A sample of 276 youth recruited from 2 juvenile detention centers found that the association between trauma exposure and callous-unemotional traits was mediated by the general numbing of emotions. Results appeared online May 21, 2012 in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.
Kerig, P. Bennett, D. Thompson, M. Becker, S. “Nothing really matters”: Emotional numbing as a link between trauma exposure and callousness in delinquent youth, Journal of Traumatic Stress, online May 21 2012
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“It Don’t Mean Nuthin A phrase oft repeated in Vietnam”
indicated findings consistent with the hypothesis that the association between trauma exposure and callous–unemotional traits was mediated by the general numbing of emotions, R2 = .40, and also specifically by numbing of sadness, R2 = .27. In addition, further analyses indicated that numbing of fear, R2 = .18, and sadness, R2 = .26, statistically mediated the relations to callous–unemotional traits only for those traumatic experiences involving betrayal. Gender was not found to moderate these effects.
This makes me sad, which I now experience only as a physical sensation of sharp poignance lodged in my chest that, at this point, doesn’t even make me flinch, much less cry. The feeling recedes with a deep breath. I wonder what this means in regard to my recovery? Oh, well, I guess this why I am still in recovery…not fully recovered…not by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn’t feel good to not be able to feel anything about feeling sad, to not be able to cry.