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Is it possible to lose your emotions?

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Posted · Report post

This is just something I was pondering the other day.

Is it possible to simply not feel emotions anymore? It sounds like a terrible place to be, but maybe a blessing in disguise for some.

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Posted · Report post

I often feel emotionally numb; even very strong feelings like sadness or distress feel distant, as if they are being phoned in. Mostly I feel nothing at all. It affects my memory, relationships, job...everything, pretty much. It has completely altered the way I talk and deal with others, as I have gradually come to suspect that all people are faking their emotions as I do--that no one actually feels anything, and therefore most of human culture is a carefully constructed facade. I am only beginning to understand that this counts as bizarre thinking, or perhaps even a form of mild paranoia.

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Posted · Report post

People with brain injuries specific to emotion areas of the brain fail to feel emotion, most people report that not feeling emotion makes their live not really worth living anymore. Emotions are signals, motivators and a language with others, not being able to respond to life events or relate to people makes life very joyless. Even negative emotions like sadness or fear kept primitive peoples alive, being able to dodge a predator or grieve a loss of a member of a tribe was what formed human society. Not being able to feel means we lose our ability to navigate life.

In disorders like BPD, sufferers have problem with regulating and modulating emotions, emotions are either very intense and exaggerated or suppressed and ignored. Depression can also blunt affect, and schizophrenia can have negative symptoms around expression of feeling and communication. It's not uncommon to have emotional problems while mentally ill.

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Posted · Report post

it is possible to lose your emotions both organically and to learn to chronically suppress them. or environment can have causes, as I think Titania noted. Not good, in most cases. Never really a blessing in disguise. Most people might want to lose one emotion or two whilst keeping others but it doesn't seem to work like that.

Anna

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Posted · Report post

But what if I could have a handy switch, and just turn them off on occasion? No more pesky intense emotions?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

But what if I could have a handy switch, and just turn them off on occasion? No more pesky intense emotions?

BPLB, serial killer. :D But really, the ability to turn off emotions leads to PTSD and other nasty things.

Edited by Stacia

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Posted · Report post

I used to not have real emotions - for a very long time. I wanted to be as normal as possible so I watched people around me and how they reacted to different situations, and mimicked them. I learnt to use how other people would behave even in situations where other people weren't there to feed off of.

It didn't bother me or anything. It wasn't a sad thing. It was, perhaps obviously, emotion-neutral for me. But it was one of those things that came up in therapy so got worked on.

I think I can feel emotions (and to some extent, always have) in my primary relationships - immediate family and my partner. That said, the ability to feel real emotions was a huge asset in building my relationship with my partner.

I can still feel panicked if I have trouble reading somebody's cues though, and I often do get confused with that, so then I just fall back on mimicking people around me until I can figure out what's going on. I don't think that's unusual though.

I kind of miss it....just responding appropriately at all times as society dictates is so EASY, and everyone thinks you're such a nice, caring person, even if you don't give a s***. Now I actually disagree with people and show the world that I can be a bit of a b**** and I have to stop and think about my impact on others, rather than pressing the button for whatever the appropriate emotional reaction was. Faking it was so easy.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I lost them for a long time. When I was growing up, the rules were always changing, so it was hard to know what was deemed acceptable at any given time. Since I had no idea how to act, I just gradually became numb, apparently, and had difficulty expressing how I felt unless I was writing. Writing was not a good option when I was a kid because my parents snooped.

Interesting side note- They say that alcoholics drink to drown their sorrows. I drank in order to feel mine. Alcohol was the only thing that would help me to cry from the age of six (got in trouble for it) and seventeen.

That's really fucked up. Side note over.

Later on, I was stuck in a very abusive alcohol and drug treatment center. Somehow, I ended up the scapegoat. It was like being in a horror movie minus the blood. I couldn't leave. (Snow, no appropriate clothes/shoes, not allowed to use the phone, 200+ miles from anyone I knew, etc.) This increased not only the numbness, but also the automatic ability to lie about how I felt. I became a damned good actress without even trying and eventually bought into my own act. I could appear to have a feeling when I was hollow, empty and totally numb.

Thirty years down the road and I still have some issues with feeling numb, but nothing even close to the way I was before.

Edit- typos

Edited by r2mnot

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Posted · Report post

Interesting side note- They say that alcoholics drink to drown their sorrows. I drank in order to feel mine.

I often drink when I write. I can't do that anymore (it interferes with the SSRI) but for years being drunk is the only way I've been able to feel things without my barriers in place. If I find useful alternatives, I will share. ;)

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Posted · Report post

How do you lose all your emotions? Lately, I've been having terrible mood swings, like one moment I'm happy :) , then the next I'm depressed and feel like shooting myself :( , and the next I want to kill some guy that did nothing at all to piss me off! :angry: This could really help me keep my sanity. :wall: Please tell me how!!!

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Posted · Report post

Dragoon,

It seems like what you need is help regulating your emotions, not to lose them entirely.

Are these mood swings recent or are they an ongoing pattern in your life?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Recent, mostly.

OK. To tell the truth, I can handle them. Mostly.

I've lost control a couple times, but that's it!

I am actually trying to train under a certain martial arts instructor, and he wants us to be able to lose all emotion.

I must learn, or I'll be left behind. That is the real reason.

But thank you for your concern anyways! :lol:

Edited by Dragoon

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Posted · Report post

I would be *very* cautious about training with someone who tells you that you must lose your emotions if he is talking about losing them instead of learning to master them.

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Posted · Report post

I agree.

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