Can't feel emotions/desensitized? - Social Anxiety Forum
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
SAS Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Posts: 262
Can't feel emotions/desensitized?

Does anyone else have this problem where they go through life not feeling much in terms of emotion? There are times where I can genuinely laugh when someone tells a joke, but those moments are short lived.

When I receive a present, I am grateful, somewhat, but not as grateful as I should be. When I get a compliment, I accept it but I inside I shrug it off and don't think much of it. I know what I should feel, but I don't feel it. It's hard to explain but it's like I'm desensitized to emotions – like I don't care about life.

In fact the only emotions I can feel with certitude are sadness and those brief moments of happiness. I like to listen to sad music not really because I'm depressed per se (maybe I am), but because it's the only emotion that I can feel for an extended period of time.

Sometimes I have a blank look on my face and people ask me what I'm thinking about. In reality, I'm actually not thinking of anything at all. I want to get back the passion for life and have some spontaneity.

Does anyone else have this? Is this part of SA or depression?
hopethishelps is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 01:52 PM
SAS Member
Chivor's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Gender: Male
Posts: 102
Anxiety in itself is an emotion is it not?
Chivor is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 02:05 PM
User Requested Permanent Ban
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: City of Angels
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,690
Maybe you have Depersonalization Disorder.
LALoner is offline  
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 04:29 PM
SAS Member
Popularity's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Tejas
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Posts: 148
Not really.

I think it's kind of funny though in movie theaters or watching movies when there's a part that makes everyone jump. I literally have no reaction. It may startle me but I don't make a flinch. It's kind of funny cause I'm a pretty monotone guy.
Popularity is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 05:11 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Can't Feel Emotions

No I totally get what you're talking about, lately it's like all I feel is anxiety and depression with very few moments of real happiness. I feel like there's a shield or something, like in a situation where something bad has happened, I know I should feel sad, I think I do most of the time, but it doesn't feel real, it almost feels forced and it's very distressing. I just want to know what happened to my emotions. I think it's fairly common though, like it's a coping mechanism of some sort.
acetonefree is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 07:26 AM
SAS Member
ronniejamesdio's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Gender: Male
Age: 37
Posts: 74
I'm exactly in the same situation. Have no motivation about life, future. Nothing can make me really happy. This is because we're not interested in the physical aspects of life, like money etc. We're after something which will never ever happen. I don't know what it is exactly but there is no ultimate happiness in this world. I don't how people can enjoy the life that much.
ronniejamesdio is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 07:41 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 609
^^bingo...i feel very entire life ive always felt that what i want and truly need doesnt exist..material things and all that other nonsense isnt for me..

my motivation is also in the gutter, i work and do household things but thats it basically..
belfort is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 08:38 AM
SAS Member
insidesonice's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Italy
Gender: Female
Age: 24
Posts: 20
Yes, I've felt like that most of my life. It took me a while to realize I was never really enjoying life like the people around me. I think it's somewhat related to SA, since social occasions, while being a great mood enhancer for most people, are a source of negative emotions for us with SA, so we tend to avoid them and miss out on the pleasure that potentially comes with socializing. The quality of relationships impacts the overall quality of life to a great extent.
That being said, not everyone with SA feels this kind of emotional numbness, so of course many other factors come into play. Some people are definitely predisposed to depression, no matter what their social lives look like.
insidesonice is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 08:45 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: VA
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Posts: 204
I have had trouble with feeling emotions my entire life. My parents told me even as a kid I didn't show a lot of emotion. Growing up I would just copy the emotions of the people around me to appear normal. Even when copying people I wouldn't even know what emotion I was copying. I do sometimes have emotions of my own but a lot of times they feel wrong. Sometimes I know they are wrong. I have had to learn from observation mostly what the right emotional response is to situations. Most of the time I can get the right emotion but I still have trouble with degrees of emotions. If something makes me happy or sad or whatever I don't know how happy or sad I should be. For the most part I have given up on learning anymore I just copy what others are feeling or I just feel nothing. When I do get emotions of my own I just shut them down and try to stay at feeling nothing. Anxiety gets me every time though. I just don't understand it enough to control it. I am the only one I know that has anxiety problems so I don't have anyone to observe to learn about it.
Steelfox is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 08:56 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 67
I'm very similar. For the most part I've shut down many of the emotions because when I feel them I get overwhelmed. Typically when there is an expectation for me to have an emotion, like when all eyes are on me, I completely shutdown and try not to react.

As for happiness, and sadness, I consider these relative terms. For the most part I'm happy. Not much can get me down because I've seen the bottom, I know what it's like, and really most things that make people sad aren't that bad. Everything is relative to your own experiences as far as your feelings go.

What makes me happy is setting goals and accomplishing them. The sense of accomplishment and pride is unmatched. Especially when the task is challenging.

Also, I LOVE making a one-on-one connection with someone else. These are so rare in today's world and I find true joy in listening to someone open up and opening up myself. This isn't for everyone, but for me it really means A LOT.

I do have an issue expressing my emotions to others though. I would love to let someone know how much I love them, or enjoy their company. However, when the time comes the words get lost in a rush of thoughts and doubts and never reach my mouth.
GivesUpEasily is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 09:00 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Minnesota
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,135
I felt that way when I was taking antidepressents in high school - the problem I think was that they decided it was depression and gave me medicine when it was really social anxiety that caused my depression - although I never was able to realize this until the last couple years. It probably wasn't a chemical imbalance that caused my depression, it was the social anxiety that caused it, so by taking antidepressents instead of leveling out the chemicals it threw them all off. That's just what I've gathered from my own self searching.
OldSchoolSkater is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 09:07 AM
Battling anxiety wat else
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: California and I Hate it.....
Gender: Male
Posts: 759
Welcome to my world "Medicated" But meds helped me alot. Cant complain. Meds saved my life. I stopped Seroquel and my emotions are returning in a healthy way.
Bacon is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:08 PM
SAS Member
Quietguy90's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 215
Thats a long term effect of depression and anxiety. You get sick of all the bad feelings and anxiety so your body just shuts the emotions down as a defense mechanism
Quietguy90 is offline  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 10:03 PM
SAS Member
mysterioussoul's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: sydney, australia
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,013
i usually feel emotionless when i'm in my depression/dark moods.
mysterioussoul is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:54 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
Gender: Male
Posts: 11
how you should feel?

I would like to say a few things to all the people who have said that they feel few emotions. 'Normal' human emotion is not true emotion, it is a conditioned response. Real love begins where normal emotion ends. So if you don't feel normal you may just be more real than normal. It's amazing how many truly good people think there is something wrong with them. An emotional person is an unstable person, sometimes to the point of being dangerous. All emotion comes from the past and in truth there is no past. As a person starts to become more real, or is born more real, they experience life in ways which normal people don't. The thing is not to doubt myself just because I'm different. Just be what you are and don't create a problem of that. What other people think of me is none of my business. My business is enjoying this miracle called life.
batman1 is offline  
post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Gender: Female
Posts: 4
Im 15 and i feel the exact same. Everday im neither happy nor sad but do experience the bad feelings. I wreck my brain to find what im thinkin wen im depressed but thers nothing. Emptyness, and im just soo confused. Im seeing a therapist but at the end of the day nothing has changed. I feel like im just in complete shutdown mode with no hope
Nicky2013 is offline  
post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 07:58 PM
SAS Member
shining mimi's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1
My Mood: Confused
Please help me

I don't know if I'm too young to be feeling - or rather, not feeling - whatever this is at 14, but it's beginning to worry me. I didn't really notice until something happened to one of my friends. I guess I was worried, yeah, but only because I was obligated to? I don't know. But she's one of my closest friends and I wanted to feel more than just mild worry for her, but I couldn't. Later on, I was reading a book and something heartbreaking happened to the character and my heart broke, too. This made me think. I started reading at a really young age and I can't even remember how long it's been since I've gone someplace without a book (or ebook) with me. I used to think it was because I just liked it. Then I accepted that it was to escape reality, because I didn't have many friends and wasn't close wit my family. But when I began to think about how I only felt emotions strongly regarding fictional characters, it made me think. What if I read to feel emotions that I normally can't? It sounds ridiculous and I tried to ignore it. But it's been a year now and it's only gotten worse. My relationship with my mother is practically nonexistent now, I don't talk to the rest of my family, and the only reason my sister matters to me is because she's practically forced herself into my life. Saying 'I love you' to people feels like a lie. I know I probably should love them, but I don't know what that would feel like. It's almost as if there's this giant hole of nothingness where my emotions should be. I tried talking to my best friend about it, but she completely ignored and tried talking about something different. I don't really know who to go to anymore. School's over now, so I'm practically on house arrest. It's getting worse, too. I can feel the nothingness become depression, and it's being reflected in my writing, too. Where it used to be happy and uplifting, it's now dark and even makes my own skin crawl when I reread my work. I don't want to feel this anymore.
shining mimi is offline  
post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 08:02 PM
c'est moi
sarafinanickelbocker's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,855
My Mood: Blah

Hey there,

Sometimes, I don't laugh when I am supposed to. I'm very good at holding it back. I think I'm more sensitive than I am supposed to be, however (supposed to be...what a joke. lol!)

I can be cold, but I think I am overcompensating. *shrug*

"I'm nobody, who are you?" - Emily Dickinson
sarafinanickelbocker is offline  
post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 09:55 PM
OneLove21's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: TBA-Middle East
Gender: Female
Age: 24
Posts: 3,355
My Mood: Brooding
It's called emotional numbness. And yes. Part of SA? I wouldn't say absolutely so.

سلام وحب
MBTI Personality: INFJ (100% Introverted; 95% Intuitive; 74% Feeling; 68% Judging)
No company is better than bad company.
OneLove21 is offline  
post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 05:43 AM
SAS Member
TheGuardian's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 345
My Mood: Scared
I can totally relate. I lack sympathy and have a super hard time expressing emotions to others (for example acting all happy around children) I just can't do it, i think thats more of an anxiety related thing but for the lacking sympathy i have no idea. When someone tells me something bad or sad i just don't care. When my mom gets all depressed or tells me about something bad that happened or her own problems, i just don't care or i find it annoying. Not sure why i'm like this but i do know that my way of thinking is not emotional at all.

WTB> Confidence
WTB> Good self esteem
WTB> Friends
WTB> Outgoingness
WTB> Better life

TheGuardian is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
my brain tells me how i feel but my body cant feel the emotions coreyy Coping With Social Anxiety 1 07-12-2012 05:31 PM
No emotions Superman23 Coping With Social Anxiety 15 09-13-2008 03:07 AM
Opening up my emotions ardrum Goal Setting 2 03-10-2008 01:18 AM
mess of emotions XxArmyofOnexX Frustration 3 11-05-2007 05:11 PM
My emotions feel......... READFIN 30+ Members 3 06-01-2007 07:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome