If you can identify with more than 5 of these statements, there is a high probability that you have this schema.
- 1I have never really felt emotionally supported.
- 2I don't expect my emotional needs to be met in my relationships.
- 3I haven't had anyone to rely on for advice or guidance.
- 4I don't really understand my own emotions or needs.
- 5I feel like there is a void in my life- something missing but I'm not sure what.
- 6I haven't really felt special to anyone.
- 7I rarely share how I feel with other people.
- 8For most of my life, people have not been there for me emotionally.
- 9In my childhood, feelings and emotions weren't acknowledged.
- 10My parents were emotionally distant when I was growing up.
The effects of emotional deprivation
Emotional deprivation is one of the core primary schemas.
This schema is probably one of the most common schemas that people have but it's difficult to detect at first because there often aren't many clear, obvious signs - just a vague sense that something is missing in your life but you're not sure what.
It can feel like an emptiness or a void that is actually real - it's the emptiness of unfulfilled emotional needs.
It develops very early on in childhoods where the mother (or whoever was the main care-giver) was not emotionally 'in tune' with your needs.
Perhaps you had all your physical needs met, perhaps you had toys to play with, but no one actually paid attention to your feelings and emotional needs.
This situation is extremely stressful for a young child and if this happened to you, you would have developed certain ways to try and make sense of the feelings that you had.
When our emotional needs are not met - we feel invisible, unimportant, and not cared for at a deep level.
We basically feel like we don't matter. We don't feel connected to the people around us.
And this can lead us down a few different paths:
We start to tell ourselves that there must be something wrong with us - that we are flawed or defective in some fundamental way - and the Defectiveness & Shame schema develops
Or we start acting in ways that will make us feel better about ourselves - we start to try and get people to like us - and the Approval Seeking schema is born.
One very common off-shoot of Emotional Deprivation is Self Sacrifice Schema.
We learn that by helping other people and putting other people first, we feel worthwhile and significant. Our sense of self worth is derived solely from how valuable we are to others - and this is the heart of Codependency.
Emotional Deprivation Schema is healed by first recognising how it's playing out in your life. It never comes alone. So look through the other schemas to see how it might be showing up in your life.
First you need to work on these secondary schemas, then you can get to the root of emotional deprivation.