First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
Emotional Atrophy
45489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
Do you think emotions can atrophy just like muscles? You see, when you don't use a muscle it slowly starts to degrade over time, a process called atrophy.

What if we apply them to emotions? If you don't use your emotions for long periods of time, or perhaps just repress them, would they atrophy as well? Would they too degrade?

I think it's plausible.
556 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
I think so. Those things called "happy" and "excited" and similar things have been getting progressively harder to feel the last several years. An emotion that you feel often comes naturally in situations; an emotion that usually gets buried just doesn't feel natural after a while. I'm not happy or excited often, so when a situation comes that would normally cause that range of emotions just feels weird to me.

Similar to muscles, as you compared it to. When I'm in the habit of working out, it's easier when I'm used to it. When I'm too busy to work out because of my job and other hobbies, it feels harder to work out and I can't do as much. It kinda makes sense that emotions can be conditioned or degrade depending how often they're used.
4251 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
Yep.. Definitely possible.
Posted 11/4/14
I've seen it happen.
59084 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
36 / M / Tacodome
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
I think it's possible, but in a different way. I could see something like that happening when you experience it too much/often. Getting a specific emotion too often inures you to it, so it feels less significant unless you feel more than before. I guess it'd be more like emotional burnout rather than atrophy
18917 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 11/4/14 , edited 11/4/14
You have made an interesting point, but I think it is important to note that there are significant differences between atrophy of muscles and the proposed atrophy of emotional capacity. A rather simple example would be someone who was recently introduced to the Japanese entertainment industry, got hooked on anime, manga, and related media outlets, and proceeded to become a hikikomori, or even a NEET. In all likelihood, watching anime and reading manga all day everyday would lead to atrophy of the muscles. If you don't use them, your muscles will weaken.

HOWEVER, anime typically evokes emotion from the viewer, and has the capacity to leave us crying/sobbing, laughing (sometimes hysterically until it hurts), screaming, throwing things, or something else. If there is one thing an otaku isn't going to lose, it is his or her emotions.

HOWEVER, isolation is a tool that could potentially result in the degradation of emotional capacity. Just look at the examples of kids who have been isolated from interactions with people from a young age. Genie (the wild child) is a perfect example. I think forcing a developed adult to a state of emotional incapacity would take a severe lack of stimulus, but it would be possible, given the right conditions. In short, the degradation of emotional capacity or the development of insensitively to emotions is possible, but not without seriously abnormal and completely horrendous and torturous conditions.

But then again, this has me wondering how similar a catastrophic case of post traumatic stress disorder would be to the degradation of emotions. It would be a shame to see, but could these results be expedited due to the tragedies of war or something similar? If you aren't prepared for unimaginable loss, I could see how some circumstances could result in a "rejection" of emotions.

Sorry for flipping this to the darker side of the topic. But you had to know it was coming Phersu.

It might be worth mentioning that what has been stated is mostly my opinion based on a relatively brief introduction into the field of psychology. My opinions are not supported by fact. Just somewhat logical reasoning. Probably.
11713 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
I don't think emotions degrade so much as you forgetting the novel memories, links, and triggers. People do experience less novel occurrences as they grow older though since they'll probably have seen them already through experience. It might appear as though your emotions wear on if you get a stress problem and convince your amygdala to be on an all-time low though.
7106 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Somewhere in rura...
Offline
Posted 11/4/14
My emotions atrophied a long time ago. It usually doesn't matter except that I rarely use emoticons, which scares people. They just hold no value for me. I smile day to day, but I learned to fake a smile. Anger, my eyes become cold and calculating. Sadness is expressed purely by an increase in sleeping. I don't cry.
18917 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 11/4/14 , edited 11/5/14
Scratch edit: Don't mind me.
Posted 11/5/14
no. as emotions are not made of cells.

a traumatic event can make a person lose some emotions, but i think if you're an emotional person, you can't ever become apathetic.
55109 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / West
Offline
Posted 11/5/14

Phersu wrote:

Do you think emotions can atrophy just like muscles? You see, when you don't use a muscle it slowly starts to degrade over time, a process called atrophy.

What if we apply them to emotions? If you don't use your emotions for long periods of time, or perhaps just repress them, would they atrophy as well? Would they too degrade?

I think it's plausible.


You keep making forum topics, and people won't stop having emotions...trust me.




What's is the difference in nuance between visceral (relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect) and emotional?

How do we decide when to use one over the other?



They are definitely in the same semantic wheelhouse. "Visceral" is related to the word "viscera" meaning the inner guts of your body. So it pertains to something that comes from your gut, your body, your physical inner parts.

Emotional, which physiologically relates to various hormones in your blood, refers to things that provoke a set of specifically emotional responses: anger, sadness, love, passion etc.

Perhaps it is best to think of it in a hierarchy, the degree to which reason plays a role in the action. Consider for example a decision being made by a person, perhaps a woman is trying to decide whether to marry a man.

At the top she might make a rational decision: are we compatible in interests, are our careers compatible, do we have the same goals.

At a second less rational, but still somewhat reasoned level, emotional, she might consider her feelings toward him -- does she have affection for him, does she love him, how does he make her feel?

At a third, even less rational level is her visceral level, is she intensely sexually attracted to him, does she just feel a passion in her gut for him. Not love, but purely from her body. It is her gut, her inner animal, her non rational, non emotional physical reaction.
25139 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Beyond The Wall
Offline
Posted 11/5/14 , edited 11/5/14
Definitely, I think im mostly emotionally dead 90% of my day Im sure once I have a girlfriend or have a child my emotions will kick back in
955 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / ᴀᴍɪᴅsᴛ ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ
Offline
Posted 11/5/14
I have feels but I don't feels it often.
26718 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Waterloo, Ontario
Offline
Posted 11/5/14
Yes, they are if your on Viagra your atrophy levels get loosened up.
10060 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
18 / M / Across the Narrow...
Offline
Posted 11/5/14
*Hops on the bandwagon.* Definitely.
First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.