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Bipolar Depression and Feeling Nothing at All

January 12, 2012 Natasha Tracy

While depression commonly makes people feel sad, it might also make a person feel nothing at all. Feeling nothing with bipolar can be just as devastating.

Bipolar disorder is an affective disorder, in other words it affects your emotions (among other things). Bipolar disorder symptoms are often about feelings. Well, they're about FEELINGS. I feel HAPPY. I feel SAD. I feel IRRITATED. I feel ENERGETIC.

But one thing that's rarely recognized is that sometimes bipolar disorder is about feeling nothing at all.

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Depression is one of the two poles of bipolar disorder (the other being mania / hypomania). And myself, being bipolar type 2, I'm darn familiar with it because people with bipolar disorder type 2 spend 35 times more time depressed than they do in hypomania.

Depression and Emotion

And while depression is a "low" mood and, of course, is known for sadness, there is something else you might feel when depressed: nothing at all.

Yup. Nothing. Just a void. You feel an absence, if such a thing is possible. You feel the blank page, silence, dark matter, dishwater. You move through the world, and things happen to you that you know you should feel, but instead of feeling, nothing happens. Like turning the key in your car's ignition and the car not starting - it's unsettling.

Yay! I'm Not Sad!

So feeling nothing must be a great break from feeling terrible? Right?

Not in my experience. Feeling nothing just makes you feel like you're not human, not like you're not depressed. It's like being the shell of a person. A walking and talking corpse. Like you're nothing. The human experience with emotion removed isn't the human experience - it's really no experience at all.

Because emotions are how we make sense of the world around us. They are how we remember the day. If you loved the fact that you ate lasagne for lunch, you might remember it. If you ate the same dull ham sandwich for the 14th day in a row, you probably won't. And what does anything matter if it doesn't make you feel? If you don't care about eating ice cream or seeing your kids smile or browsing a book store or taking a bubble bath then why bother doing any of those things? Why bother doing anything at all?

And this is the thing that people fundamentally don't understand about depression. Depression, bipolar, mood disorders, are about moods that don't respond as expected and in this case don't budge at all. There is nothing to do, nothing to say, no strategy to try because nothing moves the needle, even a little. It's not that I'm not trying it's that trying doesn't matter.

And that is a recursive depression. It's depression that makes you feel nothing which makes you feel depressed which makes you feel even less (because yes, there are degrees of nothingness). It's depression that breeds depression. Like bunnies. Depression bunnies, all grey and un-hoppy.

What to Do When You Feel Nothing

Now comes the part of the article when I make my stunningly insightful recommendations. Ah. I'm having trouble with that bit because I only have one suggestion: try to remember it wasn't always like this and it won't always be like this in the future.

That's it. Try to remember. Because I don't have a stunningly insightful recommendation for how to fix the problem, I can only remind you that the problem wasn't always there and won't always be there. You just have to wait. And trust.

One day the bunnies will hop again.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2012, January 12). Bipolar Depression and Feeling Nothing at All, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2012/01/bipolar-depression-and-feeling-nothing-at-all



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Henry
March, 6 2016 at 7:47 am

I just wanted to add a few more things and say I want to extend myself to those of you who resonate with my experience. It's as if the world is continuing without me and I am just stuck as a spectator on an island watching everyone else with no sense of inner soul. It sometimes feels like everyone else is crazy and I'm not. I have heavy suicide ideation for awhile as I cannot help but isolate it's very difficult to be seen in this condition when you can barely hold an appropriate conversation your mind is so distracted by itself. Feel free to reach out
Henrysegalellis1992@gmail.com

Henry
March, 6 2016 at 7:39 am

It is as if everyday is the same as the yesterday, nothing impacts my isolated and stagnant consciousness. You could say the meanest stuff to me and it's like I wouldn't care. Months have gone by like this, perhaps years, and I say the same things to my therapists and doctors constantly yet they really don't know how to help me. It's like my personality feelings and emotions have been totally erased and the concept of time and any sense of self Image has been destroyed. The days go by and I feel like more of an [moderated] as I just really cannot stand being in the presence of other people---it just makes me feel worse. What have I done to deserve this life? Did I wrong someone to deserve this? What did I do to get to this headspace of total nothingness.

Adrian
February, 24 2016 at 11:21 am

also i dont have really strong emotional attachment to people like when one of my best friends left last year i didnt care also i have the feeling i dont care about anyone besides my closest relatives. I barely am connected to them though and spend most of my time with my friends. I dont know why I feel so empty as i live an amazing life with everything one could ask for yet... the one thing i want nobody can give to me... to feel normal and happy again and im sooo afraid that this isnt going to go away it is my deepest fear and yes

Adrian
February, 24 2016 at 11:15 am

hey Im kinda lost so ill explain my situation: I always was one of the happiest people around, always a smile on my face and even though i was bullied most of my life i was still happy, then i became really popular and after a year of being popular i went to this party. At the party i had a few beers and a big joint ( both of the things being nothing abnormal at the time) and i had a pretty fun night. but when i woke up i felt numb and exactly like described above, not only that but it feels like i havent experienced thing. I remember doing stuff but it doesnt feel like I did it, which is also a part of my numbness, this incident was almost 3 years ago and since then i havent felt normal. Also I constantly feel tired i never have excess energy or anything i mean i can do sports and stuff but i never feel awake. like the first few minutes afer you wake up and are still a bit drowsy like that i feel the whole day. I really dont know what to do about this its really eating me up from the inside but im happy im not alone i really hope someone has a tip for me to get better

Tracey
February, 24 2016 at 8:16 am

I have had up and down moods since I was a teenager and now my daughter is too, she is 25. My mum used to be like it too but she died 5 years ago of cancer.
I have been to the doctors so many times, had antidepressants, had counselling but I still get ups and downs regularly. At the moment I feel so brain tired and flat. Im not really bothered about anything, although sometimes I am. I just find it hard to deal with the ups and downs all the time, its tiring. Could I have bipolar, it has been suggested to me before, but I just dont know. Most people would say Im a bubbly person, but nobody really understands what Im really like....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
February, 25 2016 at 4:28 am

Hi Tracey,
Of course, I can't tell you what your possible diagnosis may be but I would recommend seeing a bipolar specialist (at least a psychiatrist) and bring up your concerns very seriously. If you're not getting better on current treatment and you have that concern, you absolutely should get screened for it. Remember, signs of hypomania (for type II bipolar) can be subtle.
I actually wrote about this here: http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/bipolar-bites/soft-signs-bipolar-disorder (on another site). Make sure you also check out the reference for that article (linked in the article).
Good luck.
- Natasha Tracy

Abigail
February, 14 2016 at 3:07 pm

Does any on know what type of bipolar this article is describing?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
February, 15 2016 at 4:27 am

Hi Abigail,
Personally, I have bipolar type II (I'm the author) but I believe it could describe the depression in any type of bipolar.
- Natasha Tracy

Connor
February, 3 2016 at 3:00 pm

I've felt nothing for quite sometime, since I was about 17 I became aware of it, I am now 29. I was diagnosed with depression three years ago and have been on medication and attended counselling. What bothers me is the emotional detachment from people; I feel nothing for people. I then start to feel nothing for myself, no future, only here and now, thinking about a way to escape myself. I feel like a coward for thinking of suicidal thoughts, unable to commit to them, it's as if their very existence is there to taunt me. I have had the best upbringing anybody could have ever hoped for, from an observers point of view I have an enviable life, which makes me feel guilty for not appreciating it.

Chelsea S.
January, 26 2016 at 2:31 pm

I've been struggling a LOT for the past what feels like almost two years, with the nothing. I want to find the pleasure in doing things, but merely cannot. I also cannot even find the sadness in anything either, and simply feel like an emotionaless zombie. Something has got to give, I feel only anger and frustration towards myself... Can't seem to "shake it off" at all. Who knows, maybe after all these years, I finally need a med change or something. I will discuss this with my psych doc, but until then at least I know the numbness isn't something all in my head; and I am not alone in this.
Peace and well wishes to you all!!!

ItsAllJustGone
January, 9 2016 at 11:28 am

Hey everyone, I'm 14 years old yet I feel like a little kid. I feel nothing all of the time. I have what seems like just a void in my head. I've had so many things happen in my life but my mind has blanked so much of it out. I hardly talk to anyone about anything because I'm afraid I'll say the wrong things or take the conversation no where. I feel very stupid and I can barely understand the things going on around me. I've been from home to home, first with my friends to my aunt and uncles apartment, people have tried to help me and it just goes no where. For about a year now I've been up and down so much with my moods, and before I left to go stay with the other part of my family I had got into counciling, and they told me I had adjustment disorder. I don't understand what I read or what people say to me I feel very dumbed down and its getting so bad to the point where I doubt I'll even be able to graduate. I'm very worried about where my life is heading. I just want to know if anyone feels the same or has any reccomendations for me, or if I should just give up on everything, or get checked into a mental institution...

Steve
January, 8 2016 at 8:41 pm

The hard part for me is mustering up the energy to look and sound normal. I have been tagged with BP1 and 2 with manic and depressive psychosis, schizoid personality, schizoaffective and mild schizophrenia at various times and at nearly 60 years old it's been at 5 decades of faking it. It's exhausting. Married 35 years with 3 grown children I've lived a whole life feeling blank, non-existing or alternately wanting to bang my head on floor or just run outside naked waving a rifle over my head until the cops show up. But I just shove it all down, the big white nothing, the rage, the feeling I'm a Martian and keep on keeping on past the point of burnout through sheer willpower. I'very been on a
pharmacopia of drugs and hated and will not take antopsychotics or anticonvulsants because side effects were even worse. SSNRIs in very high doses along with lithium and bizarely, Ritalin or similar amphetamines are so far the last line of defense but that's keeping me minimally functional at least as far as being able to interact with others is concerned. The rest is just gritting my teeth and getting through another day pretending to be human while fighting my inner vacuum bubble of nothingness. How can you take vacation from your own mind.

Angela
December, 27 2015 at 7:26 am

Hello Im thinking about going to the mental hispital ive was locked up in one when I was 14 for 2 years i would sray in my room an needed everything dark in my room i felt safe that way no one could find me i was sexually abused when i was 6 and no one cared so i was or am still in a sucidal why am i here i fill worthless as a women i cant have children so i cry out an no one understands me i feel undeserving y has god but me here i have had over 30 jobs in a year an cant concentrate to even keep one of them i feel im worthless as a women y am i here im going to check my self in tommorrow at least ill be ceazy people like me.

Kevin
December, 23 2015 at 8:15 pm

I just kind of stumbled on to this blog. I'm just a bit lost at the moment. My whole life felt empty with tiny little displays of happiness. Laughter etc. Now I am 31 and all of a sudden it is almost every week I am experiencing something different. Ice never felt this way. My wife says it's just typical emotions but I don't recognize any of this. I'm hoping someone else has experienced this and can provide some insight. I personally study psychology in school and I am at a loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

jay
December, 12 2015 at 8:49 pm

My ex partner died last week. His diagnosis had been bipolar, but there was so much happening for him that just staying stable would be almost impossible for any living being. Sometimes I think normal emotions repressed, not through illness, but by others expectations. My ex had so much fear around him. Yes, his behavior could be very difficult, yet the times he tried to be normal, others tended to stop this happening.
I have a broad emotional range, but nothing like his was. I thought today about a sadness I had from when someone had hit me when I was little and I sort of meditated into that sadness. It felt like my shock sadness was actually an emotional bubble that was encased by the other persons hatred. It felt to me in that millisecond that the person who hit me hated themselves, not me. It was an odd feeling.
My emotional range is worse when my biological family are around me, I'm lonelier without them, but I'm a much more balanced human being. Having male siblings who could hit me and me scream or cry, to be told off for crying rather than have the other persons behavior dealt with and dealt with in a manner that makes the victim of their violence feel the situation righted that has for many years been my cognitive dissodence.
For those who have had to endure psychiatric services, I feel many of these diagnoses don't address what is really happening for someone and many psych staff are not good people people, being intrusive, overbearing, draining their patients of their will to live and thriving off it. It is beyond a joke.
How do you find a middle space? Lots of people feel nothing during their day or week. Many feel numb, I understand for those with polarized emotions this can be exhausting, draining and beyond just emotional pain. I just wish there were better treatment options available for people.

Zainab Madi
December, 11 2015 at 4:34 am

Hello, my mom is 45 and it all started with a psychotic disorder where she imagined all the people of the world are trying to harm her and all the signs and advertisement meant something for sure, anyhow she was treated with Invega Sustenna and still taking it but all the illusions have gone away but the problem is that she can't feel anything at all now and not interested in anything and she spends her days sleeping not sleeping but just lying on the bed and when is asked to do anything she responds with "i'm tired". Can anyone please help me?

jason
December, 10 2015 at 4:06 am

There nothing i can say that has not already been said, The fact we share the same feelings (symptoms) etc, means to me there is a from of illness. End of the day there is no one to look after us, its for our selfs to do what we can to stop our selfs from ending our lives with this form of depression, i keep telling my self its not "us" its the system that makes us ill.
i only live for my family, i no my kids would reather a dad stoned on weed, than a dead dad.
been ill now for over 30 years, and i woundnt be a ginne pig for no docter who can only give me harmful meds, that contain heavy metals.
I dont drink or smoke, have tuned to god, and like most have try and keep it together or i will end up dead or in jail. I fined cannabis gives me the help i need, wheen i need it.
If im "high" cant sleep because me mined in over drive, or i fill im starting to loses control of me actions i make me self a weed tea/ coffee, at least i no my meds are orgainc grown, and im not pumping shit in to me thats going make me worst in the long run.
it helps me a lot , i could be high as a kite ready to batter some one with hate, 30mins after me tea, i love the world. just my take of things, been using weed for my condation for good 25 years now, workes very well, abpart from the depssion time when you fill low, unloved.

Karen
December, 9 2015 at 6:53 pm

I also feel nothing no love or joy no compassion no fear or regret im an empty shell its like my life force is gone been suffering with this for 2 years my whole personality is gone i wake up barely get through the day then sleep its the hardest on waking knowing you cant laugh from the heart or feel warmth from an act of kindness my life is over medication doesnt do any thing i think about my kids and the effect it is having on them i miss my love and warmth id give anything to feel again where to go from here i dont know iv looked everywhere on the net and there is no miracle cure just a handful of people going through what i am going through iv prayed seen councilors seen doctors its like the spark is no more please if anyone can help me

Francis
November, 25 2015 at 3:47 am

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. I was diagnosed with bi-polar 24 years ago, but found it difficult to accept. I took Lithium for 10 months which seemed to do nothing only make me feel worse. I have also taken Seroxat for 6 years which was helpful, however, when I cam off it I felt as if I had lost some of my memory. I have been off medicines for 11 years bust still experience numbness, the last episode being last week. I also have periods of overwhelming sadness, anger and rage. It has been difficult to maintain a close relationship with women because I get angry with them and often feel exhausted. My father also had the illness and perhaps 2 of his brothers. I find the dark times of the year are the worst where I feel lifeless and want to sleep and am tortured by loneliness. The paradox of loneliness is so bizarre, because I often feel like I do not like people at all, when and at the same time, feel I am lonely because I have so few friends and no one close to me. I really wish there were alternative treatments to taking medicines. I have also had therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of childhood abuse. I love you all and know that we are all unique in our own special ways, and are common struggle brings us together in that way. Keep expressing your feelings, if you can, you are worth it xxxx

T
November, 20 2015 at 5:05 pm

So I searched on Google why do I feel nothing & top of the search was your page. You've described exactly how I feel. It's like anything could happen
and I genuinely feel nothing unless its about my child. That is the only thing I care about. I can be on a high then a click of a finger I'm on a low. There's things I should feel things for but u don't I don't feel anything 1 day I could for a slight hour or two & it disappears just like that. I'm just numb.

Alicia Harrison
September, 29 2015 at 9:00 pm

Don't hate yourself Jonathan, your mental illness is making you feel like this, because it is not normal to feel like this. I've recently been diagnosed with Bipolar and I have suffered an eternal battle with myself for many years. I don't know if there are any others'out there who put up with their depression just to enjoy the "highs" that came with Bipolar. Unfortunately the lows became more low and the "highs" experience turned into anger, irritability and rage. Never, never, never feel alone. I managed to successfully seek help through my G.P. and psychologists....................they have been my life lines, because my family live abroad. I am on excellent medication, one of which I recommend is Valdoxan (antidepressant) - it is an expensive drug, but then I look at it this way and say..............its better than slitting your wrists, which comes with the lows of Bipolar

Josh
September, 21 2015 at 11:01 pm

"One day the bunnies will hop again."
I'll look forward to this day! Everyday I live life like it's a dream and I feel like I was born into the wrong body. Nothing people says, or does, will really change how I feel. The days pass by and at the end of the day I ask myself, "Did I do anything today?" because all the feelings just vanish and I don't feel any emotions or remember anything. No emotions when I watch TV, read, talk to people, etc. Like the author says, I become depressed because of being depressed.
Where are those energetic, hopping bunnies that should be within me? There wasn't really any huge event that changed me. I've always been like this for as long as I could remember. Like a lifeless, grey bunny hopping around in a world full of color. Everyone around me feels happiness, empathy, excitement, etc, but I can't. It's difficult to think of words to express those feelings because I don't feel them.
The best thing to do now is to share this experience with your family, cousins, friends and peers. There needs to be more coverage on this and one day a treatment will be found. I've started to share this only recently because I was scared in the past, but life is just speeding past me. I almost don't care anymore.
By the way, DR. BEN CARSON FOR 2016 PRESIDENT!

Josh
September, 21 2015 at 10:47 pm

I've felt emotionally flat for a very long time now, since childhood, although I'm not sure which age. I feel like nothing really triggers my emotions like it should. I like what the author said about "depression breeding depression". I see people around me just responding to what other people say, do, etc. and I just don't feel anything at all. Mood stabilizers have helped, a lot, but this lack of feeling still bothers me. I still search keywords like this everyday because I'm always trying to find a solution to this, but the solutions are so few.
I've done quite a bit in my life, but at the same time I feel like I've done almost nothing at all. My manic states aren't really happy either, my mind just races and I think the same repetitive thoughts I can't escape from.
It's good to know that there are others like this and that more and more people are coming out and sharing this problem.
" I was scared that people might ask me how I’m doing." Or any other questions relating to your emotions right? I dislike being around a group of people because I just can't understand why people can feel so much.
The best thing we can do right now is share this with people. I've started to tell my friends and peers after decades. Life is just passing by so fast when you don't feel emotions from things or people. I'm gradually getting to the point where I just want this thing to be known more and more so treatment may be available.
This is another reason I want Dr. Ben Carson for president! More health care funds, woo!

Tanya Haskin
September, 15 2015 at 10:52 am

I've actually had these times where I have felt NOTHING. And wondered what was wrong with me. How can a person feel nothing? I think I'm super seriously happy that I found out that this is somewhat a normal part of bipolar, becuz it was just too weird feeling nothing. I was scared that people might ask me how I'm doing (maybe they did...I don't remember) and I'd either lie (as is sometimes the norm since you always need to be happy for people) as opposed to saying, "I don't know", and have them look at you like you're a complete weirdo and walk away. I was diagnosed 11 years ago, and I have yet to accept it, and i've only gone out on the limb and shared it with a very few people. It's just not a good feeling....

Bobbi
September, 3 2015 at 2:16 pm

Wow, this article and the comments just gave me a whole new perspective on my current relationship. I have always suffered with un-diagnosed anxiety disorder and depression since I can remember. As an adolescent I attempted suicide twice and thought about it many other times. As an adult, I do my best to manage my ups and downs to the best of my ability, with breakdowns in between and lots of anxious moments.
For over two years now I have been in a long distance relationship. Throughout these 2+ years, he has gone through periods where he completely shuts down. He has tried really hard (especially after this very recent and very intense hurdle we're still trying to get passed where he made up elaborate lies to avoid talking) to describe to me how he's feeling, but he can't find the words and he gets frustrated and then he'll start to shut down again. It is really tough, but this time he was actually shaken to a long, hard cry when he realized how his behavior was effecting me. He admitted he thinks he needs professional help, and I am hoping to gently encourage him to seek it without causing him to shut down on me again. I am overwhelmed, absolutely... but I love him and really want to help him through this. I am trying to understand now, especially since he's opened up to me about this, that these behaviors aren't choices he would make in a healthy state of mind. I am proud of him for being courageous enough to admit that he thinks he needs help.
Thank you for this article and to all the comment writers, a little bit more understanding can go a long way! :)

Eliana
September, 1 2015 at 8:11 am

This is something fundamental that people must understand about mood disorders. Feeling nothing and clinical depression is when your moods and emotions effectively shut down. Sadness is when your brain is responding adequately to a less-than-pleasant stimulus. Big difference right here.

lexi
June, 23 2015 at 11:33 am

My boyfriend has bipolar depression and he hadn't spoke to me for a,week, so i went to his work and he acted emotionless the whole time we talked . Eveb when he said he missed me and loved me back. He hasnt messaged yet even though asked,if he would. Is it normal for someone with bipolar depression to feel nothing and withdraw from even the people who they love and love them the most?

Nadine
May, 28 2015 at 1:01 pm

this was an excellent article..I kept on reading it just agreeing with everything then when I got to the part of feeling like a shell I couldnt believe there was someone else that felt the way I did..it will be a year in June that I was diagnosed with biploar depression and I feel good but slowly progressing

r
May, 14 2015 at 11:48 pm

Sometimes feeling nothing at all has it's benefits. Maybe it's the body's way of protecting itself so it can still "function". It can hurt too much to feel. The pain of having to live with a bipolar disorder can be so overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like an accident victim walking around in a daze
I work full time because I have to. I don't have a choice. I have no one to help pay my bills. I am barely surviving financially living pay cheque to paycheque. I can't afford to give up. If I lose this job my already less than stellar credit rating will drop because I won't be able to pay my bills and if any future employer does a credit check I'll be screwed. If I were to give in and say I've had enough I'm too tired I just can't do this anymore and throw my hands up in the air in complete and utter frustration I know I'd eventually become homeless. While I'm sure I'd be in good company as so many homeless people do suffer from mental illness as well just the thought of giving up at this point is less than desirable. We are so short staffed at work due to downsizing. I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up as more and more work gets piled on me. I come home some days and just cry myself to sleep. Sometimes other more capable co-workers make me feel so guilty for falling behind and not living up to their standards. And with more downsizing in the near future I need to show my employer that I am just as capable so I try to push myself harder. I know there'll come a point though where I'm going to burn out and push myself into another nervous breakdown if I don't learn to take better care of myself
I've been to a debt counsellor who suggested I consider taking on a part time job to get my massive visa debt paid down and gain some mastery over my financial life. I honestly don't know where I am going to find the energy. I sleep at least 12 to 16 hours a day, sometimes more as it is in order to function during my waking hours. I feel guilty for not trying harder and hopeless at the same time because life just feels so damn overwhelming most days. The mental health clinic where I go has promised to help me find a part time job but I can't seem to get my act together to compose a resume yet. I feel like such a loser...
I've gained a lot of weigh so the mental health clinic has also offered to get me another yearly pass for a local recreation centre. I know I need to go. They gave me the same type of pass last year but I barely used it. I feel so guilty wasting their money. By not going I know people will judge me as the stereotypical lazy fat person. So I accepted the pass again this year and like the typical new years resolutions that so many of us promise to make I vowed to try harder this year. My knees are starting to give out and I don't drive so before I end up completely immobilized I'll just have to push through to tears and the pain.
Yes I'm fat, morbidly obese in fact but being depressed has nothing to do with being lazy. Think of how you'd feel if you had to carry 150 pounds of extra weight around 24/7...
I have to remember to give myself credit for at least continuing to try

Kristen
May, 14 2015 at 4:49 pm

Thank you. I needed this reminder tonight. Praying for my bunnies to hop again soon.

Chris
April, 26 2015 at 3:45 pm

Hello Erika,
Im no Dr, but being diagnosed with Bi Polar II a couple of years ago has helped me see others in a different light. The one thing I noticed was how at the end of your post you wrote " sorry for bothering" I feel the same way all the time. I worry about what other people will think. I wonder if I approach situations the right way. If I said the wrong thing. I feel like I have to explain my actions all the time. I feel numb a lot. Just yesterday I was eating out, alone. Looking out the window. Just blank. Its hard to feel alone when there are people everywhere. This condition seems like its a constant battle. If I think I have everything on track, My Bi Polar always reminds me its still there.

Erika
April, 26 2015 at 8:29 am

hi!
I'm not really sure how to explain myself but I'll try. see in the last few months I've noticed that if anything happens my reaction is just nothing for example a girl that sometimes bullies me pulled my hair and I know that its nothing but I'm not exactly someone who stays quite during something like this because I usually would have felt really angry but this time nothing and stuff like this has been happening a lot like if I fight with my mum nothing or I've recently lost my best friend who I thought of as a sister and with her most of my other friends and I literally feel nothing like I feel numb. And basically have to fake having emotions because the few friends that I have keep asking me what's wrong and I hate this because I feel like I'm not normal
sorry for bothering
Erika
14

John Wilkinson
February, 22 2015 at 7:26 am

I wrote to you earlier Natasha. I want to become more involved in the field of mental health. I live in a small town in Nova Scotia where there are no support groups for people suffering from bi-polar disorder/depression. I would love to discuss my plans with you.
Thanks,
John

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
February, 24 2015 at 2:42 pm

Hi John,
I don't see anything from you. You can contact me through my Facebook page if you like: https://www.facebook.com/BipolarBurble
- Natasha Tracy

Cat
December, 10 2014 at 4:01 am

I miss mania . Sometimes I feel it during Xmas especially when hubby gets bonus paycheck. But mania is on the low side. Sometimes I feel nothing. I I want danger sometimes. I want food. Anything to make me alive. My kids need me so I have to joke w/ them and be there every day

charlotte
December, 9 2014 at 12:49 am

i've suffered with mental illness since I was about 10, I was diagnosed with bipolar when I was 15. I have been on all sorts of meds since then. I am now 33. I am currently on two mood stabilisers and three anti-depressants. on the one hand i've not had a severe manic episode for about a year and a half but i have been in some deep depressions and more recently, this total numbness which you have described to a T. i have started and quit several jobs this year alone. my life feels utterly meaningless and grey. i am merely going through the motions. it is at least 'comforting' to know i'm not alone.

susan
November, 20 2014 at 3:53 am

I have always had periods of feeling "empty,nothingness,flat" when nothing had value or mattered. Grey motionless bunnies.
Then as I aged, anxiety jumped in the mix.
I have started seeing a psychiatrist,am trying to get meds.adjusted.
Anyway this morning I "googled" feeling empty and this blog popped up.
I am sooooo relieved to know I am not alone in this
horror.
Natasha,I'm grateful you were able to escape the grey bunnies long enough to write your blog. thank you

Renita
November, 15 2014 at 5:41 pm

... I had been petrified of the dark my WHOLE life. I would have severe panic attacks if the power went out. On the lithium and seroquel combo I felt NOTHING, I feared NOTHING yet my life had become completely black. Somehow my pdoc thought that more of the SAME medication would make me feel better. He threatened hospitalization if I didn't stop screaming at him. I was just fighting to get my life back. It's so frustrating when pdocs don't listen to their patients. Fortunately for me I got my way and I am able to feel a rainbow of emotions again. Maybe they don't glow as vibrantly as the used to but at least I have them

Renita
November, 15 2014 at 5:12 pm

I felt flat, hollow and empty on a combination of lithium and serequel. It made me feel like giving up on life. I felt completely dead inside. Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I had a melt down screaming at my pdoc demanding he put me on something else!!! I was too young to become a vegetable. I think he was worried about compliance and that I might possibly kill myself so he finally relented and I got my life back. As human beings we experience life through our emotions. To blunt ALL emotion is not living, it's barely surviving

Peter
November, 10 2014 at 1:23 pm

I have bipolar, type I, rapid cycling, with psychotic features. I've been on lithium and risperidone for over a year now, since May 2013. They've been lifesavers, keeping me from flipping into mania, hallucinating, becoming delusional, and experiencing uncontrollable suicidal thoughts. But the medications (lithium in particular) stunt my creativity and ambition, making me think in a very linear, unimaginative fashion. So my doctor lowered my lithium from 1200mg to 900mg, and for a while I was feeling great. That is, until I had too much caffeine too late in the day and didn't sleep. The next day--that is, yesterday--I felt my thoughts becoming disorganized, I hallucinated on my way home. I got home, took my meds, and poured myself a glass of whisky. I drank half the glass, then poured a flask and took a shower with the flask, drinking the whole half hour I was in the shower. When I got out of the shower, I looked at myself in the mirror, and there wasn't a person there. There was a face there, but there wasn't a person behind it. I searched myself for any sign of emotion, and there was none. That was the first time I'd felt like that in years. I wasn't a whole person, and, paradoxically, I was afraid that it was a sign I was slipping into psychosis and might go off the rails. So I took an extra dose of risperidone, to be sure I'd sleep, and eventually passed out on the couch.
I woke up feeling normal, but I'll never forget how frightening the feeling of nothing was. It was a primal type of fear, unidentifiable as an emotion, but fear nonetheless. I hope to never feel that way again.

Serena
October, 24 2014 at 5:16 am

I have been suffering with bipolar and mostly bipolar depression since childhood. As an adult I haven't really been manic since my early 30's but I have been on meds for 15 years. I am turning 44 in the beginning of November. I hit 40 and had huge turmoil in my life as well as signs of peri- menopause which also affected my moods. Instead of having a few months of depression and then climbing back up I did not come back up this year. That numbness is always with me.

helmand zamir
October, 20 2014 at 10:45 am

Hi,my problem is that when i am with friends i am lost or day dreaming i dont know what to do?? Sometimes people call me crazy because i think too much and i feel like i m dying inside and can not express my self clearly to people.

William
October, 7 2014 at 6:03 pm

I am 53, have dealt with mental illness since 14, I think it could have been sooner. I struggle each day now about real things. Family, Money, health. I have been through several severe challenges in my life. I remember that state. Nothing mattered, I could not make myself change. It lasted a few years. I remember severe mania, as I got older the mania would be not the boost in energy, feeling superior, happy. More increased anxiety, acting out, minor stealing, if there is such a thing. Worse, crippling fear. I think this is one thing people don't get. It is not happy, sad happy. That just does not happen that way. Anyways, I struggle for money, identity but I now have amazing relationships with my young adults. It is hard being the Dad, but I am contributing to my children. I am not free from bi-polar, but I limited my time to my family and a few friends and that is good for me. I just want people to know that understanding that days will be good, and bad, but finding a psychiatrist and therapist you can work with will change your life. I cant speak for the future, but presently I am happy, and functioning well enough. I am not saying have hope, that leads to non-action. Do all you can to fight this thing, make it your mission. Then have faith, that you can be happy. Great advice, no mood will last forever, if you can get the right formula for you.

chris mcaulay
September, 25 2014 at 1:20 am

I believe that as we develop better technology that can bring harmony to the various brain regions that contribute to wellbeing then we will be able to create health and happy states reliably and easily.
Magnetic brain stimulation can achieve this to some extent but its expensive. If one can afford it then this combined with a healthy diet moderate exercise and social activities is perhaps the best treatment we have available.

johnathon
September, 23 2014 at 6:44 am

what if you've felt like this your entire life and now only feel hate and sadness towards myself but still have no feeling to anyone?

Lisa
July, 19 2014 at 12:08 am

Sometimes separation can make you feel numb it's a coping mechanism and may not be anything to worry too much about as it will pass as you come to terms with the situation. I would suggest talking to your councillor more about your feeling of nothingness since this has happened, and continue to do so for as long as it lasts. Explore why you think you might feel empty, sometimes defence mechanisms which protect people from emotional pain, can stop you feeling anything and you may just need to allow yourself to be a little emotional to stop feeling empty. Take care

Don't Want to Put My Real One
July, 16 2014 at 9:44 am

Hiya. My parents have recently told us they r separating (not divorcing) I've kinda know for a while but it's been painful knowing. I see a counsellor (from when I was bullied) and we have talked about it. However recently (like the past three days) I have felt nothing. Literally nothing at all. It's horrid. Please cld someone point me in the right direction of what to do. Thanks :)

Devin Lee
May, 27 2014 at 7:57 am

When I was manic, I could not remember what depression felt like. When I was depressed, I could not remember what is was like to be happy. It all felt so surreal. I'm so grateful to have balance today. If this encourages just one person to hold on and believe that it gets better....YAY!

shar
May, 14 2014 at 7:45 am

Not caring has in my case, resulted in a destroyed credit rating, house threatened with foreclosure and bags of unopened mail. If I cared I'd be very concerned the situation. But I don't. I do keep out of foreclosure by paying the back taxes in the nick of time (3x so far). I haven't told my therapist about this mess. I tell myself I should care, I should figure out a solution, but again I just don't care.

Kim
February, 18 2014 at 4:27 pm

I'm new to this bipolar was told last year that I had it, I do feel like I'm nothing just here, waiting for the old me to come back.

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