What causes lack of emotion?

Alvin2

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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.
This is why i mentioned acetylcholine specifically, impaired pyruvate dehydrogenase function as suggested by Fluge/Mella would lead to reduced acetylcholine synthesis and i have personally noticed increasing acetylcholine reversed emotional blunting and i have seen another case of emotional blunting reversed in someone else with another condition leading to reduced acetylcholine until treated with medication.
 

Misfit Toy

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Does anyone worry about how you may not react normally to a situation? I am worried about when people die in my life. Last year my Uncle died..I loved him, but I was too sick to really take it in. I just feel like I can't feel or cry the same anymore due to exhaustion or muted feelings.

I know drob said it's affecting his relationships. I get this.

This has been 29 years for me. I go in and out of feeling or not feeling. I am so used to it, but it sucks. It's awful.

I want to feel things the way I did when I saw Pink Floyd in 87 and it was full in my face loud fabulous music and I felt every bit of it.
 

Alvin2

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Does anyone worry about how you may not react normally to a situation? I am worried about when people die in my life. Last year my Uncle died..I loved him, but I was too sick to really take it in. I just feel like I can't feel or cry the same anymore due to exhaustion or muted feelings.

I know drob said it's affecting his relationships. I get this.

This has been 29 years for me. I go in and out of feeling or not feeling. I am so used to it, but it sucks. It's awful.

I want to feel things the way I did when I saw Pink Floyd in 87 and it was full in my face loud fabulous music and I felt every bit of it.
Its not going to affect you now as much, but if we get a treatment and get back to normal its likely we will have an avalanche of things to handle then.
 

Misfit Toy

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Its not going to affect you now as much, but if we get a treatment and get back to normal its likely we will have an avalanche of things to handle then.
Yeah, I don't think that will happen. 29 years and I have way more than CFS. Sjogrens, CVID, etc. But for others...yup! There will be no one magic bullet.
 

Alvin2

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Yeah, I don't think that will happen. 29 years and I have way more than CFS. Sjogrens, CVID, etc. But for others...yup! There will be no one magic bullet.
I meant if the emotion causing block is addressed. Many of us have comorbid conditions as well, it would be very nice if they are someday treatable as well :hug:
 

Woolie

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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.
Thanks, @Starsister. It was so sad reading your post here. What you're describing does sound a lot like depression to me. So many say they don't feel sad, they just don't feel much at all.

We're social animals, we're supposed to have company. What could be more normal than feeling depressed when we're deprived of that?

With the stories of your friends, you're pointing out why you don't want to be on antidepressants yourself, because they themselves blunt the emotions. Have I got that right? You make a strong case against them, I must say.

It sounds promising that you feel you might be coming out of it. You're a psychotherapist, so know much more about it than me. But I suspect you can talk about these things all you like, change doesn't really happen until your life improves. But if this is actually starting to happen, then little by little, things might turn around?

Re the leaving part: I'm hoping that the current PR Board will address our concerns here soon. If they do, I'll stay. But I'm dismayed at how there is still nothing happening. The signature line is my way of saying 'please hurry, I won't wait forever'.
 
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Woolie

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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.
That's an interesting thought, @thijs.

I wonder if its something like that for me? I think I've also become so accustomed to the control of my life suddenly being ripped out from under me at short notice, I've learned just to submit to fate's whims. So now I don't get wound up about anything much at all. It is as it is.

My doctor is testing me for various cancers, but is being careful about what he says to me in case I panic. Why would I panic? Cancer would be, well, something. And in any case, why waste time worrying? It is as it is.

So part of it could be sort of adaptive.

Part of it could be something biochemical. Its been known for ages that inflammation affects mood, and if there's something that seems to be universal in MCFS, its inflammation of some sort. I suspect inflammation might affect mood in its own special way, that's a little bit different from standard depression. And maybe this blunted feeling is part of it?

Who really knows.
 
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alex3619

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So part of it could be sort of adaptive.
Much of the way we think probably is adaptive to the illness. Behaviour which would be problematic in well people may be highly adaptive in the chronically ill. Mostly where this concerns things like anxiety and depression I would expect that mild cases are more adaptive than pathological. More severe cases are definitely something that we need help with though, and this is in an environment where we have justifiably lost trust in psychiatry. A good psychiatrist or psychologists is valuable in that situation, but finding one is hard and fraught with issues. Yet even the best will have limited knowledge about how these issues work in ME.

Let me give an example. Agoraphobia is maladaptive. Anxiety about going out and doing things when you know you have have a severe crash is a normal human response. Its the circumstances that are abnormal.

I have lived in almost total isolation. I am an introvert, I need company less than many, but not that much less. That could have led to depression if I had let it, if I had not adapted to it. One of those adaptations was enabled by the internet.
 

Daffodil

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my doc says we arent making seratonin. there is a particular pathway affected in this disease.....i cannot remember now....but we have lack of seratonin
 

drob31

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I did notice 2 years ago when I was using high dose pregnenelone that my emotions came back, but my estrogen went high and I was extremely emotional. This was using 100 mg a day for months.

I think this may work if you use like an aromatase inhibitor for estrogen or DIM if estrogen starts to get too high. My brain also worked way better. I think it was the preg and prog.
 

PatJ

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I feel normal emotions during my dreams, but instantly after waking up everything feels dull again.
I get this as well. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night feeling almost normal, with clear thought as a bonus, but within seconds the brainfog and emotional bluntness roll in.

its probably just a result of the CNS inflammation we have. all my emotions have been muted for years.
I've noticed that anti-inflammatories help to reduce my brainfog and emotional bluntness. Not to a normal level (or even close) but enough to notice and appreciate.
 

TigerLilea

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Does anyone worry about how you may not react normally to a situation? I am worried about when people die in my life. Last year my Uncle died..I loved him, but I was too sick to really take it in. I just feel like I can't feel or cry the same anymore due to exhaustion or muted feelings.
I had a sister who could not grieve when other family members died. This is why I asked earlier in this thread about medication use as they can seriously blunt a person's ability to feel anything. It can be prescription drugs, street drugs, or seemingly innocent over-the-counter drugs that most people would consider to be safe.
 

TigerLilea

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my doc says we arent making seratonin. there is a particular pathway affected in this disease.....i cannot remember now....but we have lack of seratonin
I think that this is where gut bacteria comes into play. I really do believe that for at least some of us it will turn out that our gut bacteria is what is causing our CFS/ME.
 

alex3619

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my doc says we arent making seratonin. there is a particular pathway affected in this disease.....i cannot remember now....but we have lack of seratonin
Lack of serotonin is an unproven hypothesis even for regular depression. In ME we have at least one study showing too much serotonergic acitivity, and the same for fibro. This theory is a marketing thing, not factual.
 

Woolie

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my doc says we arent making seratonin. there is a particular pathway affected in this disease.....i cannot remember now....but we have lack of seratonin
This is the line they use to justify giving you antidepressants. Antidepressants in the SSRI group function by increasing serotonin.

Nobody really knows why this works for depression. But I'm pretty sure there's not strong evidence for "serotonin depletion" in depression, or MECFS or any condition.

Oh, Just saw that @alex3619 said similar.
 

alex3619

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When I was studying serotonin biochemistry some fifteen years ago, nearly all of which I forget, there were several lines of evidence going back to the eighties.

First, these drugs raise serotonin near synapses in hours. Yet they take weeks to work.

Then it was noted that highly selective drug candidates that raise serotonin much better do not work at all. These are highly selective drugs. They raise serotonin very quickly. None made it to market.

SSRIs are not selective by biochemical definition. Its a marketing ploy. They are indeed more selective than the previous generation of drugs though. They are sufficiently unselective that they may work against a wide range of targets.

The conclusion was that they might work via serotonin plus something else in combination with serotonin, or its just the something else alone. In other words we have a few clues but not more than that.
 

Daffodil

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andyguitar

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You might be interested to know that one class of drugs that raise Serotonin levels have an adverse effect on ME. They block the enzyme Mono Amine Oxidise and thus raise Serotonin levels. Class is called MAOI drugs. As some of you may be aware I see elevated Serotonin as the primary cause of symptoms.