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ducky_dnl's avatar

Have you ever had the hollow chest feeling?

Asked by ducky_dnl (5371 points ) January 15th, 2011 from iPhone

We all go through sorrows, but some affect us more I guess. Has anyone ever experienced that hollow chest feeling? I’m talking about when your chest feels completely empty and you don’t even hear or feel a heart beat? I’m wondering what causes this feeling. Is it due to sadness or more along the lines of trauma? I’ve had my share of heartbreak but I haven’t felt hollow until last year. Also, when I think of what caused it I get a burning sensation where the hollow feeling is (mostly around the heart area). It isn’t heartburn or anything, so don’t say that. I know some of you would/will.. So I had to put that in there. :P

So, has anyone else experienced this? Do you know what causes the feeling? Is it just a symptom of depression and grief?

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16 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not just empty in my chest. Empty in my whole body and soul.

jazmina88's avatar

I feel it this week, ducky…....xoxox

chyna's avatar

It’s not heartburn, it’s heartache. So intense that you feel hollow. I don’t know that it’s a symptom of depression, but I know I have felt this feeling during times of grief.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes,I have.I felt it most intensely when my parents died.The other two times I won’t talk about.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’ve never felt that myself, but several of the men I commanded in Vietnam told me that’s how they felt after losing a buddy or friend. I suspect it’s a reaction of the nervous system to more stress than the body is capable of handling at the time. This can be so intense that it’s been known to induce heart-attacks, or cause heart-muscle damage.

I’m very sorry you had to go through this. : ((

Cruiser's avatar

When I came home from grocery shopping one night and I was greeted in front of my house by 2 fireman who said “Mr. Cruiser, we want to let you know your son had a head injury, he is at the hospital and before you go in your home there is a bit of a mess….

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh God Cruiser…..please tell us the rest….

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III My son slid head first into a clay planter pot…the house looked like a mass murder had taken place. A gifted plastic surgeon put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

blueiiznh's avatar

Its a feeling of emptiness. A very low spot in your self esteem. It can come from many things. It could be the loss of a significant person. The loss of a job. A feeling that just echoes “why”. It could become or be part of depression or grief certainly.
It is accompanied by a dull ache and most times a lack of motivation and drive.
I suspect we all have felt it to some extent. It is what we do with it (or what we let do to us) that matters.
Yes, I have felt it a few times.

Earthgirl's avatar

Yes I have had it. When my father was dying and I lost my job at the same time. I was under a lot of stress…I would be on the bus going to work (to my new really crummy job) and tears would just starrt rolling down my face! It wasn’t even like I could hold them back. I felt like people on the bus were going to start thinking of me as “the crier”! (my husband and I had nicknames for some other people, like for instance, “the loud talker”) I believe part of it was the grieving process and part of it was job burnout. I think it happens when you just feel too overwhelmed with emotions and you reach the limit of what you can handle. I suppose the burnout could happen suddenly from some sad or tragic event, or over an extended period of having to deal with stress. I hope, for your sake that it doesn’t last long. I feel for you. Please do be good to yourself. It’s nice when other people nurture you but I think it’s important to be good to yourself. And when you think of doing something that you used to enjoy but don’t think you will anymore, do it anyways!! You will probably enjoy it more than you think you will. Depression can make you feel overly negative but you need to keep trying to counteract it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cruiser O man…Boys and their messes! I’m glad, so glad that he was OK, though.

msknight's avatar

Thank you all for these messages. I’ve never been on a post like this before ever. But Earthgirl, your experience almost mirrors mine. Blueiiznh, yours motivated me the most.

blueiiznh's avatar

@msknight I hope you have turned it around

Earthgirl's avatar

msknight I hope you are feeling better. It takes time sometimes. Music is a big comfort to me.

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