Help me identify this condition?
April 18, 2010 3:23 PM Subscribe
Dissociation? Borderline? Detachment? Sociopathy? Anhedonia? Depersonalization Disorder? What would you call this? Also, related therapy question.
posted by Ndwright to Human Relations (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
L, for all appearances from the outside looks and acts normally. L laughs delightfully at a witty comment, seems worried about his parents getting older, goes on dates with girls, things like that.
However, L has a very peculiar lack of awareness of his emotional state. He hears the witty comment and laughs at it, but never at any point registers a sensation of delight, concluding by his reaction that he enjoyed it. He feels his stomach upset and his face turn at thoughts of his parents' mortality, and thus knows he's sad. He meets with said date and feels a bodily tingle and has sexual thoughts, but never feels anything like connection.
To put it another way, it's not that L doesn't have emotions or an emotional process, quite the contrary, he seems fairly normal to an outside observer. The issue is that he has virtually no experience of his emotional process. This lack of being able to experience his feelings aside from the physical sensations and thoughts they cause makes it very difficult to plan for the future or maintain relationships.
L had always assumed this was a symptom of depression because both began concurrently about three years ago (L's in his mid-20's). I think it might be the other way around, the lack of awareness might be causing the depression; It interferes greatly with his motivation, which then leads to him not doing anything or looking forward to anything, which then leads to depression (And he's only aware of it when he feels it bodily and mentally as fatigue, a lack of talkativeness, darker than usual thoughts, etc.).
What would you call this? We're trying to find a therapist and it would help if we had some shorthand way of describing this. Also, if you could help us narrow the field as to what kind of therapist to look for (social worker/psychologist/counselor/psychiatrist, there are so many!) that would be great.