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Unable to feel love (more or less)

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turgid

New member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
2
Location
USA
This doesn’t necessarily pertain to bipolar disorder, but I don’t see a good place for it. I’m closest to II, and this seems like maybe a fairly active section. I don’t like forums for various reasons, but I really can’t find anything online that feels relevant.

I maybe felt love as a child, but I don’t remember that. I do know what love feels like, because I love my now dead cat. I’ve also felt some level of love towards my best friend when I’ve been drunk. Otherwise, I don’t feel it. Not my parents, not anyone. I lean aromatic/asexual which has led to me never being in a relationship with anyone, so no experience in that area.

I don’t have the symptoms of Emotional Deprivation Disorder, nor the causes. My mom loves me unconditionally, but I don’t consciously care about that very much. I’m glad to have it, even if I don’t feel anything about it. I don’t know about my dad. He’s done a lot for me. He’s also kind of shit.

I’ve talked about this with my therapists. Little has come of that. I yearn for intimacy a lot. As I mentioned earlier, I lean aromantic/asexual. I have interest in those things in theory, especially romance, but not in practice. Maybe connected. I’ve been on the big ace forum if you’re familiar with the territory. I don’t like it, so I’m not asking on there.

My feelings otherwise are relatively “healthy” outside the whole bipolar thing. At least I think so. My mom thought I lacked empathy as a kid, but I definitely don’t now. I think I just didn’t give a shit back then. I have a hard time making friends. I have 3 currently. I did move 10 times in 4 years, which hasn’t helped. 3 of those friendships and at least 1 previous one are or were very close. They’ve also been primarily distant. Like thousands of miles distant. They’re not online friends, though. I’ve been very introverted in the past, but I’m mixed now. I have a retail job, and I like interacting with people. I mainly prefer being alone. I‘m misanthropic a lot of the time, but I can find something positive in everyone.

If I could wish for anything, it would be for love and intimacy. I know a lot of other people can relate to that. However, I don’t necessarily relate to other people on the subject to a far enough extent that I get comfort from hearing about that. I don’t expect much to come from this, but I was crying about it earlier and wanted an outlet.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
146
Location
London, UK
Dear turgid,

This might be a long shot, but what you are feeling, or rather what your not feeling, may be a side effect of Bipolar medication. Certain medicines such as lithium and antipsychotics, cause a side effect known as emotional blunting, which can lead to a flattening of emotional responses thereby causing a general feeling of indifference towards strong emotions such as love, anger, sorrow etc.

I say this because there is a lot of inconstancy in what you claim to feel. You feel love for your dead cat and your best friend when drunk, but you claim not to feel the same towards your parents and be a-romantic. Your misanthropic, but you find something positive in everyone. Hard time keeping friends, but you like socialising. Could you please elaborate more on this?
 
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turgid

New member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
2
Location
USA
HLon99:

I feel other things just fine. The only bipolar medication I’m currently on is lamotrigine, and I don’t think that’s one of the side effects.

“Misanthropic” definitely was an exaggeration, at least at my current age. I’ve found myself thinking “God, I fucking hate people” too many times to count. But really I don’t feel hatred. Meds do make me more agreeable. Just because I can find something to like in everyone doesn’t mean I don’t dislike those people overall. At my job, I’ve found myself having positive views of some of the regulars that I would find reprehensible if I was more familiar with them. I want nothing to do with people from work when I’m off the clock.

Everyone has a need for contact with other people. In that sense, I get something out of general socializing. I usually don’t seek it out, though, even when I really want it. And I don’t need to socialize with anyone else when I can spend time with actual friends at least somewhat frequently. I’ve never been in a situation where I could hang out with good friends all the time. I don’t know how that would be. Much of my life I’ve mainly kept acquaintances out of this need or to help with boredom, when I didn’t find them enjoyable to be around most of the time. It’s when I have to spend extended periods with the same people that I start to want nothing to do with anyone. That does mean that being around people can make my alone time more pleasant. It’s comparable to food, anyway. If I’m hungry, it can be nice to eat anything even if it’s not good.

When I’ve felt love for my friend, it hasn’t been romantic. As far as loving my cat but not my parents, I don’t see those as inconsistent.
 
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