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I Have Both Major Anxiety and Depression But Now It’s Causing More Issues with My Health

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I’ve recently been diagnosed with major anxiety and previously with depression. I’ve had to deal with these emotions most of my life, and I have been suicidal multiple times. However, that isn’t the case now. I was diagnosed with major anxiety because I went to the doctors with chest pains, which were resulting from the extreme stress on my mind. I also have a form of insomnia, so sleeping for me is an issue and always has been. I’ve been prescribed fluoxetine to help me with my condition and have been on them now for 2 weeks, however, I’ve started to notice some things.
I don’t feel, put simply, emotions. I’ve never really taken notice of it until now but looking back on previous events and situations, I’ve realized that I lack a lot of key emotions, from empathy to sadness to happiness. I don’t remember the last time I was happy or sad, I’ve never cried or broken down over events like family members dying or other things. But I only ever feel frustration, anger and such, negative emotions basically.
All my life I’ve sort of emulated the emotions of people around me, if other people were sad, I would replicate that, if they was happy, I would reciprocate by being positive in the situation. But I never truly felt anything. Years ago, my grandfather passed away, my father (who I now don’t talk to) told me first out of my siblings and all I said was ‘ok’. I didn’t react, whereas he told my brothers and they broke down. At the time I didn’t find that weird but now looking back it was odd.
The main reason for me doing this now is to get some clarity on my mind. Yesterday, I went to bed, and the next thing I know I was sat on my bed with a razor blade, with cuts on my arm and chest. The worst thing about this was j was completely unaware I was doing it, I remember doing it, but almost in the sense of a dream.
Basically, to summarise, I don’t feel anything but anger and frustration, my mind is constantly at full speed trying to calculate the way people are acting around me and I have to change my personality (if I have one) to reciprocate that person’s emotions.
Some clarity would be greatly appreciated. (From England)

I Have Both Major Anxiety and Depression But Now It’s Causing More Issues with My Health

Answered by on -

A.

We can be disconnected from our emotions for several reasons. The term for this used by clinicians is anhedonia. It is not a stand-alone disorder, but is part of depression and typically is part of a situation where the individual is under chronically stressful conditions. It means that there is a loss of interest in things you may once have been interested in. This sounds like what may be happening to you as you’ve explained that you have had chronic anxiety and depression. It also has been known to be both caused and helped by different medications. You can learn more about this by reading this blog by Psych Central’s Margarita Tartakovsky.

Perhaps the most important area to focus on is the blackout and cutting event. This is the greatest concern because the cutting sometimes is a way to feel, but if you are blacking out this creates a particularly risky situation. Some additional information is located here.

If you are not in therapy I think it would be particularly good for you to begin some form of individual therapy. While I believe any approach would be helpful — I think some of the experiential therapies (psychodrama, drama therapy, sand tray, or art therapy as an example) would be particularly helpful.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Have Both Major Anxiety and Depression But Now It’s Causing More Issues with My Health

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). I Have Both Major Anxiety and Depression But Now It’s Causing More Issues with My Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 10, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/05/19/i-have-both-major-anxiety-and-depression-but-now-its-causing-more-issues-with-my-health/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 May 2020 (Originally: 19 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 May 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.