Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure. But really, I can't feel anything emotional.
It started when I was in junior high. I remember asking people, "Do you ever feel like you're in a movie, just watching your life?" And everybody would answer, "Yeah!" "Oh, you can't feel emotions?" "Oh. Uh..."
I thought it was just part of growing up, being mature. After all, didn't adults seem a lot less emotional than kids? So it took me years to get it checked out. Ten years or so.
It's actually a symptom of depression. It was very frustrating, at first, because no one explained to me that depression didn't necessarily have to involve sadness. "I don't have depression! I'm not sad! I can't feel anything!" I had to go through three pdocs before one of them knew what I was talking about.
I did feel emotions, once. Deeply, intensely, as a kid. I had such a horrible childhood, I sometimes wonder if I somehow managed to burn out my emotions from overuse.
People are freaked out when I tell them, thinking I must be some sort of serial killer. (What? Why would I want to kill anyone?! I still have a conscience!) So I keep it a secret, except for my closest friend. And my psychiatrist.
When I do tell people online, they say, "I wish I didn't have emotions!" And then they think about it and add, "Well... the negative ones."
Exactly. The one thing that drives every human is to be happy. What's the use of life if you can't feel happy? Life is just waiting to die. Getting work done in the meantime.
I want to write stories. I want to draw. These were things I used to enjoy, but now... all of the inspiration and motivation has disappeared from them.
I'm not depressed anymore. I can't stress that enough. I haven't had a suicidal thought in... months? Years? I feel better. I get work done. There's just this one symptom that hasn't gone away.
I smile. I laugh. It's odd for people to understand. These are social habits. Camouflage. I need to smile and laugh to fit in. People would avoid me if I didn't.
Maybe there's something I can share with the world, living in this condition. I don't know what it is. Living solely with logic -- admittedly, flawed human logic -- isn't as enlightening as one would think. I've learned some things about the nature of emotion. But basically, the most important thing I've learned is that we need it to live.
I desperately want to get my emotions back. I'm on meds to try to fix it. Occasionally, it works. I'll feel ambient emotion for maybe a minute. Once every few months. (That's another thing I don't think people will understand -- you feel emotion every minute of your life, whether there's something "emotional" happening or not. You walk in your house, you feel emotion about opening the door.)
I wish I could meet others who have overcome this condition, see what they did, and do it myself. My art and writing need it.