Feeling so numb

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Feeling so numb

Unread post by anonymous13234 »

I know Scarleteen is more for sex-ed related stuff but I haven't had a chance to talk about this because everyone else shuts me down, so I'd like to write about it here- this won't be super well written because I have so many feelings wrapped up into it that I've never talked about before. :!: Content warning in this post for dissociation/ derealisation :!:

To start things off, I'm autistic (recently diagnosed) and I don't know everything about its traits so this might turn out to be a common autistic thing I didn't know about.

I've been feeling so numb for at least the past year or so. It's like my emotions just got taken away from me and now everything that I like makes me feel nothing. That's a bit of an exaggeration- there are still things that make me feel happy and make me stim out of excitement but for the main part I just don't feel anything major. I'm more talking about happiness or excitement- for example at Christmas or my birthday I felt absolutely no joy opening my presents. It's not like I hated them but I felt no excitement or anything when in the past I would feel so happy I felt like I was floating or something. One of my special interests is dolls but whenever I get a new one I don't even feel excited when opening it. I really like them, and I know I do because I spend all day just looking at and talking about dolls, but at the same time I usually feel just nothing when I feel like I should be really happy, like getting a new doll.

I have depression and I know feeling numbness is a big symptom of that, but even recently where I feel as if my depression has become a bit more manageable I still feel like this. It's like I can be kind of happy overall but not happy about certain events where I feel I should be. I also have PTSD ( or even c-PTSD but I'm not sure if my symptoms are bad enough) and it really messes with my perception of reality so I dissociate (not sure if that's the exact right term to describe what I feel) a lot in weird ways. It's less staring off into the distance but more going on autopilot and feeling completely disconnected from everything. Some days I remember describing to my friends that I felt like a complete alien and not even human. Often I feel so cut off from my body and it feels really uncomfortable- like I'm staring through my eyes but my head is in another body. I try and tell my therapists this but they dismiss it as feeling under the weather or depressed but it feels so different from that- it feels like I'm completely not even on this earth. I've read a bit about depersonalisation and that feels more fitting to describe it. Sometimes it's super bad and I feel awful and not at all real and other times it's bearable enough that I can go through a day without acting weird externally, apart from seeming flat and unable to have proper conversations.

I feel like this almost every day and have done for a really long time. It's like the emotions part of my brain has shut down and it's super scary. Recently I have been feeling happier overall (new meds and behavioural activation therapy are helping) but for a lot of more specific things like getting a doll I just feel absolutely nothing at all. Talking about it makes me really anxious and I feel sick thinking about it as much as I am now- it really warps my perception of everything and things are start to feel less real. I really don't understand what's causing this, especially when I thought I was in a better place, and I am in general, it's just that today's been super hard so I have a really negative view on everything.

There is one of my special interests that still makes me happy and even stim super hard when something big happens, and it's my favourite youtubers and their fandom, but I have barely any energy these days and catching their streams is so hard and when I miss them it makes me sad but, again, I feel kind of numb and don't even want to watch the VOD, and then I feel guilty for being numb and avoid everything about the stream that just happened until it's not relevant any more.

I've been questioning if I actually have c-PTSD but I'm too scared to tell my therapist. Ironically I have trauma around therapists and so I have trust issues and my current therapist has sometimes kind of made me feel invalidated for brining up conditions I thought I might have. I get that it's to make sure I don't develop silly ideas and convince myself I have a serious disorder when I don't, but at the same time I feel too scared now to bring something up like this because I'm convinced she'll tell me I'm being dramatic or something like that. I feel like maybe I just saw about it online and convinced myself I had it or something, but at the same time a lot of the symptoms apply to me- but then again, some don't, and I'm also scared my trauma wasn't ''bad'' or extreme enough for it. I booked an appointment with my GP because I find him a little easier to talk to, and I thought maybe I could do a test run on him before telling my therapist. I'm just so scared that people will laugh at me for being a hypochondriac and making up fake things when really it's not that serious.

I think that's all. This has all been something I've been really worried about for ages. I wanted to know if this feeling was a thing and if there were any resources to help lessen it because it's taken such a toll on me. Thanks so much for reading
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Re: Feeling so numb

Unread post by Mo »

I'm sorry this feeling has been so stressful for you! I do want to say, too, that right now, with the ongoing pandemic and a lot of social and political upheaval in many places, I don't think it's surprising that you're struggling a bit more with feeling numb. I wish it wasn't such a common thing right now, but it's something I've heard from a lot of people.

It is true that emotional numbness can be a symptom of depression, but depression symptoms don't all act together; even if some of your symptoms are alleviated by your recent changes in meds, it might take longer for this one to fade. I can't say if it's related to your depression or something else, but I do think it's important to talk to your care team about this! I'm sorry that your therapist doesn't seem to be a great resource for you right now, or at least doesn't feel like someone you can trust with this kind of vulnerable conversation. I don't know what the process would be like for looking into another therapist, or if that feels doable at all right now, but it might be worth considering.
I do think talking to your GP about this is a good idea! You might even be able to talk to him about how you've struggled to talk to your therapist about it and could either ask if it's possible for him to contact them directly, if you're okay with that, or to give you suggestions of what you could say to them.

You deserve to have your healthcare providers take your worries and symptoms seriously and not tell you you're being dramatic or brush off your experiences. I really hope you're able to do that. If you'd like help figuring out what you want to say to your doctor or your therapist, we could maybe help you come up with a script.
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