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Old 01-08-2007, 07:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Can't feel love

I don't know if this is common for people with social anxiety. Ever since early childhood, I haven't been able to feel affection for friends or family. I just don't feel it. It's not even that they treated me badly when I was young. Does anyone else cringe at such shows of affection? Is this a common symptom of SAD?

I can feel fondness for people but never feel any hint of sentiment or love unless it's with a partner. I can also get over breakups quite quickly and it's rare I miss anyone. I can't stand the thought of my family knowing I feel fondness for anyone at all. I can't ever bring myself to say the words thank you when they give me something because it makes me cringe too much. Is this related to SAD or more a personality trait?
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

Yes, I always thought it was because of my depression, not so such SA. Depression zaps out those feelings of excitement over someone and SA that causes anxiety kind of heights those feelings towards someone, which is why we blush. It's really hard for me to express my affection towards someone, even if it's just family. Also, receiving gifts from someone is hard for me because it's more overwhelming and guilty feeling than pure joy and acceptance of affection for me. It's a real mess but I can relate.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

Love is way too deep a concept for someone like me. My whole life revolves around cereal and pizza, the Beatles and baseball.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

To me, and from things I've read, that sounds like schizoid disorder or depression. When I'm depressed I can feel extremely numb and not care about anything at all. But with SA, no matter how deprived I am of love, I still long for it.

Are you depressed at all?
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Originally Posted by nesteroff
Are you depressed at all?
Only mildly. This began very early in life when I had no depression though. I'm not sure whether it's a disorder because I've experienced some feelings of emotional attachment. I just seem to experience it very differently to the people I know.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

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Is this a common symptom of SA?
No it's not.

My ex girlsfriend never huged (or hugs) her parents, and she was later diagnosed to have something called "aspbergers syndrome":

"A person with AS may have trouble understanding the emotions of other people: the messages that are conveyed by facial expression, eye contact and body language are often missed."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger's_Syndrome
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyPat
Quote:
Is this a common symptom of SA?
No it's not.

My ex girlsfriend never huged (or hugs) her parents, and she was later diagnosed to have something called "aspbergers syndrome":

"A person with AS may have trouble understanding the emotions of other people: the messages that are conveyed by facial expression, eye contact and body language are often missed."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger's ... cteristics
Did she also experience feelings of embarrassment about hugging her parents? I'm not sure I'd fit the criteria you describe because I think I can understand people's expressions and body language.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Did she also experience feelings of embarrassment about hugging her parents?
Yes she did! She never liked being hugged by them, and she still doesn't like it, but to be fair I think her parents have stopped trying to hug her by now...

Quote:
I'm not sure I'd fit the criteria you describe because I think I can understand people's expressions and body language
There are several different criterias that has to be present for someone to be diagnosed as having aspergers syndrome.

Did you check out the link to wikipedia?

Quote:
I can't ever bring myself to say the words thank you when they give me something because it makes me cringe too much.
Why do you think you cringe?
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I've actually been thinking about this a lot recently; I can relate to some of what you said. When I was a child and early teenager, before I really struggled with SA and depression, I remember feeling intense love towards my parents and family, and I always feared that something bad would happen to them. However, even then, I didn't like to be hugged or touched very much. But the past few years I've become so apathetic towards almost everything and everyone that I realized that if something happened to one of my close family members, I'm not sure that I would feel much of anything; I hope that's not the case, and I feel like a horrible person for being this way; but I'm glad I'm not the only one. I wish I could change, but I have no idea how. I'm also different when it comes to romantic relationships, I seem to be able to feel genuine love/affection in those instances.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I have no idea how love is supposed to feel. I don't think i've felt it for someone i have known. I've been infatuated with girls i didn't know but that's not exactly love. Can everyone really feel love?



What is love...................baby don't hurt me
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

Quote:
I can't ever bring myself to say the words thank you when they give me something because it makes me cringe too much.
I'm the exact same way. I hate all that emotional, gooey stuff. Totally cringeworthy.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyPat
Did you check out the link to wikipedia?


Quote:
I can't ever bring myself to say the words thank you when they give me something because it makes me cringe too much.
Why do you think you cringe?
I think it makes me cringe because it feels to me like showing the kind of behaviour/emotion towards them that I've always found impossible. Outside family it's very similar but I can just about get the words out (probably because I'd be in much bigger trouble if I didn't).

I checked out the link to wikipedia and beyond. There's a lot of vagueness about it and things such as clumsiness that didn't apply, but they keep stressing how each case is unique. Some things are quite striking,
-I was always very socially naive before the development of SAD and have taught myself most things intellectually (like devouring books on social skills and studying people hard)
-Am naturally blunt and challenge authority often in spite of my SAD
-The getting obsessively preoccupied in certain interests and forgetting to eat
-Also the extreme attention to detail
-The sensitivities to many stimuli (real trouble with the temperature, noise, light, smells)
-Have this weird long term memory (I can recall all the names on the register from my first year in primary school, assign most of my memories to a particular year, going back to 1978 ). Also had an unusually advanced drawing ability growing up
-The not experiencing grief or love very deeply and having great trouble reciprocating emotion
-The preference for devouring books containing facts and science than socialising with other kids (even those I wasn't anxious around)
-Weird vocal delivery and many made up words and odd sounds

There were more I noticed. But it's like they don't really know what they're talking about themselves so I can't take it seriously. I don't really believe I have any of the disorders I've read and doubt I'd pass enough criteria for this, in spite of what my doctor suspects. But it does seem very unusual not ever having affectionate feelings for parents and friends.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

Yep. I've never said the words "I love you" and meant them. I just do so so that my parents dont get angry at me around relatives. but i have to force it. I'm not attached to people. I've never loved a girl really, sure there are plenty I'd of wanted to sleep with but I've never had other feelings besides lust. And having SA i cant really flirt well so i never even bother. Im not a bad looking guy at all so this gets me mad sometimes. I just gave up on getting with any girls, probably going to just get am expesnive hooker the next time i go to vegas.

I do "love" my pets though. I think they are the only things i've felt love for.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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aum, yeah I can say I love a few people, not to them tho but I do feel affection for many people
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I feel the same way about love and missing someone/something. Growing up, my parents made me say I love them, so I eventually learned to say 'I love you' in a heartfelt manner, but it's really just an empty phrase to me. However, I think the capacity to love is still there. I think I have to learn to love myself before I can love someone else.
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I have never felt affection towards my parents. In fact, I don't even like to say the word "family" and include them in it. I also have the problem with saying thankyou, which caused me a lot of trouble when I was younger, because I got called rude even when I just couldn't say it because it made me cringe.

I did get diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome though, and they said that is part of it, but I think there's something more to it than that, because I am very capable of feeling love and acting much more normal with certain other people.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I don't feel much of anything anymore.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Originally Posted by odd_one_out
I don't know if this is common for people with social anxiety. Ever since early childhood, I haven't been able to show or even feel affection for my family or friends. I have never told anyone in my family I love them and just don't feel it. It's not even that they treated me badly when I was young. I couldn't stand being kissed by them and would always react badly when they tried it. When they hugged me, I always kept my arms to my sides. Does anyone else cringe at such shows of affection? Is this a common symptom of SA?

I can feel fondness for people but never feel any hint of sentiment or love unless it's with a partner. I can also get over breakups quite quickly and haven't missed anyone I used to know at all since moving away. I can't stand the thought of my family knowing I feel fondness for anyone at all. I really cringe at the thought of buying my family birthday gifts or cards so have never done so. I can't ever bring myself to say the words thank you when they give me something because it makes me cringe too much. Is this a form of SA or more a personality trait?
With all the problems I've had I can't relate to this and I have a very severe form of SAD. It sounds like some other kind of disorder
I think it's possible could be this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoi...ality_disorder
I'm not doctor just a psych major so don't take my word for it. I would describe this problem to a psychologist and ask them what they think it is.
It's possible to have SAD and other mental disorders quite common in fact...
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Can't feel love

I don't like strangers rubbing up against me accidently. I physically, have to touch my arm and brush it off me.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can't feel love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostsoul
With all the problems I've had I can't relate to this and I have a very severe form of SAD. It sounds like some other kind of disorder
I think it's possible could be this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoi...ality_disorder
I'm not doctor just a psych major so don't take my word for it. I would describe this problem to a psychologist and ask them what they think it is.
It's possible to have SAD and other mental disorders quite common in fact...
Yeah, I checked this out some more and there are some features such as preference for solitary activities, emotional coldness, and not desiring/enjoying close relationships that are striking. But I've enjoyed quite close relationships with partners. There's also much overlap with other conditions such as autism and APD.

The above things I mentioned were quite accurate but most of the criteria didn't apply, such as
-I have had friends - just related to them differently to the norm and also enjoyed doing some activities with them
-I'm fine with being some part of a family
-Not indifferent to praise or criticism
-Am interested in physical intimacy
-Have much enjoyment in my activities
-The times when I did want social interaction, I often couldn't do it due to feelings of incompetence (trouble with conversation, eye contact and so on) and anxiety.

It doesnt look like I've enough clinical symptoms to fit a particular disorder, but I suppose it'd require a skilled diagnostician to know for sure. All these symptoms I mentioned above are much more pronounced around family members. I never thought it'd be quite this unusual though for others with SAD to have it.
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