Jump to content
Mina

How can I build a romantic relationship when I'm emotionally numb?

Recommended Posts

Mina

So I have been on 50mg of Setraline for roughly 7 years, from the age of 17. Both my parents are doctors and they decided to put me on SSRIs (my dad mainly who is on SSRI's himself). The main reason was because of in my opinion silly reasons. I had a relationship when I was younger, head over heels for this girl and I use to see her during the middle of night and sometimes skip school. Parents thought this was impulsive behaviour, also I was participating in thai boxing (an extreme martial arts). Mind you I was going very well academically. From all the pressure from my parents, school I suffered from a panic attack and I couldn't concentrate properly and my parents decided I should be on SSRIs. 

 

After couple of months of that relationship, I was in a 5 year relationship with my ex, and obviously at a young age with testosterone kicking in I had strong emotions for her. After may be the 4 year Mark, I lost feelings for her, but what I felt encouraged those feelings was my family wasn't supportive of her and people where saying she isn't suitable for you because of certain personality clashes. Thinking about it now, if managed the right way we would of been able to communicate our way through the problems. During those time of Anti-depressants, I suffered from insomnia, severe anxiety during competition times and exams. Also in terms of concentration and ability to keep focused was affected, I can't remember how long I have been in this memory/brain fog for. 

 

The main reason why I'm posting is because, I'm currently 24 years old and in a relationship with a girl for about 4months. I was head over heels for her and was chasing her for 4months before we finally started dating. First couple of weeks where, and at that point I started to taper down so I can be kind of myself. However, she started saying that she couldn't commit to a relationship, don't have any expectations and she told me she self sabotages relationships. This really triggered my anxiety, and made me some what distant. As I have spoken to my friends, they told me to distant myself from her. And my parents found out how she was reacting didn't really wanted to date someone like that. I told her I couldn't do it anymore, as I feel confused and my emotions where all over the place. Mind you she did nothing wrong, in being honest with me, but I took that in a negative way. And kept on venting out to people and finding out why someone would do that. Now I'm in a situation where I have no emotions towards her at times. She realised that she hasn't been putting much effort in the relationship and that she really wants to be with me and really loves me. We are back together, but what I'm confused about is could it really be the tapering process that can cause the emotional apathy. 

 

To keep in mind, when I broke it off with my ex for 4 years I didn't feel bad for breaking up with her I didn't even cry while I was on the SSRI's, the fact is one of the other main factors of losing interest in her because there was another girl that caught my interest. But I came to realise that she wasn't worth it as she had a lot of problems on her side. But in saying that what I have come to realise is that, from the period of breaking with my ex and moving on from this girl, I haven't been emotionally attracted to anyone.

 
Another girl(before the current girl im with) who was beautiful, a sweet soul and amazing in all aspects I couldn't even feel any emotions towards her or wasn't even attracted to her.

 

Currently I find it very hard to have emotions towards my family, friends and my current girlfriend. I've had a rough upbringing in a sense of expectations from family, my dad being quite emotionally volatile and screaming alot to us when we where younger and even to this day. There is a lot of negativity in my house. So it made me question, is it me or is it the drugs? Or is it just my negative mindset that I have been around for so long that has made me feel like this? 

 

Edited by Altostrata
Started new topic

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

@Mina

please follow this topic for responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Mina
18 hours ago, Altostrata said:

@Mina

please follow this topic for responses.

Thank you for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Mina, if you got to this area of the forum you will see topics where members have discussed how psychiatric drugs have affected relationships:  relationships-and-social-life

Share this post


Link to post
PapayaShake

Hi mina

 

Answering the question '' is it me or the drugs?" would be very complicated since relationships  are complex and diferent factors come in to play, and I don't really know you. 

 

But if it helps I can share with you my experience. 

I fell in love with my girlfriend and then started taking ADs. At the beginning I felt ok, but slowly I started to loose interest until I learned that antidepressants cause emotional blunting. All made sense. I started tappering and I have found that the more I tapper the less I feel. Not just for my partner but for all people, family, friends, etc. I'm totally numb unable to feel anything for my girlfriend or anyone. Or any kind of other pleasure in life. In my case im pretty sure its the pills. But that's my personal experience.  

 

Starting antidepressants changed me, taapperg has affected me also. Both things have had an effect on my romantic experience. I'm almost a year into tappering Its been almost 2 years since I started tappering,  (I got it wrong. Sorry)and I still feel nothing. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
made correction

Share this post


Link to post
Mina
13 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Mina, if you got to this area of the forum you will see topics where members have discussed how psychiatric drugs have affected relationships:  relationships-and-social-life

I have been through that post @ChessieCat, however I feel my situation can be a bit different, as one im not married or haven't been in a relationship for a very long time. And I have also been taking the SSRIs before entering the relationship not afterwards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Mina
9 hours ago, PapayaShake said:

Hi mina

 

Answering the question '' is it me or the drugs?" would be very complicated since relationships  are complex and diferent factors come in to play, and I don't really know you. 

 

But if it helps I can share with you my experience. 

I fell in love with my girlfriend and then started taking ADs. At the beginning I felt ok, but slowly I started to loose interest until I learned that antidepressants cause emotional blunting. All made sense. I started tappering and I have found that the more I tapper the less I feel. Not just for my partner but for all people, family, friends, etc. I'm totally numb unable to feel anything for my girlfriend or anyone. Or any kind of other pleasure in life. In my case im pretty sure its the pills. But that's my personal experience.  

 

Starting antidepressants changed me, taapperg has affected me also. Both things have had an effect on my romantic experience. I'm almost a year into tappering Its been almost 2 years since I started tappering,  (I got it wrong. Sorry)and I still feel nothing. 

 

@PapayaShake Thank you for your time to reply and reading my story! This is where I get confused, as we lower the dosage why is it we feel emotionally blunted and cannot access our emotions, when logically speaking a higher dose should cause emotional blunting. Is there a reason as to why the emotional bluntness can be more profound when tapering, than when on a constant dosage? This applies for Neuro emotions, intrusive and obsessive thoughts.

 

Thank you! 

Share this post


Link to post
sadandconfused

Hi Mina,

 

I won't go into detail on here, but I'm going through something similar, and I can definitely tell you I think it's the drugs. It's been two years since I quit Lexapro cold turkey and since then I have not been the same person(I felt pretty normal while on the Lexapro and before the Lexapro). I know how frustrating it is to not know what thoughts are yours and what's not, but I really think it will all balance out over time. 

Message me if you want to talk and best of luck to you. ❤️ 

Share this post


Link to post
PapayaShake
9 hours ago, Mina said:

@PapayaShake Thank you for your time to reply and reading my story! This is where I get confused, as we lower the dosage why is it we feel emotionally blunted and cannot access our emotions, when logically speaking a higher dose should cause emotional blunting. Is there a reason as to why the emotional bluntness can be more profound when tapering, than when on a constant dosage? This applies for Neuro emotions, intrusive and obsessive thoughts.

 

Thank you! 

@Mina

 

Antidepressants work by filling your brain with chemicals. (Serotonin or norepinephrine depending on the kind you are taking) . Those chemicals cause the numbing and a myriad of other awful symptoms by altering your brain´s chemistry and neurotransmitter function. The brain gets used to the chemicals being fed to it and stops producing them on their own. Then when we stop the pill, the brains stops receiving those chemicals.

 

So now it is not getting the chemicals nor from the pills, nor from itself because it already learned would the chemicals arrive via antidepressant every day at the same time.

This translates in us not being able to feel, because the chemicals needed to process all things emotion are now: not present, unbalanced, and/or messed up.

 

The brain needs to heal, start producing its own chemicals and put all functions in order. This can take some time. (From moths to years)

Many people tend to assume that when they take the last dose, and the drug leaves their system, then they will be back to themselves. As if the residue of the drug in them was causing the numbness. But that is not the case.

 

The brain has being modified by the drug. The problem is not the drug anymore, but the effects it caused on the brain, and that needs to be healed by itself.

Taking more drugs won’t help.

 

I’m pretty sure the moderators have already guided you on which threads to read so you can help yourself. 

As I said I’m no expert, and this is my personal experience, I have decided to become drug free and let my brain heal naturally as pretty much everyone here is doing. Trying to correct the issue with more drugs usually makes things worse.

 

Withdrawal and tappering cause a lot of symptoms both mental and physical (and I would say spiritual) but as others have shared, even if it takes a long time there is healing.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Mina

@PapayaShake

 

In terms of filling your brain with chemicals, I'm quite sure that the aim of Anti-depressants is to allow serotonin to stay longer in your system, by kind of blocking the inhibitors that absorb the serotonin. I don't know if you were implying that? 

 

Thanks for the information kind of clears some uncertainty about why the tapering process itself can be very gruelling! So from what you have stated, the process of healing then requires to rewire the brain to produce Sertonin naturally? 

 

I want to take a technical approach to this problem, so I can apply logic when my emotions can be obscured due to the brain healing itself. I have read alot of stories on the forums here and they have been amazing, but I feel that there is something vital missing, which is what are people doing to naturally heal the brain, and not more of just tapering and coping with the withdrawal symptoms. (I'm not disregarding the pain and how much effort  it takes to go through this process) 

 

Thank you! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
PapayaShake

That is what is usually said in mainstream medicine, but the truth is that the effects of serotonin in the brain are much more complex than that. And there is a chance they don’t even work the way they say.

 

There is a debate whether the serotonin imbalance theory is real in the first place. I personally think that doctors have no clue of what they are doing, but each one of us here has had to walk different and very rough paths to painfully get conclusions.

 

As for me, I know I wasn’t me when I was on the pills. They caused me a lot of bad mental and physical symptoms I never had before them.

 

The healing does require rewiring, not only for the brain to produce serotonin naturally again, but also for it to get back to its normal heathy state. For example, some suggest that the increase in serotonin levels makes the brain full of serotonin thus suppressing other elements such as dopamine which is crucial in experiencing love and all sort of emotions related to it (attachment, proper sexual functioning, etc.) And not only dopamine is affected, all the brain is. My guess is that as long as the brain is filled with the drug, it won’t be able to function properly. 

 

I was getting apathetic and emotionless while on the pills, my personality changed, and that is why I decided to quit.

The pills itself have the ability to obscure one’s true personality and thoughts, so in my opinion whether on the pills or without them (during tapering and withdrawal) the ability to judge properly is affected.

 

I don’t know how badly you were depressed before the meds, at least for me, I think taking ADs is a price too high to pay, all the psychological and physical side effects don’t account for it.  Most of the time issues can be fixed through therapy, sadly as many of us have learned doctors prescribe pills as a way of quick fix never addressing the actual emotional problems

 

In the end, you are the only one who can decide which approach to take. I have suffered so much, with and without the pills(whitdrawal) , so with the best intention I can just say investigate as much as you can, research the effects of antidepressants, and evaluate everything the doctors say, don’t believe all they say.

 

I hope you the best

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×