“You bring about a break, however small between the individual and either his external reality or his humanity, by which I mean his tendency to react “humanly” to external circumstance. Either you have reduced his awareness of what is going on around him or you have reduced his capacity to care about it in the ways that human beings have historically cared as far back as myths and legends take us.” ~Schwartz, Drug Therapy May Harm Society 1.
General Effects On All Emotions
“Most participants described a general reduction in the intensity of all the emotions that they experienced, so that all their emotions felt flattened or evened out, and their emotional responses to all events were toned down in some way. Very common descriptions of this phenomenon included feelings of emotions being ‘dulled’, ‘numbed’, ‘ flattened’ or completely ‘blocked’, as well as descriptions of feeling ‘blank’ and ‘ flat’. A few participants described a more extreme phenomenon, in which they did not experience any emotions at all. Others felt that they often experienced their emotions as thoughts rather than as feelings, as if their emotional experience had become more ‘ cognitive’ or ‘intellectual’. Some participants were able rationally to recognize situations in which they should feel a certain way, and yet the actual emotional response was not there or was altered in some way. Alternatively, some participants could still respond to emotional situations in an appropriate way, but without what they felt was real feeling.”
My notes (in blue): I would rather experience severe emotional pain than become like a cold robot.
“Many participants described improved control over their emotions, so that what they considered to be excessive emotional reactions were reduced and more appropriate. This meant that they could more readily deal with or let go of certain emotions, and some participants described improved control over fear. Some participants described a difficulty in understanding or being in tune with what they were feeling, as if their own emotions were less clear to them. A few participants described that at times those emotions that were present seemed ‘unreal’, ‘fake’ or ‘ artificial’.”
People who suppress emotions with drugs will one day find themselves attacking their own self with suicide, or others, with unchecked emotions and rage that can severely harm another person. Psychotropic drugs merely suppress the pain, it can never, ever heal it.
Reduction of Positive Emotions
“Almost all participants described a reduction in their positive emotions, which they attributed to their SSRI antidepressant. This reduction was manifest as both reduced intensity and reduced frequency of these emotions. Participants reported reduction in a wide range of positive emotions, including happiness, enjoyment, excitement, anticipation, passion, love, affection and enthusiasm.
Most participants reported that the intensity of positive emotions was ‘ dampened down’ or ‘toned down’, such that participants did not experience the same emotional ‘ lift’ or ‘high’. Many participants reported that they experienced positive emotions less often, and a few participants described that they were almost absent. Many participants described reduced enjoyment of, for example, social situations, hobbies or interests, beauty and nature, and music and other emotional media. Some participants reported that excitement and anticipation were reduced. They had, for example, lost the rush of excitement as an event approached, or no longer looked forward to things in the same way. Some participants felt reduced love or affection towards others and, in particular, reduced attraction towards their partner or reduced feelings of love or pride towards their family. Some participants described reduced passion, zest and enthusiasm for life and its components.”
Reduction of Negative Emotions
All participants experienced a reduction of intensity or frequency of negative emotions, which they attributed to their SSRI antidepressant. Most participants considered that at some stage the reduction in negative emotions was beneficial to them, bringing relief from distressing negative emotions, and allowing normal daily life to resume. Some participants reported that negative emotions had been removed almost entirely. The negative emotions commonly described as reduced included sadness; emotional pain or distress; anger, irritability or aggression; and anxiety, worry or fear. Other negative emotions such as fear and surprise, embarrassment, guilt and shame, and disappointment were also mentioned to a degree. Although a reduction in these negative emotions was usually at some stage a benefit or relief, for many participants it had became an unwanted side-effect, impairing their quality of life. Participants described the need to be able to feel negative emotions when appropriate, such as grief or concern. Some were unable to respond with negative emotions, such as being unable to cry when this would have been appropriate or respond appropriately to bad news.
Most participants described feeling emotionally detached or disconnected, and attributed this to their SSRI antidepressant. Some participants described being detached from their surroundings, and described feelings of being ‘ in limbo’, of ‘unreality’ or ‘ disconnection’ and of feeling as though they were a ‘ spectator’ rather than a participant. Some participants described functioning like a ‘zombie’ or ‘ robot’, with reduced or absent emotional responses. Some participants described feeling detached from their own emotions and instincts. Most participants described that this emotional detachment extended to a detachment from other people. Specifically, they felt reduced sympathy and empathy, and felt detached during social interactions. In particular, many participants described an emotional detachment from their friends and family, including their partner or children. Participants’ attitudes towards emotional detachment from other people were mixed. Although this was often seen as an undesirable side-effect of antidepressants, it was also sometimes seen as beneficial, by allowing disengagement from others’ problems, others’ negative emotions and highly charged situations that would otherwise be upsetting.
Just Not Caring
Almost all participants described not caring about things that used to matter to them and attributed this change to their SSRI antidepressant. They cared less about themselves, about other people and about the consequences of their actions. Not caring could have both helpful and unhelpful consequences, reducing the sense of pressure and stress that some participants felt in their daily lives, yet increasing the likelihood that important tasks were neglected.
What is beneficial about not caring? These drugs essentially enhance the ego-self…“It’s more important that I feel good than it is for me to care about the well-being and safety of others”
“Many participants described a general feeling of indifference to things in life that used to matter to them. Many participants described feeling apathetic and unmotivated, despite their illness having improved and attributed this apathy to their antidepressant. Some participants felt that their sensible, safety-conscious, side had diminished and they just did not care as much about the consequences to themselves of their behavior. As a result, they might behave in a less careful, considered way. A few participants went further, mentioning thoughts of self-harm or suicide that they related, at least in part, to feelings of emotional detachment and emotional numbness. One participant had started to self-harm in an effort to feel emotion. Many participants reported not caring as much about others, such as during social interaction, by being less sensitive or courteous towards other people. In addition, many described reduced concern for others’ feelings, and reduced concern about other peoples’ opinions of them. Some participants described being less concerned or even unable to care about responsibilities in their everyday lives, such as at home, in their finances or at work, and might include, for example, a lack of urgency or need to complete tasks.
Some participants felt their personality had changed in some way, or been lost, leaving them ‘like a shell’. In some ways, they were not the person that they used to be. Participants reported that specific aspects of their personality, and, in particular, emotional aspects, had been changed or lost, such that they were a different person. These changes were attributed by participants to their SSRI antidepressant. Some participants believed that at times their antidepressant had made them behave quite out of character.
One participant believed that the medication had changed their personality permanently, having a lasting effect beyond finishing their medication.
Unhelpful effects. Some participants were concerned that blunting of their emotions and, thereby, of their day-to-day concerns, might mask or hide problems. Concerns were expressed that this might prevent them resolving their own emotional issues, prevent them engaging with other problems or issues requiring their attention, and ‘cover up’ who they really were.
Of course it does!
‘Just not caring’ had an unhelpful effect on everyday responsibilities, resulting in financial problems, and problems at work or college. Emotional detachment from family and reduced emotional responsiveness had an unhelpful impact on family life, and on perceived quality of parenting. Reduced inspiration, imagination, motivation and passion for and enjoyment of creative activities had adversely affected some participants’ creativity.
In some participants, emotional side-effects had led to reduced sociability. Emotional flattening, emotional detachment from other people, and reduced concern for other people’s needs and feelings had unhelpful effects on relationships within families, with a significant other and at work. A few participants suggested that the emotional detachment and reduced anxiety arising from taking antidepressants was of concern when trying to make important life decisions, especially those with an emotional component.”
We are living in a volatile, frightening, dangerous world, full of selfishness. We are also living in a world where many people are searching for God, the meaning of life, personal peace, security, and joy. But they are given nothing but bad information from the powers that control the media, films, TV shows, news, education, and given dangerous information from medical and psychological authority figures. There is no real spirituality being taught, and no true healing being offered. Thus, many people are choosing drugs, alcohol, and anti-depressants to check out of reality because they cannot find inner peace.
Couple this with the countless people walking around with unhealed trauma, abuse, abandonment, and betrayal from childhood. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of these people will go on anti-depressants, lose empathy and love for their children and then harm them physically, mentally, or sexually.
Contact me if you want to be liberated from anti-depressants, or to avoid them. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Schwartz, R. 1995. Drug therapy may harm society. In Mental illness: Opposing Viewpoints, ed. W. Barbour. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press: 127-135, 129.
Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: qualitative study bjp.rcpsych.org