The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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What causes lack of emotion?

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by drob31, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    I'm noticing it allot more lately. Everyone thinks I don't care about them, but I do, I just can't seem to have any emotion. It's kind of ruining relationships.
     
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  2. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Guess it can have very different reasons in different situations. For me what is ruining relationships it's rather that I don't have the energy for much of any, and therefore don't allow emotions due to my energetic disabilities.

    However, I do have rather strong emotions concerning getting my energy back, and with that the ability to involve in relationship with my full heart. Without the guaranteed crashes I experience now.
     
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  3. maybe some day

    maybe some day Senior Member

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    I think, at least for me, its a numbness feeling.
     
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  4. markielock

    markielock staying independent, one day at a time

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    The short answer could be depression. That's a force that can creep up on you and can nurture feelings of apathy in multiple areas of your life. When your body is depressed, i.e. under strain from various symptoms, the mind can tend to follow suit. I personally think this is why so many with CFS/ME get depressed, even before the social/mobility issues cause' problems. It can be hard to notice because you just get used to "feeling that way".

    For example, I love seeing people and exploring the world. I also miss being in a relationship. However, despite those feelings not changing, apathy can disarm your enthusiasm to do or express things. You simply might not have the energy to be more emotive right now, I know I certainly can get that way.

    Reassure people that you care but ask them to measure your intentions over your actions. Ask them for some empathy.
     
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  5. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Are you taking any mood medications?
     
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  6. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    This is one of the strangest aspects of this illness for me. Mine is only very temporary and is caused by complete exhaustion.

    When my brain is in vegetable mode especially, there is nothing, just nothing. I know the emotions are probably in there somewhere. They just can't be accessed.

    I'm in a constant, deep, hypnotic trance. As soon as i've rested my brain sufficiently the emotional light switch pings back on as though nothing has happened.

    People around me pick up on this and it makes them slightly uncomfortable, with good reason but there's nothing i can do. As soon as i ping back on and start smiling, laughing and joking. I can see the relief in those around me.
     
  7. thijs

    thijs

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    I feel little in general. Sometimes my life feels like watching a movie on a screen, rather than being part of it.

    It probably has to do with my way of coping with the illness. When getting ill i started to relativize things, this is normal. The problem is, after 10+ years of being ill, you reach a point where everything has been relativized, meaning your whole life became less important.
    On top of that, becoming ill also made me more aware of the luck factor in life. So whenever i achieve something it feels more like being at the right side of the dice/coin, rather than getting a confidence boost.

    When i brought up the subject at a psychologist they didn't think it was depression. Could try to get a second opinion, but I don't really care. It also has advantages; it's easier to accept setbacks.
     
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  8. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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  9. thijs

    thijs

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    Do people with depression also feel apathy in their dreams?

    I feel normal emotions during my dreams, but instantly after waking up everything feels dull again.
     
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  10. markielock

    markielock staying independent, one day at a time

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    I'm not sure @thijs ! Dreams tend to process/consolidate your thoughts and feelings that have been flying around. I think it really depends :).
     
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  11. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    I have OI sometimes I have exaggerated response to en event and sometimes I have none. I can see a car coming to me and no react (I feel no adrenaline whatsoever) and others I see a rain drop fall and feel like I am gonna pass out of how much adrenaline I get.
    CFS wise, when I am very crashed and overdoing I loose feeling as one last of the things (before I loose by voice for example) I am one of those that go paralyzed completely, so loss of emotion is when a very bad crash is coming. Only then it happens. When I used to over do a lot I did notice it was very often (but I always knew what It was) so just saw it as another symptom. The adrenaline issue is harder and very hard, because for example a few times driving, somebody about hit me and I get scared and black out (While driving).
     
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  12. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    Are you on any medications? Some medications will cause this as a side-effect especially if you are over using it.
     
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  13. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    its probably just a result of the CNS inflammation we have. all my emotions have been muted for years. recently, i have been able to feel a little again; unfortunately, its mainly sadness lol
     
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    In ME its most likely due to low brain energy. Its questionable if many of us are depressed. Having said that its hard to diagnose depression in an ME patient as many depression symptoms are ME symptoms, and due to low brain activity.

    Emotions put energy demands on you. If you have loads of mental energy but feel the same way then depression is a candidate. If your energy state is low that could be the entire problem.

    There is almost no research on differentiating the two states, aside from spectral coherence EEG which is mainly a research tool and not commercial so far as I know. If you ask an ME patient what do they want to do they might be stumped but only because its a gigantic list, which is daunting. A depressed patient will have a tiny list or no list at all.

    I think the thing to relate to is how emotional is someone who has overdone things all day and finally gets home and they only want to sleep. That is where ME patients live.
     
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  15. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Are you taking an anti-depressant? A very common effect of prescription ADs is blunting of emotions. My niece took Paxil for 4 years. She wasn't depressed per se on it but just didn't feel much of anything either.
     
  16. Alvin2

    Alvin2 If humans were rational...

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    There are so many possibilities is mind boggling
    From lack of acetylcholine to emotional problems to trauma to PTSD to alcohol to illegal drugs to personality to prescription medications to anti depressants to hormones to diseases to brain damage or seizures and maybe even Martians ;)

    I know this doesn't help at all, but picking one and running with it won't do much unless its the correct one.
     
  17. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    When I first had EBV, this happened to me. I used to say, "I don't feel anything." No one got it. Things went from being in stereo to just mono and drab. I think it was the virus and how it affected the brain but also hormones because the virus attacked all glands and short circuited everything. I went from loving my boyfriend and being all over him to not wanting him near me or not even thinking he was that cute. Boy, he was so good looking. That's how I knew I was sick and off.

    For me that was it. For everyone, it's so different.
     
  18. Woolie

    Woolie Gone now, hope to see you all again soon somewhere

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    Its interesting you should mention this @drob31. I've been concerned about the same thing. When I first came down with this illness, I was a ball of emotions. But now I feel pretty middling to okay about most things.

    For me, its not a negative thing - I don't feel numb or uncaring or anything. It just takes me a lot to get upset or excited about anything. I hardly ever feel sad these days. And it takes a heck of a lot to make me feel even a tiny bit anxious.

    Only meds I'm on is ambien for sleep as needed.

    I sleep well, with lots of vivid dreams. About the only time I feel kind of raw emotion these days is just after waking from a dream. Which might be sadness, nostalgia, that sort of thing. Then its passes as soon as it came.

    What is it? A biological thing? Or a learned thing?
     
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  19. Starsister

    Starsister Senior Member

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    All I know is the last two years I have come to know what serious depression is...not just from loss of health but loss of all loved ones in my life. A few months ago the feeling of being ok when I felt well enough to get out to see people was just ok, and as soon as I get home to my empty house, I am back to just wanting to be dead...a puzzling observation of myself. Actually, when I can cry, I consider that a good thing as some feelings are flowing. What scared me most and I knew wasn't normal was everything would be going fine, I'd be out in public doing something with others, see logically that I am able to do some activities that I used to enjoy, but instead I then was still wanting to die.

    I feel happier at the moment because I've found some purpose for life in the short term anyway by working on some major projects for my church. But I don't know how long that feeling will last as I still have no one in my personal life who has time or inclination to go see a movie with me, no one asks how I am, just how my work is going for the church. My volunteer work is helping others, but no one inquires about my life..no one knows much about me. I used to have lots of friends who I would have over for dinner, or we would call each other and have intimate conversations over coffee or phone. All gone for a variety of legitimate reasons.

    But that numb feeling can be most dangerous in my opinion, at least for me, because I just feel mellow and resigned to die. My GP asked me if I might harm myself..I chuckled and said we both know if I wanted to kill myself I would, and I'd know better than to tell anybody I was thinking about it( I've been a psychotherapist for 30 yrs so have observed myself and clients for years) It is out of numbness that I logically and calmly reason that there is no reason to be alive and suffer physically when I have no one in my life. No one would know I'm close to taking action on it, because I can act cheerful just to fit in and be what I know others want to see....but I do not really feel what I'm expressing.

    I have several friends who have mentioned they are on low dose of anti depressant. They are all workaholics, two attorneys and an mba paralegal oddly. They are extremely functional in jobs, but have muted emotions, so much so I can no longer have a true intimate real emotionally honest conversation with them. One's son was murdered, one's husband committed suicide in their house, and one lost her spouse to cancer within two weeks of diagnosis. Two were on anti depressants before their tragedies, and were muted emotionally before so I don't know how much is the meds, how much is from their tragedies, which now date back 5 yrs, and how much is their personality.
    One friend I've known for 40 years and she used to be emotionally accessible but no longer. The mind body connection is so complicated, and add to it the loss of our health and lifestyle, who knows. So Drob, I hope you can find something to help you connect with your emotions again, it sounds like you used to have closer connections..so that's a good sign. I bet something will help, be it meds, lifestyle change, sometimes just going through the motions till something "clicks" again. That's what worked for me, along with feeling hopeful about a new spinal treatment. I am feeling like I'm coming out of a long dark tunnel finally. Sending you hugs.
     
  20. Starsister

    Starsister Senior Member

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    Woolie, I just noticed your tag line...and that is how I feel all the time...but I do hope you stick around as I've always appreciated your posts and presence.
     
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