Mental Health

How do you disable emotions?

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May 31, 2013 12:47PM

Emotion Suppression

"Well, that's it, then - you had a controlling mother who had

certain expectations, and if you strayed from them, you were shut

down. That's why you're afraid to care about anything - and why you

can't express yourself."

Human emotions can be quite an obstacle. Fear can make you

unable to face the danger. Compassion can prevent you from shooting

the dog even if it's necessary. Love can make you crazy, dumb or

lead you straight to the Dark Side. Let alone it hurts. And then

there are such things as anger or hatred.

Anyway, emotions cloud your mind and impede logical thought. So,

what do you do with them? Well, in the world of fiction you can

find a way to relieve yourself of this burden. Via some sort of

training or some Applied Phlebotinum you can completely remove your

capacity to feel emotions.

Results and consequences depend on the author and how exactly

the emotions are suppressed. Portrayed as a good thing, Emotion

Suppression can be used to enter Heroic Safe Mode, to escape Mind

Rape or simply to concentrate on the fight clearing your head of

unimportant thoughts. This kind of supression is almost always

temporary and always voluntary. Sometimes it is portrayed as a bad

thing. In that case the character in question can at best hope to

be an a loner or an Emotionless Girl not knowing This Thing You

Call Love. At worst, the character will be put in a sort of Uncanny

Valley, being human in appearance but not human in behaviour. Any

sort of permanent Emotion Suppression will probably turn out this

way, Bonus Points if it is not voluntary. This trope can also be

carried out on a massive scale. There can be a human or alien

culture where every representative has their emotions supressed.

This situation also has little chance of being undeniably good. At

best, (other) humans will just leave it as it is, perhaps after

some demonstrations of how emotions can be useful. If it's done by

an Evil Overlord or... uh... a caring and benevolent ruler who is

unable to paint smilies on their subjects' souls but at least wants

to remove tears from there, you've got a ready dystopian setting.

This is part of the basis of The Stoic and the Emotionless Girl,

Ice Queen and The Quiet One characters, The Baroness, the Deadpan

Snarker (and Little Miss Snarker), the Broken Bird, the Sugar and

Ice Personality and the Aloof Big Brother. Compare and contrast

Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul or Lotus-Eater Machine:

Emotion Suppression does not make you happy, it just makes

you, well, emotionless or lets you get rid of certain emotions.

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