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Why don't I feel anything when bad events occur? is it a mental issue, or am I just scarred? 

Tagged as: Big Questions, Teenage<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 June 2014) 8 Answers - (Newest, 29 June 2014)
A male United States age 18-21, *orge writes:

Hello everybody! Just before I start this too much, I'd like to say that I don't really appreciate mean replies and answers, but if you feel like you absolutely HAVE to tell me, then go ahead.

So, I can't seem to understand why, but my emotions have disappeared. Some of them at least.

A few years ago, one of my friends was hit by a car and killed right next to my school. Literally feet from the property. Everyone in the school was sad for a month or two, and still now if you bring it up it might make someone cry. People who didn't even know him were bawling their eyes out, but it was different for me.

I, wasn't exactly "sad," but I did find it unfortunate. I didn't cry. I didn't get that feeling when you get sad. I didn't really feel anything. I mean like, at all. No happiness, no sadness, no depression. I just didn't have a reaction. It was one person I knew really well, taken from me. Sure, it sucked, but I didn't feel a thing when it happened.

Similar things have happened to me more recently. I broke up with my girlfriend, and all of her friends hated me. They would yell things at me from the classrooms if i walked by, right in the middle of school. But I didn't care. I didn't get hurt by their words, I didn't feel shame. No sadness, no anything. I just flat out didn't give a d*mn.

I can't understand if this is a good thing or bad. Even worse, when I got an uppercut in the stomach (only days before breaking up with my girlfriend) I didn't care. It didn't hurt. I felt it, but it wasn't painful. I noticed it, and acknowledged that I should be in pain, but I wasn't. I just... FELT it.

I want to know if this is a bad thing or good thing, or neither.

I come from a very nice home, no bullies, no bad neighbors, everyone here is really chill. But I have quite the abused history, which is not open for discussion.

I just don't feel negative emotions. I still get happy, still feel feelings towards girls, but I don't really get sad or depressed, excluding one event, which I didn't take very badly at the time.

I can't figure it out for myself, so maybe somebody else could help me out here.

Thanks if you help/helped at all


View related questions: broke up, depressed

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (29 June 2014):

janniepeg agony auntIt's good you can feel happy. You said your emotions disappeared. Like anger too? You broke up with your girlfriend. Anger and frustration are the biggest motivators that cause a break up. Not everything has an answer. I don't look at you as having a huge problem. As a teenager you are looking for an identity, and you are comparing yourself with others. I would not worry too much. It could be you are still growing. People develop compassion and sympathy at different ages. I advise against diagnosing something on a 14 year old. I don't think even ADHD should be diagnosed at school age because your brain does not stop growing until you are 25. In school everyone thinks that you all learn the same way and feel the same way, or you are the odd one out. It doesn't have to be that way. When you are supposed to feel grief you do not say to people you don't feel anything. You just keep your nonchalance to yourself. They don't have to understand you. Maybe you don't look at death as a horrible thing. Maybe you have the qualities needed to be a WWE wrestler.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 June 2014):

Forge, sometimes therapists can't identify your problem immediately; because they have to determine what happened that might have caused it, like trauma or something you were born with. That can take time, and maybe more than one doctor. They have to rule out things before they give it a name. I think you want to know right-away. If you keep working with your therapist, eventually you will know; and then they will figure out the best way to help you.

Uncles and aunts on DearCupid do not try to make a diagnosis or treat people. We just give advice here. If you're seeing a counselor and they haven't helped you yet, don't give-up.

Be sure you don't hold anything back they might need to know. Sometimes it's hard to talk about certain stuff, or you don't like to bring it up. The more you tell them, the faster they can help you. If you think you would feel better talking to a different doctor, let your parents know. Just do the best you can to enjoy school, your friends, and being a kid. Let adults figure-out what's going on. You try not to worry about it too much.

Good luck, buddy!

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A female reader, Daisy_Daisy United Kingdom +, writes (29 June 2014):

Daisy_Daisy agony auntForge, I suggest you go back to see a different professional therapist. Maybe the one you saw didn't know much about getting over abuse, and it can take a long time to see results, so don't expect immediate 'results'. I agree with Janniepeg that you are dissociating when anything negative comes along. You can explore that theory with a professional. All the best.

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A male reader, Forge United States +, writes (29 June 2014):

Forge is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Forge agony auntMaybe I should have included this, but I have spoken with my parents, as well as a professional counselor, but neither know what might be going on. I have spelled the beans to them, and they can't put the pieces together, as neither can I.

I'm asking this here as hope that somebody might know, and could tell me why it is I'm like this. I've never really felt extreme negative emotions, even when the horrible (previously mentioned) things happened.

Although I will say this: As time goes on, I realise that not only do the negative feelings disappear, but the happier ones show more. I am one of the coolest people at my school, but I just don't know what to do when I know that im supposed to feel pain and grief. It's literally driving me insane. Im thinking so much it's actually harming me. And I can't make it stop!

Now that I have said these things, maybe this will help a bit.


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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 June 2014):

Let me say something about this first:

" I'd like to say that I don't really appreciate mean replies and answers, but if you feel like you absolutely HAVE to tell me, then go ahead."

If you don't have emotions like you say, mean answers wouldn't matter. You do feel things. You just bury them deep down inside. Grownups call that denial.

You mentioned that you had quite an abused history. That's not up for discussion. Then maybe you should really have a discussion with someone who is a licensed therapist. Then you'll find the answers you seek. This kind of question is for professional counselors and licensed psychologists. It sounds scary, but it really isn't. Besides, you don't feel negative emotions; so it shouldn't bother you.

Whatever that abuse was, maybe it has had an ill-effect on how you respond to bad things that happen in your life. You shut-down your feelings, and pretend that they don't bother you; or that you just don't care much about things. That is what counseling is for. You can sit down and explain things in detail, that you cannot talk about with us or your parents.

I really think you should talk to your parents about this.

We don't know anything about you, or your life. You close yourself off from things that you feel will upset you too much. That isn't healthy for you to do.

You should allow yourself to grieve for your friend who was killed, and for losing your girlfriend. These are really sad events to happen to anyone, of any age. We cannot tell you it is a mental issue. That is for a professional to tell you.

I hope you can tell me why you would not ask your parents about this first?

They can arrange for you to speak to someone trained to help you. We help people here, but young people your age should let your parents take care of you. The abuse you don't want to bring up is what you should get help for. Never hide things from your parents. Unless that abuse was from a parent? You still shouldn't hide, tell an adult you can trust!

If your parents are good people, then you shouldn't have any problem letting them know when something is wrong or bothers you. It concerns me very much that young kids hide things from the most important people in your life; who are available to help 24/7. Your parents.

If something happens to you (or inside you) they don't know about; it makes them look bad to everybody else. Other adults will think they are bad parents for not knowing these things about you. They will feel really bad and blame themselves for not knowing, and will wonder why you didn't trust them enough to let them know you feel this way.

You must let them know about things like this. It's quite important that you do. Too many kids hide things about their feelings, and don't get the help they need. Why they do it doesn't make any sense. The sooner, the better.

You shouldn't keep this to yourself, if you come from a very nice home. I would assume you're talking about the people in it, as well has the house. Your family.

Parents are not just the people who buy your food and clothes; and give you a place to live. They protect you and love you. They can find you the right person to talk to; that can answer your questions about your feelings much better than we can.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (29 June 2014):

janniepeg agony auntWhat does quite the abused history mean?

You dissociated as a way of avoiding pain. Good thing is life feels more peaceful. Bad thing is that you may be blocking everything, including intimacy. It's like you are feeling numb as a protection. No one is telling you to feel pain and hurt just for the sake of it, but it is hard to relate to others when they feel pain from time to time and need someone to be sympathetic.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 June 2014):

Everybody copes with bad events differently; maybe you're one of the those people who is a very strong person who can deal with a lot without getting very affected. My friend is similar to you he is not afraid of death, and is very calm and collected with his emotions, but as for me I'm the complete opposite; death scares the living hell out of me, I had panic attacks at my uncle and aunts funerals, I don't deal with these types of situations well at all. So don't worry too much about it.

But sometimes having blunt emotions can be a sign of mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia, but from what you have said you don't seem to be having any other problem.

But if you do happen to be suffering from mental illness, don't always think that you have to come from a bad environment in order to have a mental illness, because a lot of the time mental illness is genetic, and can affect anyone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 June 2014):

It may not be up for discussion, which is fine, but you've shut down your emotions and that's not healthy so, eventually, you'll have to see a counsellor about it to see if you have any chemical imbalances. That said, you didn't want us to write anything "mean", which suggests you do still anticipate an emotional response.

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