very strict routine and adhere to it regardless of how you feel. You may feel like you are going through the motions but the discipline of repetition will help you come out on the other side with a sense of self worth and dignity. Eventually you will begin to experience normal emotion again by opening up to new experiences and maintaining your discipline. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same as you , I can relate I've been feeling numb for the last 4years , I can't cry or even shed a tear , I'm never satisfied, a minute I'm ok and the next everything and everyone is useless . I'm only 15 years old and I've been suffering from whatever this thing is for years and I came to this cite looking for answers cause I don't think I can tell my parents Thea I want to talk to a doctor I'm ashamed of it they did nothing but care and raise me to be a wonderful person . If anyone can help me please reply because I don't think I can continue doing this for much longer as much as I love life and my parents I think I reached my breaking point and there's no turning back. So if anyone has a reply please reach out immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there may be something to stress or stress combined with depression leading to this.   A little over three years ago my mother killed herself.  It was devastating for me.  I got little support from my husband of nearly 20 years and led to our divorce. It has been the most upsetting, stressful time of my life.  Initially, I was just sad, really sad, for about 2 years. Crying daily, sometimes unable to get out of bed.  I was put on different meds but settled on Lexapro and Wellbutrin.  I now feel next to nothing.  I used to be so emotional.  I used to exercise multiple times a week.  I had friends and interests.  I was interesting and fun.  I used to cry at commercials.  Had moments of true joy.  Not anymore.  I feel quasi-dead inside.  I'm not sure if it's the meds (SSRIs like Lexapro are known to cause it) or I'm just so tired of being sad that my brain has shut down in some way.  Like it can't take any more and it is just protecting me from feeling.  I want to be me again.  I want to be happy and enjoy life.  I'm actually crying now, which feels good.  I am sad because I miss myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been diagnosed with MDD and experience anhedonia in the same way you do.  You may be experiencing brain inflammation and a dysregulation in neuronal signaling due to chronic stress. Despite the fact that there are a host of studies that implicate glutamate (not serotonin or dopamine) in the pathophysiology of depression: [link removed] , this type of depression is largely ignored by medicine. This youtube video does an excellent job of breaking this all down: [link removed]  [link removed]    This glutamate dysregulation affects how your frontal lobe communicates with the regions of your brain associated with emotion and pleasure.

43253682_540643779720409_178560168659779584_n.png?_nc_cat=102&oh=99876ad911448c3e7b108b21d104d301&oe=5C1D4C51

Resulting in lethargy, emotional blunting, anhedonia, poor appetite. and a host of other symptoms. There are many studies that suggest NMDA receptor antagonists like ketamine, memantine, and MK-801 are highly effective in reversing the symptoms of depression. To test this theory, I bought an over the counter NMDA receptor antagonist, Agmatine. About an hour after taking it, I noticed a lift in my energy, mood, and mental clarity that no prescription drug (Wellbutrin, Remeron, Lexapro, etc) had given me. They were all targeting the wrong mechanism. I now understand that my brain lacks the resources necessary to heal itself from chronic inflammation. Please read more about the effects of inflammation-induced depression here:  [link removed] Now, after extensive research, I've developed a stack of supplements that are meant to eradicate this type of depression on a multimodal level:

  1. DHA-500 (500 mg, 2X per day): An omega-3 fatty acid that reverses inflammation and enhances neuronal communication.
  2. Acetyl L-Carnitine (1000 mg): A powerful antioxidant that enhances cognition, reduces inflammation and elevates mood.
  3. Activated B-Complex (1 tablet) Provides a sustained boost in mental and cellular energy.
  4. Agmatine (500 mg): Reverses glutamate-induced excitotoxicity by antagonizing NMDA receptors.

I haven't tried them all at once yet, but look forward to seeing how this helps my mood in the next coming days. Happy camping and I hope this helps.

Edited by 20YearsandCounting
remove links

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...