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Numb or Regulated

Thread starter #1
As I understand it, feeling numb/blank/absent of emotions is one subset of symptoms with PTSD.

Many of us know numb well, but it might be difficult to define what it looks/feels like exactly when you’re in it. In a sense it feels good, because there’s an absence of pain or turmoil that also comes with ptsd.

Being regulated is something we all strive for, but what if you have trouble differentiating between numb and regulated?

This thread might end with zero replies cuz it’s just something unique to me, or maybe not. Maybe it could be useful to others too.

In summary, I’m wondering:
- what things let you know you’re numb
- what things let you know you’re regulated

If you can only pin down one side, that’s ok too.
Thanks.
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
#2
Hey @Warrior Chicken
So I only just started to get this in the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been actually reading and trying to work out what the hell is going on with this condition rather than just trying to survive it ;)
My nan died a couple of weeks ago and I know I’m numb because I literally have no feelings about it. Regulation would mean some emotional response of any kind, but I have known this person for my whole life and it’s not affecting me at all. I am a zombie (wish there were a smiley thing for that!).

So I suppose in answer to your question the thing that lets me know I’m numb is not having what society would see as a normal response. Plus people here pointing it out to me ;) and letting me know it’s a normal part of PTSD which I hadn’t clicked before.

From all my reading I am beginning to think I have no idea (and never have had) what regulation is or feels like :roflmao:
 
#5
Thank you for asking this question because it’s something I have often wondered. I know when I feel bad, so what is feeling good like? Feeling nothing, like I’m just switched off on the inside and going through the motions of life, is the best I’ve had in years. It’s a relief to feel numb but I sometimes wonder if that’s how other people feel all the time? If I could hold on the the feeling of numbness I would settle for it to tell the truth!
 
#6
Figured thinking on it numb vs reg would be better distinguished not by what it does but what it is...

As numb = Emotions, thoughts & behavior activity are blunted, lessened or inaccessible.

Regulated = Thoughts / Emotions / Behaviors are both accessible and in check at will.

And emotions off zone vs numb would be emoting as a whole not present and not accessible even when tried to or very prompted.

(Or: Numb? Some *part* of emoting not there, for some time.

Off emotions? The *whole* thing not there, for a time.

Proportions off & depth of loss issue more than the amount of time it's for. Although IME numb is way more sustainable, for decades, than emotion off. Entirelly dropping emotions whacks attachment to life, not even starting on people, and basic morality pretty bad. Just numb doesn't f*ck with moral compass that same.)

As in walls metaphor...
Numb is when it's all distant or behind a wall.

Off is when you break a wall and find a gaping crater of nothing.

Depressed-numb is when you're not at a wall yet but not reaching to reality clear either.

And I prolly need better words as wordsing about this is hard as f*ck. :hilarious:
 
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#7
ETA

It's the distinction that religious people use to make between broken heart / broken soul / lost soul.

Broken heart is your usual loss reactive depressive wreckage. Something happens and shatters you with grief and anger and numb and cannot feel and lost at sea and what not.

But aside of functioning ain't that much of a problem to set straight.

Because you are still you.
And you are still there.
All pieces of you.
Just in a mess, but nothing twisted and nothing missing.

Broken soul is the numb-numb equivalent. Something missing and you go through life kinda zombie, no light no joys.

But it's still doable because there is still YOU. Intact. Just not your spark... your spark needs reignite.

Lost soul is bad juju.
Emotions off wording equivalent.
Because you can go through life normal - hell even have wicked fun at it - but the what made you *you* f*cked off to somewhere.

The kind of thing that makes people that were closest to you distance f*cking fast & hide their kids from you because can't put the finger on it but the vibe is off, and they wonder what happened to the guy they used to know.

Because you look you.
May with efforts even act you.
But ain't the same, not even close.

The kind of thing where, if behavioral excesses to compensate for it, are actually the *least* of people's problems. Shows the crack but ain't the crack.

So partying, f*cking with people, suicidal actions one over another, wild sibstance use, all just a symptom. Not the core problem. Treating it as those a problem and the change a symptom doesn't help as it has cause & effect backwards.

And what people have as 'went darkside / evil' (different things) are what happens if people f*ck regulating of others-effecting choices from any of these spaces.

Way more stable with just numb. Bc numb is a solid if unpleasant space. Broken hearts lead to actions outta despair way easily. And off feelz gets you not giving f*cks for consequences cause thought wise they may be real but the underlying care for that reality is outta the picture.

Keeping the care when all f*cks flew? Very difficult. And draining. Not immediately, as emotions off gives ya a lot of room usually occupied *by* emotions.

But when that switch flips back on.
 
#8
As I understand it, feeling numb/blank/absent of emotions is one subset of symptoms with PTSD.

Many of us know numb well, but it might be difficult to define what it looks/feels like exactly when you’re in it. In a sense it feels good, because there’s an absence of pain or turmoil that also comes with ptsd.

Being regulated is something we all strive for, but what if you have trouble differentiating between numb and regulated?

This thread might end with zero replies cuz it’s just something unique to me, or maybe not. Maybe it could be useful to others too.

In summary, I’m wondering:
- what things let you know you’re numb
- what things let you know you’re regulated

If you can only pin down one side, that’s ok too.
Thanks.
Interesting concept. If the regulation is fair, just, kind then I can stay. When I am numb I feel nothing.

Oh and I can remember regulation but I don't remember when I am numb.
 
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#9
what things let you know you’re numb
I can sometimes see it because I feel better when I'm numb. I've even thought about quitting therapy because I don't need it :laugh: But then something big will happen (like moms death) and it will kind of dawn on me that I don't feel anything. Or I'll watch someone else's reaction to something and realizing it's way different than mine. If I start wondering if I'm a monster because I don't care then I know I'm numb.

My biggest challenge with being numb is that I like it. It's my comfort zone and I'm still (ugh still!) not always understanding that it is a problem.

what things let you know you’re regulated
feeling negative emotions - sad, mad, depressed, etc.
Which sucks.
because those are the ones I want to avoid.

Sorry - not sure if that was terribly helpful! :laugh:
 
Thread starter #10
Regulated = Thoughts / Emotions / Behaviors are both accessible and in check at will.
Accessible and in check at will....that’s where in lies part of the problem perhaps. If emotional intelligence is not well developed, then regulation will be difficult to identify when it arrives.
As for thoughts, if typically thoughts are fluid, or constant, or noisy....then the absence of that is numb or ‘off’ - dysregulated.

As in walls metaphor...
Numb is when it's all distant or behind a wall.

Off is when you break a wall and find a gaping crater of nothing.
Awesome imagery!
I agree that there are variations of all of this, do you think if numb for too long it transforms to off?


can sometimes see it because I feel better when I'm numb. I've even thought about quitting therapy because I don't need it
So how will you know for sure when you don’t need therapy anymore if numb feels better?
If regulated is feeling emotions (negative, positive, however you define them) and it sucks, then not being regulated will always feel better?

Ahhhh....acceptance of emotions no matter how sucky they are will bring an end to therapy. Maybe?
Oh chicken gets confused so easily with this stuff....emotions, lack of. But it’s not just emotions, like Ronin said - thoughts and behaviour build into regulation as well.
Numb is not just on the emotional scale either....
 
#11
Ahhhh....acceptance of emotions no matter how sucky they are will bring an end to therapy. Maybe?
Yep. Numb feels better but it doesn't make life better. Only accepting emotions will do that - because it makes you a more fully human person. Plus accepting emotions helps physically because we spend so much time using our body to block them it has an affect on our health. Once we let that go then the stress on the body goes down.

Or so my T says. I'm not totally sure I believe her. :laugh:
 
#12
IME regulation is more about how steady & secure in yourself & the world one is... than what is baseline :sneaky:

As in one can be mind blank as hell, or racing thoughts, and still be pretty regulated... it's more what you function best at / in, and who & what the situ around you, than some static standards.

Or, I think regulation is more about responses fitting & assisting situations, than what they *are*.

Yelling as running? Civ lair, total f*ckup, hi, shrink tour mandatory.

The same loud roar in fighting? Totally necessary communication to own, and coping with f*ckup stress. And a good f*ck you to everybody else, fine served with bullets or without

(Ok I triggered myself & blanked the rest of that shit. Later, lol)

And yah. Too long numb can be transforming, gradual and sneaky like that.

Much like other loss of function parallel. Muscles not used long atrophize. Emotional intelligence & processing is very much the same. Same bodies, same principles.

I know there was more Qs about this & certainly is schtuff I wanna discuss more too, right now just words kaput.

So will come back to ;)
 
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