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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For about two years now, my affect has been going down the drain. I've dealt with social anxiety for a long time, but I've been doing a lot better in the past year. Still, as I started to work on improving my anxiety / depression through psychiatry and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, my affect started to to fall.

At this time, I have very little sexual drive; I can not cry; I can not physically empathize with others; I don't have a passion for much; etc. I'm no longer sexually attracted to anybody on a significant level. I can still feel a small amount, but it's nowhere near where it used to be.

My question for anyone who's dealt with this before: is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is there a chance my affect could return? I've worked so hard and have improved my life. For over a year now I have not been depressed. I exercise every day; I eat well; I sleep well; everything that you would expect. My only negative is that I have a bad attitude and many automatic negative thoughts.

I just want to know my affect could return some day. I have a girlfriend, and while I mentally know I love her, I physically don't feel it at all. It's very hard to maintain a relationship based purely on knowing how I should be feeling and acting, rather than simply feeling it.
 

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I am the opposite - broad affect. In fact, right before I talked to my doctor about SA, she put me on lithium (like eating a battery!) because she thought I might be bipolar.
My OCD, what little I have, went through the roof! We're talking spending 5-10 making sure I didn't send an e-mail, etc. Awful.

She did say that I have a broad range of emotions, I am a feelings-type guy.
Note to ladies....DATE ME! :lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LaRibbon, I dealt with depression for over 10 years. After going through psychiatry and taking anti depressants, I changed my outlook on life. Today, I'm not on any medication, and I don't see anybody because I mentally am no longer depressed. I don't necessarily have a negative few of myself or my future, I don't have mood swings, etc.

I may physically have the signs of depression, but I don't know what to do about it. I took the MMPI recently, and my depression rating wasn't very high. My anxiety, however, shot through the roof. The woman was amazed at how normal my results were in every category except for anxiety.

I rarely laugh, never cry... it's like my emotions have been dulled on both ends of the spectrum. But, I'm rarely upset or in a bad mood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the useful replies. I think what you have said will help me remember to say positive. It's frustrating because I spent many years severely depressed, but my affect had a very wide range. I could feel very sad, but I could feel very happy. As I've begun to work on feeling better, and since pretty much overcoming depression a year or so ago, my affect has gotten worse. I think it's funny yet sad how that happens.

I do admit that I have drastically, and I'm talking almost a total 180, changed my life in the past 3-4 years. While many of these changes are positive, I can understand why my affect has been affected. The amount of positive stress I've put on me through changing my thoughts and habits could certainly explain the negative symptoms I have today.

Again, I just want to know that some day it could come back. I would rather know that I've some how damaged the emotional part of my brain - that I will never be able to cry or feel empathy again - than to never know.

Part of me wondered if this is nothing more than me becoming a stronger, normal adult. While that is partly possible, the fact that I physically can not cry speaks against that. It's very interesting, actually. A few months ago, I had a dream where I was crying, and I woke up feeling the emotional pain. So, my body can still feel those emotions, and in some way I can still trigger them, but I haven't figured out how in the real world.

Part of it may have to do with me changing my outlook on things. For example, when I think of my father dying, I kinda shrug it off thinking that's not a big deal. When he's gone, his body will decompose, and he'll be gone forever. So, there's no real loss outside of my desire to have him around. I feel that desire is a weakness, so I push it away, I guess.

An example for laughter is that I've taught myself that most of what I used to laugh at isn't funny. I used to pull pranks and make fun of people, but I've learned those things aren't supposed to be funny. So now, I guess I don't know what to laugh at.
 
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