Why am I so uncaring?

I’ve noticed this about myself over the past few years. Quite frankly, nothing matters to me anymore.

I’ll give you some examples of my carelessness:

A few weeks ago, my truck got stolen. I heard someone start it up (that’s what woke me up)… so I wondered out front and watched this person drive off with my pristine classic truck. I walked back inside, ate breakfast, then called the cops.

They found the truck 2 days later, in just-fine condition other then a shredded steering column. I was underwhelmed.

About a year-and-a-half ago, my girlfriend at the time cheated on me. She waited until I drove down to see her to tell me. She said I didn’t even react much at all. I only remember saying, “Oh well”.

She dumped me 3 months later. Didn’t even bother me. I had been with her just shy of 5 years.

Perhaps the one thing I do care about is her… I still love her to death, and would die for her without a second thought. But I didn’t care that she left me.

There’s other things, but I think they’d go towards making me just plain sound like a complete ass, I suspect.

I’m a kind person, respectable and almost always happy. Nothing that goes on around me seems to ever bother me.

Is there just that type of personality? Or am I, perhaps, f*cked in the head? :smack:

[instant and unsubstantiated medical opinion]

What you describe sounds a lot like untreated unipolar depression.

[/instant and unsubstantiated medical opinion]

Checking sources on said depression type, it doesn’t seem to catch.

[Insert Cite here]
[/Insert Cite here]

None of the symptoms they mention seem to cover how I feel about me. I’m actually quite content with life in general.

Perhaps I’m just a unique ‘Huh? Bah, I don’t care.’ type.

I just feel a bit out of place when around other people that get emotional in the various situations that I just give a bland look and a shrug.

I don’t think you’re “depressed”. Some perfectly functional people just naturally have abnormally (and yours is waaay abnormal) low emotive and emotional reactions to life events to the point it seems to resemble some kind of emotional autism.

So yes, compared to the normal part of the emotional bell curve population you are probably accurately described as “fucked in the head”, and I’m sure there’s some syndrome name just waiting to attach itself to your phlegmatic backside, but if you’re a “happy” phlegmite… well who cares? You don’t :stuck_out_tongue: !

Laughing loudly at work isn’t appreciate.

Thanks :wally:


Well, you could be hypo-manic.

Moods are done on a continuium with deeply depressed on the low end, manic to the point of needing sedation on the other end and “zero” somewhere in the middle.

There’s a clinical diagnosis of dysthemia which is a persistant depressed mood lasting at least 2 years - this is not a crippling depression, this is a depressed mood.

On the other side is hypo-mania - a persistant good mood lasting at least 2 years. Generally speaking people with this disorder don’t present to their physician or psychologist, because really - who’s gonna complain about being happy all the time.

Generally speaking, this type of person is in a persistantly good mood. They are under-affected by lifes small road-bumps. They will react to large stressors, but typically their reaction is less extreme.

This could very well be you. This IS me. The only complaint that I have is that when you’re always in a good mood, people assume you’re a tad dippy - I mean, you HAVE to be a bit stunned to be happy all the time, right? Well, no. But eh.


I’ve been dippy all my life. My reactions to even situations that most people would faint/scream/run from are met with a lack of any care what-so-ever (Needless to say, I get called an asshole a lot! (I even think that’s pretty amusing at best)).

I can’t say it’s so much a persistent GOOD mood. I’m just… content. Settled, so to speak.

Maybe I can convince someone I’m insane and get some good drugs! :rolleyes:

Your post struck a bit of a chord with me - I exhibit very much the same behaviour.

I have, in the past, been diagnosed with a disthymic disorder, and later with ADD. I’m not so sure that either one is the case. I stopped taking meds on my own initiative, and have been managing okay for years. My parents were still concerned though, and at their request I went to see Dr. Gabor Mate (Author of “Scattered Minds”, an ADD book). I was surprised to hear him say that he didn’t think ADD was my problem, due to my career history, but he suggested that my early childhood was a significant factor in the development of my behaviours. I am an adoptee, from about four days after birth. (Are you adopted, by any chance?) Apparently, being an adoptee puts you at risk of developmental problems, since the mere fact that you are adopted means that your biological mother was stressed during your development. Add to that the fact that I did not have any emotional connection to anyone immediately following my birth, and it sets the stage for the behavioral patterns. I do not like being touched - never did, and my mother (adoptive) recalls me squirming away from her as an infant.

This is one behaviour commonly associated with autism, which someone else already mentioned. In addition, I had a psychological profiling performed which lent some insight into my thinking, but identified an extremely low sentience (zero value, according to that particular test). Sentience, as I understand it, is the characteristic defined by taking pleasure in sense stimula - interestingly enough, this directly contradicts another one of my behaviours, which is to constantly seek stimulation. (I skydive, rock climb, SCUBA dive, work for a search and recovery team that entails swiftwater swimming, used to do search & rescue for the coast guard, etc). This sort of adrenaline addiction is consistent with ADD, which I presume led to that diagnosis.

I was a gifted child, and am still pretty quick on the problem solving end of things (I now work for a consulting engineering firm); however, I am still socially inept, and do not have much empathy for anyone. I also do not experience emotional reactions to events that would otherwise be expected to cause them, as you posted. In my mind, at least, it just makes sense… Why worry about something if you can do nothing to influence the outcome? When you can influence the outcome, deal with it and move on…

The doctors would have you believe that this is all some great deficiency or brain malfunction, will probably have a few dozen names for it, and probably have drugs to sell you to “cure” it. Did I mention I have no faith whatsoever in doctors?..

I think that you and I are uniquely blessed with the ability to exercise rational thought under duress (or, what most persons would consider to be duress). Shit happens. Why get worked up over anything?


PS - I have to ask why you stayed with your girlfriend after she confessed?

As to the above question:
Undying love. Plus, she was honest about it. She didn’t hide it from me. As I said, to this day I think about her at every turn. I know I’ll never see her again… she made sure to toss me to the curb in a way I knew she never wanted to lay eyes on me again. But I still love that woman (Maybe that’s why I can’t get a date :slight_smile: )

On to more of me, based upon what you said (Warning, I may ramble):

I was also diagnosed with ADD at an early age (but there-again, who isn’t these days?). I stopped taking the medication at about age 12 (3 years after being told to take Ritalin). When taking Ritalin, my concentration level would soar to new lows. I couldn’t keep focused and could never keep up with fellow class mates.

Previous to taking Ritalin I was so far ahead, the teachers didn’t bother keeping me in the classroom. They gave me the homework and let me roam off to do whatever I wanted.

Back then I used to be rather sensitive to criticism from other people and was quite the loner. I had (and still only have) 2 friends whom I trust like family. Everyone else is just someone I happen to know.

When I reached highschool… I very quickly found myself tuning out anyone that had anything disparaging to say about me and how I acted (very quiet, very focused and I generally ignored everyone but the instructor). Somehow I think this is the point I went ‘numb’.

From that point in life I gained confidence (I’m still a might shy around the ladies, but hell, that’s me!), I’m impossible to intimidate/take advantage of… and I’ll tell you what I think. I don’t care if it makes you cry or not. Or even want to kill me.

I don’t know how similar this is, but for myself I find that I have that " I just don’t care" attitude about people in general…For example 9/11, people are crying and saying what a huge tragity it is etc…me I feel nothing,same when a child is murdered or a plane crashes…I feel nothing…sometimes I think I am heartless, but then if I hear about animals being abused or tortured, I cry, my heart races and I feel pain for them.I don’t know why, is this what "normal"people feel when they hear about a human tragedy? I’ve always chalked it up to being weird,but hey maybe I have some sort of condition I didn’t know about.

I’ve always subscribed to the idea that some people are sensitive to certain subjects, and then there’s people that just don’t care. They have no emotional output towards anything that doesn’t effect them in some dire manner. And even then, it’s questionable if they will respond in any way to it.

[two-cent psychoanalysis]
Did you have a crappy childhood? I did and I have a similar sort of contented apathy today. I think some people grow up in horrible circumstances to write books and go on Oprah while others grow up with a better sense of what is or isn’t worth getting worked up about.
[/two-cent psychoanalysis]

[Two-pill-call-me-in-the-morning answer]
I lived a fairly normal, content childhood. Never had any major mishaps other then taking the bottom end of a see-saw to the top of the head. Ow.
[/Two-pill-call-me-in-the-morning answer]

I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with you at all. You’re basically saying you react to things calmly, and I’d say that’s at least OK, and in many cases very admirable.

I’m more or less the same, especially where other people are concerned. What I mean is, if I’m just on my own and, say, some computer problem is driving me nuts, I can make quite a roar and fume and fizz with the best of them. But in situations where other people are also involved, I always react calmly (a) because that’s how I am, that’s how I work and (b) it’s usually more helpful and constructive than running around like a headless chicken.

I don’t know about you, but in my case I lost my taste for the highly emotive / headless chicken routine, and gained my preference for a calmer response to life, in various ways. For one thing, I have known an awful lot of people who just dive off the deep end, emotively, at the slightest provocation, and left others (sometimes me) to actually clean up the mess and solve the problem. I guess I saw enough of this to want to not be that kind of person. Also, I tend to be very positive in my outlook, so when a given situation arises, I’m interested in things like how can I solve this problem? Or, what’s the best next step? These things interest me more than ‘let’s throw a tantrum, act like a jerk, dance around expressing my ‘emotions’ and achieve nothing at all’.

I’m also very fit, and work out six times a week. If you’re fit, you don’t/can’t feel stress like other people do.

The only thing that gets really trite about this is the millions who have read a couple of pop psych articles in glossy mags, and thereby feel qualified to tell me that I probably ‘repress’ my feelings or bottle them up, and that this ‘internalisation’ will do me harm. “It’s better to let your feelings out” they say, as if they know what they’re talking about. Just because something that would make them feel angry doesn’t make me feel angry doesn’t mean I’m repressing anger. Maybe it just means I don’t feel the anger in the first place!

Maybe schiziod personality disorder?

Yep, I think you are just fine. In fact, you may simply be wise.

My own story, and I do relate to your situation, is that I used to care more, mostly for the wrong reasons–I was raised with guilt as a motivator. When I overcame that I lost a major reason to care.

Moreover, I found myself too often not enjoying things I “should enjoy”: a beautiful beach gets boring after 10 minutes, a minor car accident ending up the most interesting part of a trip. So through a process similar to natural selection, caring dissipates.

When it comes to other people, I do feel empathy, connection, friendship, love. But also negative feeling here and there. I think I am in touch with my feelings, while many people fake their feelings. So many “caring” voices after 9/11 were really masking fear for self and confusion in general. Please don’t compare yourself negatively THESE people.

I would suggest you focus on making your life interesting, and when you do care about something, it will come naturally.

Oh—and watch Jerry Springer. Your willingness to die for your ex is what every person there say before they dump their lovers. Watch, compare, rejoice.

Perhaps you’re trying to hit bottom. Self improvement isn’t the answer. Let me know when you open up a club in the basement of a bar because I’d love to attend.

P.S. This seems more like IMHO material than GQ.

I probably should have dropped this in IMHO, you’re right.

In any case, I’m not schiziod. Most definately not.

I enjoy the company of others. I also enjoy being very close to those ladies that can handle my odd attitude about everything around me.

I’m Dr. Cuddles at that point. I’m not emotionally dead to any degree, I’ve just lost the ability to hold a grudge or get steaming angry. My worst outburst this month was mumbling ‘fuck’ right before I had to reinstall my Linux box.

As far as a social life goes… I don’t go out a lot. I’m not physically fit (and don’t see how that has anything to do with not worrying about things :slight_smile: ), and I eat like a pig.

Maybe I am wise. Or just intelligently devoid of emotional outbursts.

Ya know, it’s easier to get laid than it is to get a spontaneous kiss and hug?
But that’s ok. Ennui is my friend. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think I’ll move this thread to MPSIMS rather than IMHO.

moderator GQ