Saturday, June 15, 2024

Can Depression Make You Feel Emotionally Numb

Loss Of Emotions In Psychosis

8 Signs You’re Emotionally Numb

Some symptoms of psychosis are called positive symptoms. Others are called negative symptoms. That doesnt mean that positive symptoms are good and negative symptoms are bad. Positive symptoms are things that start to happen that are not normal, like seeing or hearing things that arent there. Negative symptoms are things that normally do happen, but stop happening when you experience psychosis. Flat affect, where you stop feeling emotions, is a negative symptom.

Below are some questions that we ask people about their negative symptoms of psychosis :

  • Has anyone pointed out to you that you are less emotional or connected to people than you used to be?
  • Do your emotions feel less strong in general than they used to? Do you ever feel numb?
  • Do you find yourself having a harder time distinguishing different emotions/feelings?
  • Are you feeling emotionally flat?
  • Do you ever feel a loss of sense of self or feel disconnected from yourself or your life? Like a spectator in your own life?
  • Do you find that you have trouble getting motivated to do things?
  • Are you having a harder time getting normal daily activities done? Sometimes? Always? Does prodding work? Sometimes? Never?
  • Do you find that people have to push you to get things done? Have you stopped doing anything that you usually do?
  • Do you sometimes find it hard to understand what people are trying to tell you because you dont understand what they mean?
  • Do people more and more use words you dont understand?
  • Sometimes Depression Is Feeling Emotional Numbness

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    Sometimes, depression is emotional numbness. Depression can display in many ways, and most of the time, it isnt what people think it is. Its not always crying all the time or praying that you dont exist. Sometimes, depression is emotional numbness. Depression can be draining. It takes a toll on your mind and body, and after youve cried all your tears and felt its weight, your body and mind feel physically numb. Its difficult to process these feelings of extreme sadness, and depression is beyond sorrow. Depression feels like weights attached to your body that you cant remove, pulling your limbs to the ground as you try and try to drag your way through life. Nobody can see how hard it is for you to function. Some people might call you lazy or unmotivated. In reality, youre trying to manage a mental illness. Thats not an easy feat.

    What does it feel like to be emotionally numb?

    When you feel emotionally numb, you dont have any sensation. Theres nothing there. You feel blank, or like theres a hint of something you could be feeling, but its substantially blunted. Feeling numb can alarm people and make you think that theres something wrong with you theres nothing wrong with you you are just exhausted from having so many feelings.

    Its difficult to process them all at once, and sometimes, the way people cope is by shutting down. Thats what happens when youve experienced depression for a long time youre tired, and understandably so.

    Where Can I Find Support

    If you are concerned about any symptoms of depression or mental illness, talk to a GP or medical professional.

    If you need to talk to someone about mental illness or a crisis in your life, please consider calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, or for advice and support contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

    Also Check: Xanax As Needed For Depression

    The Effects Of Anxiety

    Anxiety is an extremely powerful condition – more powerful than most people realize. Even low levels of anxiety are constantly affecting the mind and the body in a variety of complex ways that medical science is gradually learning more and more about.

    As mentioned, numbness can manifest in several forms:

    • Physical Numbness – Losing feeling or getting a tingling sensation in a certain part of your body.
    • Emotional Numbness – Feeling detached, unenthusiastic and as though there isn’t much happiness or interest in the world.
    • Disassociative Numbness – Some of those with anxiety experience a type of derealization, where they feel they are not in their own body or that they are not living in reality.

    Both types of numbness can be incredibly troubling, and in some cases terrifying. Yet often these sensations are caused by anxiety and can therefore be managed.

    Physical Numbness and Anxiety

    Physical numbness occurs when a certain part of your body has reduced physical sensations. In some cases, it may have no feeling at all. In other cases, there may still be some feeling that goes along with a tingling sensation, much like pins and needles.

    Physical numbness is most common in your fingers and toes, but it can occur nearly anywhere on your body including your:

    • Face
    • Feet
    • Legs

    That part of your body may experience no feeling at all, or it may feel as though it has gotten very weak.

    Is It Okay To Feel Nothing Managing Emotional Numbness

    Can depression make you feel emotionally numb ?

    Feeling numb may protect you from unpleasant emotions. When you feel nothing, youre not experiencing pain, hurt or sadness and this might even feel like a temporary relief. But, there are a whole range of positives you miss out on too happiness, excitement, joy and contentment. Feeling a whole range of emotions, in balance, is a natural part of being human. And in fact, we need both positive and negative emotions to grow as people.

    Its best to seek professional help to work out the underlying cause of feeling numb and find appropriate treatment. In the meantime, there are a number of things you can try, including making changes to your lifestyle and behaviours.

    Read Also: Does Smoking Cause Anxiety And Depression

    Why Do I Feel Emotionless

    Numbness can also be a side effect of some medications such as antidepressants. But more often than not, we develop emotional numbness as a coping mechanism. Its a way of shutting ourselves off from something that is extremely painful or overwhelming.

    Sometimes feeling emotionless can be traced back to a traumatic event. For instance, we might have disconnected and detached from whats going on as a way to keep ourselves safe.

    Alternatively, this feeling might have built up gradually over time because we didnt know how to cope with overwhelming emotions like depression or anxiety. Other times, it happens because we didnt learn the tools to validate, feel or process our emotions.

    Quite often, numbness is a fleeting experience. But it can become a problem if it lasts. Some common causes of emotional numbness include:

    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Avoiding your emotions


    Its a common misconception that people with depression feel sad all the time. The truth is depression affects everyone differently.

    Some people might experience an overwhelming feeling of nothingness or emptiness, and they may even struggle to cry.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that develops in response to a life-threatening event. Examples of traumatic events might include: being in a car crash, being physically or sexually assaulted or surviving a natural disaster.


    Substance abuse

    Avoiding your emotions

    Treatment For Emotional Numbness

    There are a variety of treatment options available that can help you reduce the extent to which you try to escape, disengage from, or avoid your emotions.

    Once you find a therapist or psychologist to work with, the first step in the treatment process is unpacking the cause of your emotional numbing. A therapist can help you determine the underlying cause of the trauma, and come up with better ways to cope with overtaxing experiences and emotions.

    The primary goal of psychotherapy, says Dr. Mendez, is to stimulate an understanding of the problem and expose viable and effective problem-solving alternatives.

    Psychotherapy may support the learning and the use of productive coping tools. You may learn to allow feelings to emerge and to process them in the safe environment of therapy.

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    Do You Want To Be Feeling Empty And Emotionally Numb Forever

    Emotions are what make us human.

    Why do I feel empty?Why do I feel emotionally numb? You might have asked these questions in great pain, but these questions point not to a defect, but deep strengths and creative self-protective mechanisms in you.

    Feeling numb or using emotional avoidance as a coping mechanism works for a while, but ultimately, your trauma and feelings are going to find a way to creep back. When the floodgates burst open, you may be shocked, feel out of control, and frightened by your own behaviours. You may then employ drastic measures to push the feelings back down, engaging in alcohol and drug abuse, overspending, bingeing, self-mutilation, and other impulsive behaviors.

    If left untreated, emotional numbness can manifest itself in the form of chronic physical ailments. It is a vicious cycle that becomes exasperating and physically draining, leaving you with even lesser energy to engage with family and friends. In the extreme, just like many who have PTSD or Complex PTSD, you may develop suicidal ideations.

    When we turn away from what we consider to be negative emotions, we also say goodbye to joy, love, and all that life has to offer. In the end, we are lonely and stranded in a cold, barren place. There will always be a voice inside that reminds us we are wasting away our lives without fully living.

    Inside of you is a wild, innocent and playful child.

    How To Make Yourself Emotionally Numb

    Emotional Blunting with Antidepressants

    This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. Dr. Liana Georgoulis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience, and is now the Clinical Director at Coast Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 1,277,375 times.

    Life can make you experience some intense, turbulent emotions: sadness, anger, jealousy, despair, or emotional pain. It is not always possible to turn off these emotions, since they can help you work through your problems and improve your life.XResearch source However, sometimes strong emotions can make it difficult for you to function, and you have to numb yourself temporarily just to get through the day. To make yourself emotionally numb under such circumstances, you’ll need to work at controlling your surroundings, paying close attention to your emotions, calming yourself physically, and dealing with anxiety as it pops up.

    See When Should You Try This? to learn more about when numbing your emotions might be a good course of action.

    Recommended Reading: When Was Postpartum Depression First Recognized

    What Causes Depression

    Sometimes depression has no apparent cause. Other times it may be caused by different factors such as:

    • A family history of depression may mean you are more likely to develop it.
    • A medical condition or a chronic illness can contribute to depression through your stress and worry.
    • A stressful event can trigger depression. For example, a family or relationship breakup, job loss and financial pressure, bullying, trauma, and the death of a friend or loved.
    • People who tend to worry a lot, are self-critical and have negative thoughts are at risk.

    People experience depression in different ways. Below are some common symptoms of depression.

    • losing interest in activities you usually enjoy
    • withdrawing from your friends and family or being more dependent on them
    • increased use of alcohol or other drugs
    • losing your temper more than usual.

    How To Reduce Anxiety

    Numbness is, in some ways, a “symptom of a symptom.” This is especially the case when the tingling or numbness is being caused by hyperventilation. However, there are several strategies that you can draw on in order to cope with these experiences:

    These are some of the steps that can be taken if you want to manage your anxiety and reduce your numbness. Numbness comes in many forms. But no matter which form it comes in, it is very often a distressing experience. It is difficult to address or change numbness directly. But you can address the anxiety that causes numbness using therapy, medications , self-help resources, and other strategies that will help you get relief. Anxiety is a treatable condition, and thus anxiety-related numbness is an experience from which you can get relief.

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    Recommended Reading: Where To Go With Depression

    Why Do I Feel Empty

    On the surface, it might seem strange that emotionally intense and highly sensitive people who tend to feel so much would also struggle with being emotionally numb or feeling nothing. However, your sensitivity and intensity could be precisely why you had turned to numbness as an armor to protect yourself. It might be that from a young age you were overwhelmed by too many strong emotions such that you adopted numbing as a way to cope. It might be that your childhood environment was violent and precarious, so you had no choice but to detach from what was happening, cut yourself off, and resort to feeling empty, and emotional numbness to cope.

    Out in the wild, self-defense is essential for survival. When faced with life-threatening danger, animals will either retreat, attack, assume threatening poses, spout poison, or camouflage themselves. What do we humans do when confronted with physical danger or emotional trauma? We might verbally or physically retaliate, we might run away. If neither is an option, we detach from ourselves, hide our true feelings by disappearing into a zone where our minds can live in denial of reality, and as a result, we find ourselves feeling nothing but void.

    Like a protective mechanism in an electric circuit, emotional numbness and emptiness kick in when we are unable to bear the weight of the truth.

    I am a ghost. I am not here, not really. You see skin and cuts and frailtythese are symptoms, you known, of a ghost.

    Emotional Numbness And Depression: Will It Go Away

    11 Behaviors That Reveal Someone Is Emotionally Numb

    Even as we dont like pain, it is a reminder that we are alive and have a steady pulse. Worse than heartbreak or rage can be the sensation of numbness, when you lose access to your feelings and cant feel the sadness of an important loss or the aggravations that used to make you scream. Emotional numbness is a common, yet not talked about, symptom of depression.

    In an informational video, Will This Numbness Go Away?, J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., M.D., co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, describes emotional numbness and helps people to distinguish between the numbness caused by depression and that from medication side-effects. He also assures anyone experiencing it, that it WILL go away.

    Read Also: What To Do When Starting To Feel Depressed

    Resolving Emotional Blunting From Antidepressants With Mid City Tms

    If youre experiencing depression and you feel the emotional blunting from antidepressants to be too bothersome, there are other options to consider. Mid City TMS provides patients with transcranial magnetic stimulation , which has been proven to be one of the most effective procedures available for the treatment of depression. TMS is safe, effective, and noninvasive and has helped patients experience:

    • An uplifted mood

    Emotionally Numb No Emotions Blunted Emotions And Anxiety

    Feeling emotionally numb, like your emotions have somehow become blunted, or that you have no emotions at all are common symptoms of anxiety disorder.

    Many anxious, depressed, and stressed people experience feeling emotionally numb. Its also a common symptom associated with sleep problems, such as insomnia.


    This symptom can affect one type of emotion, many types of emotions, or all emotions. It can also change where you feel nothing for one type of emotion at one time and then feel something for that one again but feel nothing for a different emotion at a different time.

    For instance, suddenly, you don’t feel pleasure or joy any longer, but still feel sad or frustrated. Or, you still feel pleasure and love, but don’t feel the rush of “chemicals” that used to accompany those feelings.

    Again any one, group, or all of our emotions can be affected.

    Feeling emotionally numb can occur occasionally, frequently, or all the time.

    It can also occur with other symptoms or by itself.

    Feeling emotionally numb can occur any time, including out of the blue and for no apparent reason.

    This common anxiety symptom can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves where it feels strong one moment and not the next.

    Feeling emotionally numb can change from day to day and from moment to moment.

    All the above combinations and variations are common.

    Read Also: Difference Between Crippling Depression And Depression

    Mayra Mendez Phd Lmft

    Learning and practicing cognitive-behavioral strategies for managing stress, traumatic experiences, depression, and anxiety can help tame negative thoughts.

    Whichever therapy you choose, getting help can provide you with a safe place to express and approach your emotions so that you’re no longer feeling numb.

    What Is Emotional Numbness

    Emotionally numb: how to overcome emotional numbness: psychological liberating direction revealed.

    Emotional numbness is a state of being in which you are not feeling or expressing emotions.

    “Emotional numbing is the mental and emotional process of shutting out feelings and may be experienced as deficits of emotional responses or reactivity,” explains Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center.

    Quite often, feeling numb is temporary. However, for some, emotional numbness becomes a strategy to protect themselves from further emotional or physical pain. While it may provide temporary relief, learning to cope with difficult feelings this way can have long-lasting consequences.

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    Feeling Too Many Emotions All At Once

    If youre feeling particularly overwhelmed with your emotions, its easy to go into shutdown mode. Whether that looks like depression or numbness, youre in good company. For anyone who feels too emotional or not emotional enough, we recommend learning the Wise Mind dialectical behavior therapy skill.

    Due to PTSD/dissociating, my brain checks out anytime I feel anything too intense and I go numb instead. My therapy has been focused on easing into feeling the physical sensations and being present in my body so my brain can properly process emotions and get myself to the point I can feel things more normally. When Im numb, I fall into depression, because Im so disconnected and I have no drive to do anything. Jessica C.

    When everything just hits you all at once, and all of the emotions run over you repeatedly, and so often, that you just cant even feel them anymore. Lindsay P.

    It became a survival tactic for me. Feeling nothing was a better alternative to the constant state of panic I was living in. There are several years of my life I still cant remember because I was living in this fog. Luckily I had a few good friends who loved me enough to help pull me out of it and encourage me to get help. Victoria F.

    If youre struggling with emotional numbness, youre not alone. Regardless of what youre feeling about your current struggles , your feelings are valid.

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