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Why can't I feel things?


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Hi, I'm Nathan. Before I start, I reccomend you reading my previous posts to gain an understanding. I have anxiety and OCD. Recently, I've worried about being a pedophile, serial killer and psychopath. I've worried about all kinds of things. I thought I was a psychopath because I get urges to squeeze my cats and I struggle to feel things. For instance, my father was crying earlier, and I just couldn't feel sorrow or hurt. I've also stolen before without feeling remourse. And I keep doing it. If I see change lying around the house or cash I take it without regret. When I think about it I say to myself "this is the last time I'll do it." But I continue. I can't stop thinking about being a psyho. I'm worrying about hurting children. I don't really like kids. When hearing about child abusers I say that's wrong, but I can't see why. I mean, I know that it's wrong to abuse a child, but it doesn't make me feel sick or upset. Also, when the eartquake happened in Haiti I failed to feel sorrow or sadness. I don't know why? I wan't to! I also feel jealous quite a lot, like I don't want people to do well, why? Please, I need help.

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Hi Nathan,

I don't remember if we had talked about treatment in any detail, but I was wondering if you could get to your family physician to see if they will prescribe an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Some SSRI's are extremely effective for OCD and anxiety disorders. Specifically, Celexa, Luvox, and Paxil. Anafranil (Clomipramine) has also been very effective because it combines the SSRI effect with a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor effect. But Anafranil also has more side-effect issues. There is also evidence that OCD responds fairly well to Effexor XR. At doses of 150 to 225mg Effexor has the benefits of Anafranil without all the extra side-effects.

I've seen patients who have benefited from all of the above but there’s no way to predict who will do best on what. It’s always important to also do the cognitive behavior techniques, such as those described in the book Brain Lock (available at Amazon.com or half.com used). I prefer that people listen to the tape because the author not only tells you what to do he shows you how to talk to yourself. A lot of patients don’t get an adequate response to an SSRI or Effexor XR even after 12 or more weeks and even doing the Brainlock techniques. Often adding Clonazepam (also available as Klonopin wafers-quicker acting sublingual) or Abilify usually low dose of 2.5mg (or other atypicals) can help get symptoms under control. Sometimes stimulants help because they increase your control of what you focus on.

The bottom line is you keep making adjustments until you find what works. In the rare instance that nothing works adequately you won’t have to wait long. There’s always something new coming down the pike.

I'm not sure which ones now have generics, but that would cost very little money and most family physicians can prescribe these comfortably. My thinking is that once this is managed, we can look at the other issues more carefully.

Good luck and let me know how it goes,


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Good morning Nathan,

You'll need to see your family doc or even go to a community mental health center and see their psychiatrist (may be a long wait) who will in turn prescribe the meds. While you're there, ask for samples, sometimes you can get a month's worth, which will give you an idea of how they might work.

The SSRI's slow down a small vacuum in the connections between nerve cells (called the reuptake pump) that sucks in released serotonin so that it remains longer in the synaptic cleft or space between cells, thereby causing the next cell to fire. This is believed to be where depression comes from for many. But serotonin is also implicated in anxiety, OCD, obesity, and other conditions.

Look it up on Wikipedia or http://www.angelfire.com/hi/TheSeer/seratonin.html or anywhere else on the web. There should be thousands of articles on it.

Good luck,


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Hello Nathan,

I would like to ask you who diagnosed you with OCD?

Please let us know if you went to the doctor and if you started any kind of medication. It would be interesting to see if your compulsion to think would decrease and perhaps leave you with some space to reflect on the causes and themes of your thoughts.

Your words about the tragedy in Haiti reminded me of the11/09 in the USA. I woke up to go to work and went to a café for breakfast. I was listening to the news and also didn’t feel anything. It was the desperate voice of the reporter that brought me to realize the magnitude of that event and to a deep sorrow over my own reality. I felt ashamed for years, but later understood that my not known and not felt feelings of anger, rage, disappointment, solitude, made feel as if I was apart of the world and not a part of it.

Well, keep us informed.


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