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nebule's avatar

Do you have feelings that you can't put into language or find a concept for?

Asked by nebule (16439points) April 7th, 2010

Recently I experienced a rather traumatic event and it’s left me with this feeling… the best way I can describe is a feeling of impending doom… but this doesn’t come anywhere close the describing the concept of the feelings…the experience of the feeling… I can’t ‘frame’ it for people… so people will understand.

Do you have feelings like this…that you can’t find words for…but moreover that you can’t pinpoint…you can’t say the feelings is (x) because of (y) or it makes me want to….or I feel ‘sick’ or ‘nervous’ or ? There is an eeriness to it…. No amount of rationality..reasoning changes this feeling…

It seems to me that there are certain things that are conceptually awkward to describe if not impossible and it makes me feel like I’m going a bit bonkers….

anyone else?

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31 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

It is a post-traumatic experience that you are having. Look it up to understand more.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes, me, completely. There are not enough words to accurately describe certain things – specifically emotions. I always complain about this.

Fyrius's avatar

I sometimes have feelings I can’t formulate in a non-clumsy way, yes.
I think this sort of thing is why poetry was invented.

And I think your feelings are a normal response to a traumatic event. You’re a bit paranoid that such a horrible thing is going happen again. I’ve been through that, it wears off.

Pandora's avatar

Panic will do that. Any intense feeling is hard to describe because it is different for each individual. Fyrius is right about poetry. Its a long winded description of the poets feelings. No one word was adequate enough for them to describe what they are feeling.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I feel the same way lately… I sometimes think I’m a hypochondriac, always fitting my “symptoms” to something. And through my searches, for what i’m feeling, most my symptoms fit stress perfectly.

And I know the feeling of that “Impending doom”, it’s something I can’t describe either.

thriftymaid's avatar

I can usually put my feelings into words; sometimes it takes some time to find the words.

Cruiser's avatar

Yeah very much so. For me starts where everything you believe is threatened by someone else’s ignorance which in turn directly impacts almost every element of your life that you have put all your effort into. These are what I call game changers and can require every fiber of your being to sort through and persevere.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

All the time. Language is an imperfect tool, and cannot come close to being able to describe the range of feelings and ideas that a human mind is capable of.

wilma's avatar

I have these feeling often. There aren’t words or actions to express it. I feel lost and ‘at loose ends’, even sometimes if the feeling isn’t a bad one.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Continued from above

In fact I cannot even explain to people how I think. When I am teaching my students how to do mental arithmetic I give them the method I have developed, but I don’t tell them that I don’t use it any more. I do sums in my head by superimposing textures – each number, 1–10, has a particular feel to it, and when placed together some form ‘clean’ numbers and some form ‘rough’ numbers.
My abstract thoughts can often be similar to this too. When someone expresses a thought, I am immediately either comfortable, uncomfortable or intrigued by it long before I have a chance to contemplate it. When I did physics, I would form an estimate based on the feeling of the components of the event well before I calculated the exact outcome. I guess I have more thoughts that I cannot verbalise than those I can.

CMaz's avatar

Yard work does that to me.

slick44's avatar

Yes, i have been there once or twice. Go out and get hammered, things will be a lot more clear to you then. lol

definitive's avatar

Yep most definitely…sometimes I feel like I’m going bonkers lol.

Thing is my feelings are never static, which can be frustrating and some days I have the same notion of impending doom and question if the ‘fight is worth the fight’ but then other days I feel like ‘I’ve got back on my feet again’.

I’ve got loads going on in my life at the moment stressful job, teenage daughter, relationship stuff and sometimes I just want to switch my head off and not think. When I have my feelings of impending doom lol I’m quick to justify that it’s hormones, work stress etc etc…

And it all gets brushed under the carpet I suppose…till my next fractious thought hits me lol :)

Draconess25's avatar

I have that all the time. Except, one time the feeling was accompanied by a ripping sound in the sky, & a smell of blood in the air. It din’t go away until sometime in the afternoon.

I thought reality was ripping apart.

Fyrius's avatar

@Draconess25
There’s probably a medical term for that.

Draconess25's avatar

@Fyrius Such as….insanity?

Fyrius's avatar

I was thinking of something more specific, like auditory/olfactory hallucination or methamphetamine.

Well, for what it’s worth, smelling blood for no apparent reason can be made sense of easily enough. Your nose is full of veins. It could be a minor internal nosebleed.

WolfFang's avatar

@Draconess25 maybe you had some kinda freaky brain-spasm thing, like when your neurons get tripped up. Or maybe you have some kind of tumor, if anyone has ever seen the movie, A Beautiful Mind…

Fyrius's avatar

@WolfFang
The A Beautiful Mind guy was a paranoid schizophrenic. It has different symptoms.
But something along those lines, yeah, probably.

WolfFang's avatar

@Fyrius and @FireMadeFlesh yeah language is an impefect tool, only an approximation, serving as a medium between what’s inside our heads and trying to get it out to communicate. Languages probably started with people, not being able to find words for their feelings, created new ones and people gradually understood the meaning. Certain words have connotations to make them even more tailored, or in the case of poetry or song using words in that form to express what normal sentences cannot. So this tool of language is constantly being adapted and improved along with our thoughts. Maybe one day we’ll be able to find a way to replace the need for approximations and communicate feelings directly telepathy maybe?

Draconess25's avatar

@WolfFang & @Fyrius Did I mention that my friends heard it, too? But only I smelled the blood. Also, speaking of tumors, that was the day my ex-boyfriend told us about his brain tumor.

WolfFang's avatar

@Draconess25 then maybe we’re completely off base, I don’t think it was anything inside your own head if your friends heard it too. sorry about your boyfriend

Hexr's avatar

Definitely. Ever since November I’ve had this feeling like I’ve lost the ability to become excited about things. I feel emotionally flat. At least that’s what I think it is. I also feel like my motivation in general has dramatically dropped and I have no idea why. It’s odd. But yea I think I understand.

Draconess25's avatar

@WolfFang Ex-boyfriend. He’s okay now. It somehow receded back into his miniscule brain. The doctors are baffled!

When I get really mad at someone, several things tend to happen:
A) They get have a stroke, brain aneurysm, or brain tumor.
OR
B) They lose they’re minds.

WolfFang's avatar

@Draconess25 lol so don’t get you mad then? hahaha

Draconess25's avatar

@WolfFang I try not to, not unless I don’t like them anyways.

lloydbird's avatar

:- | ....?..

jeanmay's avatar

We have a name for such feelings. We poached it from The World According to Garp”, a novel. The family in it always holiday at the same beach, where there is a strong off-shore current. They warn their children to “be careful of the undertow”, and one boy misunderstands and imagines there is a giant toad lurking somewhere in the depths. “The undertoad” becomes the family’s word used to express unnameable fear or other inexplicable emotions. We use it in our house when we have feelings we’re unwilling or unable to put into words. eg “The undertoad is strong today.”

jerv's avatar

Often. In fact, 90% of the time I am not emotionally numb!

The part I can’t figure out is whether it’s an Aspergers thing, a male thing, or just a personality thing.

thecuke's avatar

I do feel the same in some ways. It’s been with me for years. I can only describe it as an unknown influence, becoming a frustration when I can’t articulate it, needing to speak it but not having any way to do so. This cycles, and eventually the feeling of restless frustration subsides, only to later return, weeks to a month or more later. Trying to find words for something I don’t understand is impossible. It’s just this “thing” I can’t describe that urges me to scream, but doesn’t tell me what…and that makes me want to scream even more.

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