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Old 03-16-2019, 11:25 PM #1
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For most of my life--I'm 20, so not that long!--I've felt pretty much numb. Like I don't feel emotions to the intensity that other people do. I used to practice facial expressions, and whenever I laugh, it's forced because I react to other people's reactions. Which kind of sucks because now it's a subconscious hair-trigger reaction, where if I see someone's face LOOK like they're about to laugh, I smile or snort. I wouldn't have ever made a post about this, but recently my mother was hit by a car. I heard the accident, went outside where she was there with my dad. She was lying on the ground, bleeding and unconscious. A truck had lost control and skidded off the road, hitting her and one of the cars in our driveway. It looked like she was dead, and my dad was hysterical. But I was really...I don't know. I didn't really feel anything. At the time, it really helped because I was my dad's 'rock', so he says. I made him stay calm, as well as the driver of the car. But it was only after the incident that I felt like maybe that behavior was a little concerning? I've been in a car accident before that completely totaled my car and didn't feel much. I got back in a car the next day without any issues, even though my family was concerned that I could have PTSD, or something.
It's also started to affect my relationships with my siblings. Whenever they come home with a problem, or show their emotions, I get annoyed. And I figured out why. I get frustrated that they don't just stop feeling whatever they are feeling. Like how I do it. And I subconsciously got angry, would yell at them occasionally, when they couldn't.
As for friends, I don't really have many. I have never had a 'best friend'. That's too much commitment, which is exhausting. What I do is make very shallow friendships, where everyone in the group knows me, I am included in their conversations, their group projects or whatever, but I usually can leave class without anyone tagging along.

Any advice would be a great help! I've been pretending for a really long time, but I think it is important for me to acknowledge these issues. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:49 PM #2
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Thanks for sharing this. (Hope your mom is okay.) I'm sorry I don't think I have any advice to offer. This is the kind of thing, I think, people tend to delve into with the help of a counselor or therapist.

I looked through PC's archives to see if I could find any articles that fit what you described. But nothing seemed to quite hit the mark. Most of what I found seemed to talk more about people who have emotions but suppress them. From what you wrote, it doesn't sound as though that is what's going on with you. You simply feel as though you don't experience emotions, at least not to the degree you believe other people do.

There is one condition called alexithymia that may be similar. People who are on the autism spectrum tend to display this characteristic, as I understand it. Here's a link to one article, from the archives, that discusses alexithymia. Perhaps it may be of some interest:

Alexithymia: A Personality Trait | The Exhausted Woman

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Old 03-17-2019, 04:00 PM #3
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Hi there! Thanks for responding. My brother has autism, so I am familiar with tells and symptoms, therefore I am quite confident I do not fit within that description. Another part of alexithymia that I saw in your provided article was a lack of imagination or dreams. I have the exact opposite! 😄 My dreams are very vivid, and the one way I really express emotions is through writing. Thank you also for your concern about my mom. She is doing well now.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:19 PM #4
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I know exactly what you mean. Some months ago I was only able to feel anger, frustration, stress, anxiety sometimes, happiness when I achieved something really good for me, boredom and not much more. These emotions I felt weren't much intense, they were pretty empty and I wasn't much able to express them - I couldn't and I didn't know how to do so.

Now I can't barely feel anything, just boredom, frustration, anger, maybe happiness, but I'm usually numb and laid-back, as if I didn't have any emotion left. There may be many reasons why this happens to you.

In my case, I don't know why, but I must say that I never enjoyed feeling emotions, including positive ones and these emotions harmed me a lot: love, anger, sadness... I just kept some of these emotions because it made me stronger. I enjoy some emotions, though, like happiness, but it's not very intense and it's just temporal, it only lasts some minutes. My top philosophical question is, "are emotions real?" just because of this.

Even though I'm not able to feel intensely emotions, I would like to feel more than just boredom and frustration. If something bad happened to me right now, I would be calmed and I would automatically think, "anything that happens now won't matter tomorrow". I wouldn't feel anxiety or fear.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:23 PM #5
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Originally Posted by dannypk16 View Post
I know exactly what you mean. Some months ago I was only able to feel anger, frustration, stress, anxiety sometimes, happiness when I achieved something really good for me, boredom and not much more. These emotions I felt weren't much intense, they were pretty empty and I wasn't much able to express them - I couldn't and I didn't know how to do so.

Now I can't barely feel anything, just boredom, frustration, anger, maybe happiness, but I'm usually numb and laid-back, as if I didn't have any emotion left. There may be many reasons why this happens to you.

In my case, I don't know why, but I must say that I never enjoyed feeling emotions, including positive ones and these emotions harmed me a lot: love, anger, sadness... I just kept some of these emotions because it made me stronger. I enjoy some emotions, though, like happiness, but it's not very intense and it's just temporal, it only lasts some minutes. My top philosophical question is, "are emotions real?" just because of this.

Even though I'm not able to feel intensely emotions, I would like to feel more than just boredom and frustration. If something bad happened to me right now, I would be calmed and I would automatically think, "anything that happens now won't matter tomorrow". I wouldn't feel anxiety or fear.
This is actually really, REALLY close to how I feel. I've unfortunately learned that emotions are a hassle, so I only use them when I'm around other people to fit in. Like, I could feel happiness but I can just as easily shut it down instantly. Do you have any idea what this could be?
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:30 PM #6
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Originally Posted by ThatGirl109 View Post
This is actually really, REALLY close to how I feel. I've unfortunately learned that emotions are a hassle, so I only use them when I'm around other people to fit in. Like, I could feel happiness but I can just as easily shut it down instantly. Do you have any idea what this could be?
I fake emotions to fit in too and in order to people see me as an average person. Actually, having a good relationship with everyone is necessary, even with those you don't like, they might help you in a future, so showing fake emotions helps you with this. However, I find it hard to fake sadness and empathy and similar emotions, I can cry but not because of sadness (and I barely cry at all anyway).

As I said before, there may be many reasons why you're suffering from this lack of emotions, usually that's because of a traumatic event, but there may be many other reasons. I'm not an expert in this, and even if I were, without knowing about you and your life I couldn't give you an accurate answer.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:36 PM #7
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I've also had fairly bad memories problems recently. I can't really recall high school, though it only happened two years ago. I can barely remember what happened last week. It's like as soon as things happen, the memory is gone as well. I guess the 'haze', or numbness sort of comes and goes, so when it happens, events don't really stick in my memories.
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