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Lack of personal affect


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#1 Royal

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:54 AM

Anyone on this thing have experience first hand, witnessed or read about.

When I got out of this hospital after being mis-medicated in 2003. I started Risperdal, an anti-psychotic. I really suffered from lack of affect. People would ask me "Are you in there"? I progressed to Abylify and the lack of affect was less of an issue than the Risperdal. I was feeling blue one day and my Psych told me she would give me Zyprexa but only for a week because it had weight gain. It was the closest thing I ever experienced to a "magic pill". This was in 2012. Finally I felt better, felt possibilities. The measurement of being well, was no longer... I'm not suicidal. Rather it was full of possibilities and excitement, but not in a manic way.

It's 2014 and I'm still on the Zyprexa. I am doing well, no psychotic behavior or suicidal thoughts. I am very level and I really more creative and outward than I had been.

I still have the lack of affect. It's hard to show gratitude, laugh, or joy. I DO feel joy and gratitude and sense of humor. I just can't seem to show it. Christmas day I had to tell my family, "I really love my gifts and appreciate you giving them to me, I just can't show it."

It's a good quality that I am a genuine person. I don't give fake praise or laughter. I am a very loving person and have an incredible amount of friends who care about me. I don't know if I should start faking it.

#2 namaste

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:58 PM

What you are feeling is normal.  Zyprexa is a mood stabilizer and to do that it equalizes your serotonin and dopamine secretion and receptors.  You have a steady stream of those messengers instead of the surges and waning most people experience.  

 

I have been on other medications that took away the highs and lows and went off them for that very reason, but you seem to be getting so much benefit from Zyprexa.  Your problem seems to be other peoples reactions to your (lack of) reactions?  I can understand why that matters, but your health matters more.  I don't think "faking it" could be sustainable in the long run.  Maybe briefly like when receiving a gift, but in general you have to 'be yourself', medicated or not.  

 

You DO have a lot of love and friends who love and care about you.  If people know your situation they will accept your explanations and get over it.  If you are feeling "no psychotic behavior or suicidal thoughts. I am very level and I really more creative and outward than I had been."... then stay the course !  

 

Best of love and life to you !!

Namaste!  (literally) xoxo



#3 hippieskichick

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:50 PM

I understand this too well myself. Last winter I had a very difficult personal experience that I tried to work through on my own. I was going to therapy, learning meditation and yoga, etc etc, but it was such slow going that my work was really suffering, and I felt like I was watching life zip by as I stood dormant. I started taking low dose anti-depressants to help with everything, and it did. So many things factored in to my healing, and taking prozac was only a small part. 

 

The downside of taking something like that is that, as Namaste mentioned, it takes the lows and the highs away. There have been events and instances when I think I normally would be overjoyed, or out of my mind excited, or passionate, or whatever you want to call it, and the feeling I get is just 'happy'. Not that 'happy' is bad. But it's more of a content 'happy', not a joyous happy. Not all the time, but sometimes. It's frustrating to me, because I feel like I can see myself, from the inside, and how I would "normally" or previously react, and the end result ends up as just 'meh'. When I read your post, that's exactly what you described - meh. 

 

No, you shouldn't fake it. No, you shouldn't lie. But if someone gives you something or does something for you, say "thank you" and that's that. Saying thank you isn't faking it. Smiling isn't faking it (unless you're really in a crabby mood :lol: ) You don't have to be super enthusiastic or happy or joyful and noticed because of it. You can still be happy inside. Everyone acts and shows emotions differently. Unfortunately, if your way is something outside of someone else's "norm" they may not recognize that right away. That's where words come in to play. That's where the simple "thank you" is fitting. 



#4 Royal

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:38 PM

Namaste and Ski,

 

Thanks for sharing.  The above contains great widsom and insight. :heart:



#5 In A Silent Way

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:58 PM

With the more understanding folks in your life, you might be able to say something like "I have a mood disorder and I'm heavily medicated. My lack of emotion does not reflect how I feel about you."



#6 Royal

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:06 PM

Yeah sometimes I forget that I'm heavily medicated, I take the pills but  don't always think about them as a whole.

 

I do pretty good in that I can volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association and handle festivals.



#7 TEO

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:52 AM

You are showing appreciation and gratitude with your words.  :heart:



#8 Karen

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:18 AM

I really don't think you need/should fake it.  My personal experience with you has been that your feelings come through with no problem.    I have always felt emotions from you!  


Love you Ryan <3



#9 Royal

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 10:29 PM

yeah I need less personal affect now.  Now featuring...

 

annoyed

bored

angry

tired

sad

happy

appreciative

 

Just call me The Jolly Green Giant Dwarf



#10 Jersey Thug

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:35 AM

i love you, Ryan. i'm just seeing this now, but i do know what it feels like to have all your emotions, reactions and actions blunted by medication. 

 

when i was first diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, i was 23 years old and it freaked me out so much, all those seizures and no understanding of them, that i was making it far worse for myself and it was risking my health. my neurologist recommended a course of treatment that included depakote, a strong anticonvulsant that is also used in the treatment of other conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  

 

and i lost 6 months of my life to that drug.  i never did learn how to live on it.  it just wasn't the right fit.  and eventually, i learned how to chill myself out and relax into my new condition.  after that i didn't need the medication to control my seizures.  i've been off medication for nearly 20 years now and it seems like every year that passes, i have less seizures.  or maybe epilepsy just doesn't hold any power over me any more.  not right now, at least.  i hope not ever.  

 

either way, i do know how that feels.  i'm super-expressive and wear my heart on my sleeve always; it's practically my defining characteristic.  to not have access to that part of myself for so long was a strange and confusing experience.  for me and everyone around me, i guess.

 

but the people who loved me always got me.   :)



#11 Royal

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:24 AM

Hi Thugger Muffin,

 

Thanks for sharing your story. It's easy for anyone, often me especially, to feel like  my suffering is an isolated occurrence to me alone. I have a new doctor who is looking at how meds, are working with and against either. He sees for the first time I've seen, a plan to achieve maximum health by reducing meds.  It had always  been piling them on.

 

We eliminated Side-efexxor

We added Prozac

We cut lithium by 1/3rd

cur Amantendine by 1/3rd and my shakes are actually less. The intern at the Dr's office was surprised I was on Amantedenine because I wasn't shaking,

 

Plans for the next 6 months or include eliminating Lithium and Amandtendine altoghter

 

Right now with the efexxor gone and lithium and amantendine which equals.. NO DINNER TIME PILLS!!!!!

 

I think people get confused when they know me a little from the  board. I am very witty. Then I have trouble smiling or laughing.

 

I try to get my my point across by my words, and actions to show I appreciate my boardies and love my friend.

 

Thugger,

 

You have always been such a positive presence in my life.  You have the spirit of what my life would be like if I had a sister. <3



#12 Jersey Thug

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 10:19 PM

d'awww...i am just seeing this now.  thank you!  and you have always always been SUCH a positive in my life, Ryan.  i would be truly blessed to have you as a sibling, and definitely find it easier to communicate who i am, what makes me tick and what my struggles are to you than ANY of my 6 siblings.  thank you for being the brother the universe saw fit to bring to me later in life :heart: :)  i love your big heart, and while i know that feeling of isolation and nobody-else-knows-how-this-feels-ness, i am very very happy we both know better.  if you ever need a reminder, i will try to be that person who offers it.  if not, read these words and know you are never ever alone, please.    

 

and Effexor sucks :lol:  so i'm glad you're off that now.  i also did a few months on that (the only other medication i've taken for any length of time) and it had a lot of the same side effects for me as depakote.  i just didn't feel like ME - more like a watered-down and disinterested version of me.  it did jump-start me at a time when i really needed it though.  just wish the positives weren't balanced by so many negatives.  

 

i am SO PROUD of you for being so brave. i know it hasn't been easy for you and you've been amazing through it all.  staying open, communicating your feelings amidst the huge changes and swings and just plain old not giving up.  i am so totally hugging you right now!  :goudgrijp_4_16:



#13 Ginger Snap

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 04:55 PM

 

 

I try to get my my point across by my words, and actions to show I appreciate my boardies and love my friend.

 

Thugger,

 

You have always been such a positive presence in my life.  You have the spirit of what my life would be like if I had a sister. <3

 

You're dear Royal. You are very perceptive about people and tell them positive things you notice and that is really meaningful to them. It is to me anyway. :heart: 



#14 sarah b.

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 04:26 AM

I hear you, Ryan. The leash I keep my brain on dulls a lot, but I know it's safer for me to rein me in, most of the time.

#15 Royal

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 02:58 AM

I hear you, Ryan. The leash I keep my brain on dulls a lot, but I know it's safer for me to rein me in, most of the time.

 

 

Yeah meds made it possible to see the shows, go to the fests, volunteer, be in a relationship, etc.  I am working on some major changes in the upcoming months/year



#16 Royal

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 03:01 AM

i am SO PROUD of you for being so brave. i know it hasn't been easy for you and you've been amazing through it all.  staying open, communicating your feelings amidst the huge changes and swings and just plain old not giving up.  i am so totally hugging you right now!  :goudgrijp_4_16:

 

 

Thank you so much, can't wait to see you in New Haven.