Numbing My Emotions


I’m 18. Finishing off high school. Im very privileged. Like stupid privileged. I know there are people dealing with much bigger problems so please, I encourage you to skip this if your time is limited. If you have the time, I could really use your help.

Like all privileged teens, my problem is small. I got with this girl - she’s an ex really. I have great friends. I have great family, a wonderful sister, the best parents I could ask for and the cutest Dalmatian. The problem is, I’m a coward. I feel too intensely. The girl I hooked up with? I’m starting to have feelings for her, every little action that people make bother me, every time my sister goes through shit it kills me.

I need your help to numb my emotions. I know all the risks and whatnot, but I still think this is the best decision for me. Like I said, privileged. I want to be able to walk this earth and not feel. Once I feel for real. I get attached and I’m kind of a pain if you haven’t noticed AHAHAH.

Again, I’ve just gone through other people’s posts and mine pales to them. If you have a problem, please reach out to me, I can’t say I’m qualified to give professional advice, but I’m happy to lend a listening ear. Always.

The Student


Thank you for sharing!

No problem is small, IMO. Having emotions isn’t a detriment, it can actually be a blessing. It actually sounds like you have a very caring soul, and that’s a great thing to have, tbh! Feelings that you may have, whether positive or negative, may be learning experiences and help you grow.

I was in the same boat as you when I was in high school. I was pretty privileged myself, mainly cuz of my mom. I tried to repress feellings I had and even telling a girl I had feelings for them I got shot down pretty hard. Was I sad or pissed? Of course, but I learned from it, and in the end I much preferred expressing myself then holding it in and regretting what could have been and not realizing the outcome.


It’s wonderful that you appreciate how blessed you are. I also appreciate that you are willing to provide help to others on this site in the form of listening.

The emotions of an 18-year-old do tend to be intense. At the same time, the part of the brain that moderates emotions and impulses isn’t fully developed until around age 25. Of course, you absolutely have to manage your emotions and impulses. Just know that you are not alone in your struggle.

Feeling too intensely does not make you a coward. It sounds more like a case of wanting to avoid causing other people problems because of your emotions.

Imagine that you are a cowboy, and you have to break a horse so it can be are ridden. Now, think of your emotions as that horse. The horse won’t break itself. It needs you and you need it. The only way to improve your relationship with the horse so it can be comfortably ridden, is to spend time in the saddle.

Emotional intelligence is cultivated through introspection and practice.

Empathy is a good thing, as long as it can be experienced without undue emotional pain. If you hurt yourself because of empathy, you won’t be prepared to be a source of emotional support for the person for whom you feel empathetic. Managing empathy is another thing that takes practice, but having empathy is a blessing.

The problem with making yourself numb is that along with the pain, you block all the positive feelings too. Keep in mind, zombies don’t appear to be very happy.

Might it help, if when you feel that your emotions are becoming too intense, you take a moment to take a few slow, deep and even breaths, while clearing your mind for a minute or two? That practice has helped me a lot. It’s also possible to channel intense emotions into physical exercise.

Don’t be a zombie. It’s boring.


Hey, welcome to HeartSupport!

I was also privileged in high school. Everything was objectively good, but I was scared of facing or expressing my feelings about anything. If I didn’t acknowledge that I was scared or lonely, everything would be as I knew it looked from the outside, right? I remember when every fear and disappointment and sadness felt like a hot knife and I just wanted to feel it a little less. I got my wish when I spiraled into major depression when I was 19. From then on, it was as if I was experiencing the world through murky water. The edges were blurry and the colors were muted. On paper it sounds like a way to tolerate life without much hardship, but the reality is it strips life of any meaning. Nothing matters. Why live if there’s nothing to live for? 4.0 GPA? What’s the point? Awesome job? What’s the point? The happiness neural pathways quit working in my brain, so the only way for me to feel anything was to feel anguish. I would stay up late, repeating all the worst voices in my head, reveling in my loneliness and isolation and failure, which at that point was no longer just perceived. It made me feel alive, and it made me want to die. In the in-between hours of existing, I didn’t want to die because I didn’t feel alive. I experienced my days like walking through a boring documentary about a day in the life of a privileged adolescent. That went on into my mid-20s, and since then has improved but not gone away (I’d say I live my life at 50%).

All that to say: I understand how hard it is to deal with intense feelings and fears, especially when you feel you can’t let them out. Having feelings for a girl that was just supposed to be a fun time is messy and complicated. Being bothered by the things around you is distracting. Worrying about your sister is devastating. These are all very intense things, so intense they threaten to overwhelm. If you could paint them, what colors would they be?

If these things overwhelm you, they can flip you into depression. At that point, whatever colors you would have painted them will have been hosed off and dusted in baking soda. It’s a coping mechanism for when life gets to be too much, and in an academic sense it’s a useful survival tool, but in this day and age it can be hard to come back from. I know it’s hard to appreciate this without perspective, but intense feelings can be beautiful.

Having feelings is not cowardly. Numbing the pain is. Numbed feelings don’t go away, they just get deferred and accumulate like trash. Ever wonder why drug addicts keep using even though they’re destroying their lives? Drugs numb their pain, and getting clean would mean facing years and years worth of numbed pain all at once with nothing to soften the blow. It’s terrifying.

Having feelings is one of the bravest things you can do, but no one instinctively knows how to have those feelings constructively. Therapists go to school to study decades of research on that topic, which is why they are valuable allies as you go through life. I would advise you to visit a counselor to ask how to manage your emotions. If your parents raise an eyebrow, tell them you’re struggling in ways you can’t put into words and you want to get ahead of it before it consumes you. Also, as an 18 year old, you can make your own healthcare decisions, and you have access to things like BetterHelp virtual counseling, with which HeartSupport offers a 5-session trial.

My non-professional suggestions for venting feelings are: journaling, art, music (whether listening, creating, or experiencing live), exercise. When it feels like you’re ready to burst from your intense feelings, find a way to vent that pressure. Picture stabbing a hole in the side of a volcano. What does that look like to you?

In conclusion, life is beautiful if it’s not numbed. If you couldn’t feel a sunburn, you wouldn’t feel the warmth of the sun. It is easy to lose control of your feelings if you’re not careful, but it’s easier to work back from the cliff of involuntary numbness than to try to climb it once you’ve fallen off. No one person knows how to navigate their own feelings though, so reach out to friends, mentors, and professionals who can give you objective advice. Life is better together than alone.

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From: ManekiNeko

hey student, first I want to say that no matter how big or small your problems may “seem”, it’s no competition to us. We care about you because you’re here and you’re reaching out. You could be upset over a broken nail and that would be okay. Nobody is going to tell you what you’re allowed to go through!
getting attached to people can grow its own type of pain. It doesn’t matter if you’re privileged or not, heart ache is painful. Those aches and pains unfortunately are a part of life, and if we chose to numb them and ignore them, often times the result is a deeper ache and pain that needs more and more to numb. I know that you desperately want that to stop right now and that you just don’t want to feel hurt, I want that for you too, but I do want it in a safe way.
you talking about it is a great start! If it helps then please do come and keep talking it out. You matter

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