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I think I just may have put two and two together and gotten a bit of insight about why my emotional needs are not being met.


If a person is not capable of feeling positive emotions, then it is impossible for their emotional needs to be met. True or false? I believe it is true.


Love, happiness, fun, pleasure, enthusiasm, connection, romance, satisfaction, curiosity, interest, zest, joy, fulfillment, etc. If a person is not capable of feeling these things, but they deeply want to feel these things, but the only emotions they're able to feel are sadness and fear, then it does not matter what other people and activities around them give to them, because they can't receive it, it is not going to be possible for this person's emotional needs to be met.


Anyone disagree? If so, Please explain how this person's needs could be met.


Second, any depressed CB'ers out there overcome the inability to feel positive emotions? Is this a symptom that can go away from a chronically depressed person (27 years of being this way)? Did any depressed person for a long period of time out there have this symptom improve to the point where you can say "my life may not be perfect, and I may still have lots of problems, and of course my needs are not fulfilled 100% of the time, but I can honestly say that I am a satisfied, fulfilled person most of the time." How specifically did you overcome this problem? I'm looking for something that will give me some hope because I just don't have any hope. I don't think this problem is fixable. Thank you for reading.


Is there even just one person out there who overcame this?

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What I learned about emotions is:


1) People who suppress any emotions on a regular basis eventually find that by not feeling some emotions (usually things like sadness/fear/pain) they lose the ability to tune in and feel the good emotions. Emotions are like messengers or flags that appear when things in life create a reaction in us. Someone lost their housekeys? They feel anger (this is unjust, I have to buy a lock) or sadness (that keyring really had sentimental value to me) because the emotions are designed to communicate that a boundary has been crossed, something has been lost or it has been gained.


If it were possible to tune out the negative emotions we dislike feeling and feel the pleasurable ones, we'd have found a way to do it. But in reality, emotions are a full package. This clip a member here shared with me about smart phones explains this concept. Louis CK is talking about kids and phones, but a minute or two in he gets to what I am saying.:




2) The theory is that people have six core needs or drives, which vary from person to person in their ranking:






Contributing to the world around them


Our emotions tend to be the fuel around what we do, the actions urges we have (nervous-I won't go to the party) (love- dog trapped under car, I will lift it) What we feel motivated by are the above six things, generally. We might use different ways to get those; you could behave in heroic ways to get significance and love, or behave like a villain to get significance and love, it depends what matters.


3) Many people I have been in groups with, including myself, would have said at some time that they are incapable of feeling emotion. Either because of past pain, not being taught the language to label them, fear of being overwhelmed, a belief that they are broken, sedation from meds. And not all, but many of those people were not actually incapable. For a long time, they had adapted to survive by covering their emotions, telling themselves they weren't able to feel emotions, telling themselves their emotional response was wrong/invalid/no one cares.


In seminars when asked to list all the emotions they felt that week, most audiences will offer the same twelve emotions. Emotions keep us alive, if we didn't feel fear, we'd have been eaten. People struggle with with feeling love and trust, as if they are negative because they leave us vulnerable. But in early socities, feeling bonded to your tribe meant you didn't get left behind. Love kept you with those who could feed and protect you. The uncomfortable emotions and the pleasant ones are both ones we have evolved with for very good reasons.


If you can feel fear and sadness, you have the equipment to feel happiness and safety. You haven't felt those things for a long time, but you still can. A therapist can help you create a sense of safety to begin feeling those. DBT can also be really helpful.

Edited by Titania
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If you can feel fear and sadness, you have the equipment to feel happiness and safety. You haven't felt those things for a long time, but you still can. A therapist can help you create a sense of safety to begin feeling those. DBT can also be really helpful.


I completely agree with this.  Although you may feel as though you don't have the capacity for positive emotions, you do. Do you have a tdoc?

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I think part of it, too, is that our brains sort of create pathways for certain things, such as feeling sadness and fear.  If something triggers a depression, and we feel that way for a long time... the channels in our brains become wired for that.  It can take a while, but you can  work on re-wiring these pathways to more positive ones.  I also agree that therapy and DBT or CBT will almost certainly be helpful.


Sorry if any of that was pseudo science.  Just my layman's understanding of things.

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