Question about emotional range before and after surgery

When I was younger I used to find myself very emotionally available and felt free to laugh, cry, you name it… But the past couple of years, its hard to explain but I have had like this block almost from expressing myself, like I’ve gotten very monotone and find it harder to be emotionally expressive. I also find it ridiculously hard to laugh for some reason. Im curious if anyone who had surgery or even hasn’t experienced this and if it got better post surgery.

Hi hyperichard,

Actually, I never thought about what you said as it regards me until you wrote it. I was also more “emotionally available” when I was younger. I laughed easily, cried, etc., but once I started college I became somewhat emotionally “blocked”. In my case, I looked back to try to figure out what caused the blockage & I believe it was my parents getting divorced soon after I started college. The divorce had been in process for a year or more, but being young, hopeful & naïve, I wished w/ all my heart that my folks could work things out & stay married. When that didn’t happen, I went into an emotional shutdown for several years. Interestingly enough, the thing that broke the emotional dam for me was when a boyfriend broke up w/ me unexpectedly. I was completely crushed & cried every day for a month. This was not a bad thing as it did allow me to begin feeling again. My “funny bone” has never fully returned i.e. laughing doesn’t come easily for me. I talked to a counselor about that some years ago & he said, some people laugh more easily than others, & it can be a genetic predisposition. Though that was an interesting thought, I still feel, for me, it’s some sort of an emotional block that I haven’t dealt with. Need to figure out what it is though if I am to “fix” it.

ES surgery didn’t change anything in that regard for me, but you may find that having your styloid removed & your symptoms resolved will help restore your sense of humor & ability to emote. The vagus nerve plays a role in all that & assuming it is also being irritated by your ES, getting the pressure off of it, may be very helpful for you.


): this makes me sad. I truly do wonder if Eagle develops a lot of the time due to trauma and stress. I went through 11 schools growing up, knocked out a couple of times from bullies, went to boarding school and had a rough relationship with my dad, and didn’t have any friends after I started my teens. from 14- 18 I had horrific experiences that caused me copious amounts of stress. My pain started around 18 from 4 years of dealing with all that stress. I just hope I can find the joy of life i had when i was little, where i can freely laugh and have fun and not always be anxious. I guess it’s not realistic to think this surgery will somehow change me as a person entirely. But none the less its like you said, i might be able to have at least a little more freedom when i feel better and my vagus nerve gets un irritated.

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Emotional abuse (which I also suffered as a child) can definitely cause us to go into emotional protection overdrive. Unfortunately, that includes all emotions, even the feel good ones that would be beneficial during those darker times. The vagus nerve is the controller of our anxiety levels (though I know there are other things that also affect anxiety), thus, as you said, allowing your vagus to heal could go far toward giving you your emotional life back. We will hope for that & I will pray for it for you. :hugs:


You’ve had a tough time, so no wonder you might have withdrawn emotionally to protect yourself! I think pain can cause so much stress that it’s difficult to be yourself & laughing definitely doesn’t come easily when you’re hurting, so it’s not surprising that ES could be contributing!
After my surgery, my Mum commented that I’d lost the ‘pinched look’ I’d had for a while- thanks Mum!!- I think it was such a relief to have had the surgery & to be feeling better I obvs relaxed more…
For you, all this shows how strong you are, & I hope for you that having the surgery helps you relax, get rid of some stress, & get back to doing your course with gusto!