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Emotionally Detached
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Emotionally Detached

I couldn't find a proper forum to post this, so it goes here.
About a week ago, I woke up and felt detached.  I am a 29 yr old male, father, husband, college student in my last year of my Microbiology bachelor's, and work as a mental health counselor.  I have never felt like this, ever.  I feel good, happy, just detached.  I used to be a medic for about 7 years before I stared college... I don't recall ever being abused... I do get about 4-6 hours of sleep per night with homework, school, work, babysitting etc... but I've never had a problem with lack of sleep before.  I sleep well when I do (so hopefully by me saying that it doesn't lead you to focus on just that).

There seems to be a physical side effect as well, I really don't care for marital relations at this point.  It literally doesn't feel the same... it works, I just don't care about it now, and it doesn't feel like the best thing in the world like it once did.  The well known male urge is gone.

I'm at a loss.  Were I to assess myself, I would refer me to a physician, because most of the people I see that are emotionally detached have many other issues, and this is my only one.  I work out, I'm never late for work, I have high grades, I feel happy, I'm not a manipulator, I don't have ocd, I'm not borderline... I am a fully functioning, contributing, stable member of society.

I just feel like I woke up an absurdist or nihlist.  Any thoughts?
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There could be a lot of reasons why you are experiencing emotional detachment.  Based on the information you have provided, it really sounds like you are overloaded.  Every individual handles work and stress differently.  Your response to working, finishing school, being a husband, and a father, a student, and an employee could suddenly change.  If you review Seyle’s theory of stress and examine all the theories about stress, even a happy event can cause overload.

So, what do you know so far?
1) Sleeping 4-6 hours is not usually optimal for rest, especially when it encroaches on 4 hours.
2) I don’t know the age of your child, or children.  However, as a father, there are a lot of demands, which can be taxing.  Each age has its unique set of challenges.
3) Working in the mental health field can be draining, especially if you are experiencing additional challenges in your life.
4) Completing the final year of school can trigger thoughts about the future.  What will you do career-wise when you complete your Bachelor’s?  Are you still as invested in your education as you were when you started?  Usually, it is recommended to proceed to graduate school if you want to practice in the field of Microbiology.  So that could mean 2-4 more years of what you are experiencing?  
5) Yes, being in a committed relationship usually enhances health, however something has changed, based on your self-assessment.  Did anything shift in this relationship?  Was there a specific event or situation that planted root and now you are feeling the effects?
6) Stress can creep up insidiously and over time overtax your regular, effective coping mechanisms.
7) There are many things that could explain this recent development.

Recommendations:

1) Make an appointment with your physician to rule out anything diagnostic, or neurological.
2) Seek a face-to-face counselor or therapist to provide you with some additional support to help you identify how to manage your stressors, once you have ruled out any medical conditions.

Questions to answer:
1) What is your level of motivation for continuing your life as it exists currently?
2) What is working well?
3) What is not working so well?
4) What needs to work differently?
5) What is your level of energy?  


It’s not about managing your schedule and all the balls that you are juggling.  It’s about managing your level of energy.  If you are motivated, life is much easier.  When you are detached, that level of motivation has diminished.  Was there a specific situation or thought pattern that triggered this decrease in motivation that you are now experiencing?  

This could be a complex issue or it could be very simple.  Your body could just be responding to the ever-increasing demands you have added to your schedule.  Only time will provide the answers.  I urge you to seek professional assistance to help you identify the root cause so you know how to manage the experience.  If you don’t address this now, it will only continue.

Wishing you success as you move forward to regain your vitality toward life!
3 Comments
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I should add, I stated I feel "Like", not that I am.  I do have rooted spiritual beliefs and believe that what we do etc. is important.  I just see absurdists and nihlists being emotionally detached.  So I want to clarify that is not my theological view.
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Pertaining to aabsurdists and nihlists :)
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