25-Year-Old Man with Emotional Flatness
Emotional flatness and real events and real world and people seems dead events with no motivation or encouragement. In life I was been diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenia with OCD but I feel the symptoms of bipolar disorder matches my life experiences and struggles I am facing. After a Great Depression I came USA for masters started with great GPA of 3.5 and 3.24 for first two semesters. Suddenly I lost all emotions inside.. lost desire. Lost motivation . No career goals.. I am failing in subjects .. there is no emotional impact when looking at fail result.. unlike my previous experiences. When I felt heart break on failing exams. At present I have feel no set back even though the result leading to termination of my masters program. Why I don’t feel any emotional difference no matter how bad I am in situation.. Also I feel no difference in emotions while talking to different people. Why for me outside real world and events seems very dead and useless? Why I have events and scenarios in my mind which is imagination seems real and make me feel happy and believe it as real events and accomplishments.
What is wrong with me?
A. The fact that you have received a diagnosis means that you were evaluated by a mental health professional. That mental health professional could have diagnosed you with bipolar disorder, but apparently didn’t feel it was a match. That was likely because your symptoms were more characteristic of schizophrenia than bipolar disorder.
It’s important to remember that the mental health professional who provided a diagnosis has undergone years of training. Training teaches mental health professionals to distinguish mental illnesses from each other. Having said that, diagnosis is not an exact science. Mental health professionals sometimes disagree on which diagnosis is the most accurate. Studies have shown this to be true.
The symptoms you have described seem to be more consistent with schizophrenia than bipolar disorder. For instance, you often feel emotionless. Clinically, this is known as “flat affect.” It is a symptom of schizophrenia and not necessarily bipolar disorder. It specifically falls into a category called negative symptoms. It could also be a side effect of antipsychotic medication.
In my view, your energy is better spent on symptom relief and treatment than on diagnosis. In the grand scheme of things, what matters the most is feeling better and experiencing a relatively symptom-free life. If you are taking antipsychotic medication, discuss your symptoms with your prescribing physician. Adjusting your medication might help to restore a more normal range of emotional expression. Good luck and thank you for your question.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Randle, K. (2018). 25-Year-Old Man with Emotional Flatness. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/01/02/25-year-old-man-with-emotional-flatness/