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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Emotional detachment - September 25th 2015, 01:19 PM

If something very stressful happens I tend to emotionally detach myself from it all. It must be some kind of coping mechanism I have. My father was visiting my uncle in hospital a few days ago (he's an alcoholic and is basically killing himself with the drink) and had an angina attack, fainted and then had a seizure in hospital. Luckily he happened to be IN the hospital while it happened.

The past couple of days have been odd. I just emotionally detach myself from things. It has just felt like I've been going with the motions. I have been slightly depersonalised.

I was the same in my grandmother's funeral.

My dad is home now by the way. They gave him loads of tests, realised he had low blood pressure so they've giving him some new meds. He's fine in himself but can't drive for a month because of the seizure.

I still don't feel completely "with it"

I just don't know what to do when I get like this. People must think I'm really cold and heartless :/ I didn't cry at all in my nan's funeral.


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Re: Emotional detachment - September 28th 2015, 09:01 PM

Hey there,

Glad to hear your dad is ok. It sounds like this has been a stressful time for you. I get like that too, especially during times of great stress. I think it's the brain's way of trying to protect you from being overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, this feeling can linger a bit. I find it helpful to not focus on the feeling and instead, try to fully engage with your surroundings, activities and any conversations going on. It takes some effort to remain focussed, instead of drifting off, but after a while, you'll feel more yourself.

It can be helpful to do some 'grounding' exercises to keep you 'grounded' in the present. These exercises make use of your senses by making you aware of your experience in the present moment. Perhaps look around you and list a few things that you can see, hear, smell and touch. Touch, in particular, can be grounding such as running your hands under cold water. I also find it helpful to distract myself and play video games and the feeling seems to disappear when playing games as I'm fully engaged with them.

People wont think you are cold and heartless. It's actually quite a common feeling during stressful times, I'm sure people will understand. Sorry to hear about your nan, but that's also natural. I didn't cry a lot at my dad's funeral. Everyone is different and everyone experiences grief in their own way, but whatever you feel is normal for you.

Is it possible to talk to a counsellor about how you have been feeling? They might be able to help you overcome this detachment feeling.

Take care


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Re: Emotional detachment - October 7th 2015, 01:24 AM

I do this as well. I have blocked out a majority of my childhood as a coping mechanism I think.
It is difficult because people think you do not care but remind yourself taht you do care and that you can show that care in other ways.
Maybe you can write cards to your dad and uncle letting them know that you care and are thinking of them.
You could make your dad a simple meal for lunch or dinner that you know he would enjoy or you could make him a nice desert. Just to say "Hey dad, I care and I do not always express that emotionally but I do."
I'm not sure if that is much help but I thought I would try my best.
   
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Re: Emotional detachment - October 7th 2015, 05:03 PM

My father is worse than me expressing emotions to be honest :/ My nan once said "I've given birth to a robot" LOL.

I feel a bit better now though.

Thanks both <3


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