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liftmeupletmego

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I start school tomorrow. I have been dreading it for weeks. Everyone is telling me not to worry and to be excited about it but the closer tomorrow comes the more panicked I feel. I was fine, good all summer until my heart dissapeared again. Does anyone ever feel like they have no heart? Like they can't care about anything anymore? Like they are empty? My uncle told me to always folllow my heart and do what my heart says. But I can't hear my own heart anymore. I think it dissapeared again. Now I have nothing to guide me or tell me what to do. I don't have reasons to do things anymore. How am I supposed to exist in this world when nothing matters? How am i supposed to live life to the fullest if I could care less about anyone or anything? How am I supposed to care? I know in my head what matters but I can't feel any of it right now. Its like i know what exists out there but I can't experience it. How do you fill the emptyness inside? Because when I feel empty, I feel like I am not even here. I know what I have to do but all of it means nothing. I just wish I could feel something again.

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Hey, liftmeupletmego. I'm starting school tomorrow too. Don't worry, you're not the only one feeling anxious about it. :)

The feelings you describe sound like numbness to me. I experience it too a lot. Sometimes I do feel like I have "no heart", like I am incapable of caring about myself, my future, and other people. I understand it as part of my depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Have you been to see a mental health specialist?

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Dear Stigmata,

Thank you for your response! I have expressed this feeling several times to several people but you are the first to understand it.

Yes I have seen a mental health specialist. I go to therapy once a week and am on medication that is monitored by a pyschiatrist. I guess I have just never learned how to cope with my numbness . For me, being numb is more debilitating than being sad. I have such a hard time trying to continue on with my life when I am feeling apathetic and empty. I have no idea how to deal with it. Guess it is something I should bring up with my therapist. It just very hard to descibe sometimes. I feell like everything I am has completely dissapeared and I am just a body with no soul and what is left of my life is not worth trying to fix. I can hardly stand it and i have no idea how to carry on. To be honest, school is the last thing on my mind right now as I doubt I will even go tomorrow. I know I have to it just seems so pointless when it doesn't mean anything.

None the less, I wish you the best tomorrow!

And thank you again for the response :)

-lift

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Hey itstrevor,

This has happened before. About 5 years ago I stopped taking all medication completely as I wasn't finding luck with anything. I was off medication for 2 years and thats when my numbness was at its peak. I was numb everyday for literally two years. I couldn't feel, I couldn't cry, I couldn't even recall past memories. In the summer of 2008 I started on Prozac which did help me for a little bit. I was still a little off as I wasn't on the right combination of meds but I definitly noticed a change because of the Prozac.I can't say I ever completely got my heart back but I did feel like something was there from time to time. Anyways, with a lot of medication tweaking and the help of a support group I was able to feel most of the time and have relatively normal summer this year, but I am finding that the numbness is now starting to come back and I don't know how to stop it. I just don't want to spend another 2 or more years like that, I hardly survived last time.

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Hey liftmeupletmego,

Yes, existing without experiencing emotions and being completely numb, like you're just on autopilot or a robot is something I can relate to. It will come back - though I have questioned it many times with my doctor. Like, for example, when I said I felt happy today - is that real or is it the medication? I don't trust my emotions sometimes - like I'm going through the motions but I'm watching myself from outside of my body. My doc said those are real emotions that you're feeling - the medication can't do that for you. I'm still trying to believe it. But keep strong and perhaps get back to that support group - obviously you are under a lot of anxiety right now before starting school so maybe you're just shutting down in a protection mode? I don't know but I wish you well and good luck. Hugs.

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I believe that prozac can help alleviate the numbness/thyroanesthesia/anhedonia through its 5HT antagonism at low doses. I have started a thread addressing the issues of the emptiness/numbness/anhedonia and hopefully we will be able to come to a resolution. Lilysparkles, have you experienced remission from your anhedonia ever? If you are feeling happy, you will definitely be able to tell. For me, if I have to question whether or not I'm "feeling" something the answer is pretty much no, because if I was "feeling" it would be pretty obvious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi liftmeupletmego,

You're first description of the numbness you feel couldn't fit any better into what I am on right now. I also have the "windows" like itstrevor like to call it but they last for a couple of days and then just go away. I feel very frustrated because this is not what I wanted to feel but I am trying to accept that it is like that and I will keep fighting it as long as I have strenght.

My last visit to the Pdoc to explain this was really bad. He just kept telling me that something must be going on with my life to feel that way, like having some problems at work or with someone. The truth: I don't have any problems right now, I don't panic as I used to, I don't have any of the negative thoughts that I used to, but still no feelings, And he just kept on that. He also added that my depression would go away with just psicotherapy. Can he answer me why didn't it after a year and a half of just theray??? I think we was insensitive and cruel. He decided to raise my ad (I didn't want to), I would like to him to accept that maybe effexor is not working for me. He just told me that normally people react weel to this drug. Guess what I might be the one that doesn't. I explain that but still nothing. I have asked for another appt for a second view with a different Pdoc.

Just to tell you that I know it is hard. And I also hated. It makes me be so angry at the world and at people that do not understand. It might sound awfull. but I rather have my anxiety than nothing. Because after a good crying session I normally felt better and the old me. And at least I woud feel something.

I hope you find a way to feel better asap. All the best. ;)

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  • 1 year later...

I noticed you said that your heart has gone away "again." This has happened before and resolved itself? Or has it been ongoing since the first experience without a period of remission?

Do you have anything else on anhedonia/blunted affect that I can look at? The symptoms you noted in an entry last year rings a bell with me. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Dr. said that anhedonia/blunted affect is JUST depression. After 3 months on Wellbutrin nothing has changed. Frustrating to say the least, any suggestions as to examples/your success in treating this, or more "medical" documentation?

Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, I will tell you my understanding of anhedonia and some treatments.

First of all I do not believe that anhedonia has to be the result of a different underlying condition, (though it certainly can be) but can be a condition by itself. In this case, brain chemistry is the answer. First, make sure you are getting what you body needs so far as diet is concerned. Your body can't produce a given substance without its building blocks. A deficiency can alter brain chemistry. A good multi-vitamin may help.

(dopamine specific links):

http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/dopamine-supplements-for-improving-mood-and-motivation/

http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/8-natural-dopamine-boosters-to-overcome-depression/

There are a few classes of medications that may correct an imbalance depending on what your imbalance is.

The medication I would start with is bupropion, an NDRI. It increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. If that does not help try an SSRI such as citalopram, venlafaxine, or paroxetine. If one SSRI doesn't work, try another. Even though these all increase serotonin levels in the brain, they are not the same. One may work for one person and do nothing for another person and vice versa.

A combination may also be effective. I know one person who was treated successfully at first with citalopram only to have the condition return. The doctor augmented citalopram with bupropion. This was successful.

Also, a very low dose (10mg) of methylphenidate, an amphetamine, can also be used with either or both an NDRI and SSRI. It too increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, along with other beneficial actions.

Hope this helps,


free4all2c

Edited by free4all2c
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Hi Liftme

And everyone of you coping with The Void..

I'm there right now with you, looking into emptiness staring back at us all.

No advice I'm afraid, other than it being a wake up call of sorts.

We need to find SIGNIFICANCE in our life. Something that is unique to you, me, anyone feeling this way. Something not necessarily in the obvious 9 to 5, conventional world. Though it could be there too..

We have to find it for ourselves, but we can can "be there" for each other on the way.

The fact that you wrote on DF, Liftme, and the fact that we responded to your call, means we all felt SOMETHING. It might not be much, but it's a start.

See you all around!

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