Have you ever felt like nothing matters? That no matter what you do, good or bad, it doesn’t affect your mood in a significant way? You may be experiencing emotional numbness.
This article will talk about what is emotional numbness, what one feels through during it, why it occurs, and how to cope with it.
- 1 What Is Emotional Numbness?
- 2 How Does One Feel During An Emotional Numbness?
- 3 How Does One Cause Emotional Numbness?
- 4 How Does One Know If They Are Experiencing Emotional Numbness?
- 5 How to Cope with Emotional Numbness
- 6 How You Can Help Someone Coping With Emotional Numbness
- 7 Therapies to Treat Emotional Numbness
- 8 Conclusion
What Is Emotional Numbness?
Emotional numbness can be described as a feeling of detachment or emptiness. It can be felt in different ways.
Some people describe feeling emotionally absent or not fully present during times of emotional numbness, while others will feel a lack of emotion.
It can leave someone feeling cold and isolated like they are living in a foggy and detached state.
This can be an extremely difficult experience that often leaves people feeling lost and alone.
How Does One Feel During An Emotional Numbness?
An individual may not feel anything when they’re in a state of emotional numbness.
They might lack the ability to express feelings, even if it is going through someone else.
In addition, some people can be very ‘flat’ during an emotional numbness and have difficulty showing positive emotions such as happiness or joy for small things.
Some people describe it as an ‘emotional deadening’ where they feel like they are living in a fog or dream-like state.
How Does One Cause Emotional Numbness?
There are a variety of ways that one can cause emotional numbness. Some common methods include:
Trauma or a shocking event
This can be a single, traumatic event such as an accident, assault, or natural disaster, or it could be something that has occurred repeatedly over time, such as abuse.
When someone is constantly dealing with high levels of stress, it can lead to emotional numbness as a way of coping.
Depression is often characterized by feelings of emptiness and numbness.
Anxiety can also cause someone to feel emotionally numb as a way of protecting themselves from the intense emotions that come with anxiety.
- Substance abuse,
- Withdrawing from friends and family,
- Avoiding social situations, and
When someone is experiencing emotional numbness, it is often difficult to connect with others or feel any type of emotion. It is also common for people who are trying to cope with this numbness to feel alone or isolated.
How Does One Know If They Are Experiencing Emotional Numbness?
When one is experiencing an emotional numbness, it can be easy for them not to know what they are feeling nor how severe their emotions may be.
It’s important to remember that being numb or not feeling things does not mean that one doesn’t have emotions.
If you’ve never experienced it before, it might be difficult for you to know what they’re like.
Luckily there are some exterior indications of how emotionally numbing can appear in someone.
Some signs that you may be experiencing it are:
- You feel like your emotions are muted or far away,
- You have a hard time feeling empathy for others,
- It feels like there is a shield blocking any sort of emotion from coming through
Additionally, another sign could be anhedonia which is the inability to feel pleasure from activities that were once pleasurable.
NOTE: If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to talk to someone about how you’re feeling to get a better understanding and start on the path to healing.
How to Cope with Emotional Numbness
If you are experiencing emotional numbness, there are a few things that you can do to help cope:
Talk to someone
Talking about what you’re going through can help manage the emotions. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or any other support system.
Find healthy coping mechanisms
This could be anything from exercise to journaling to listening to music. Find something that helps you healthily release your emotions.
It is common to feel guilt or shame after experiencing emotional numbness. Try not to judge yourself and accept that what you are feeling is normal given the situation.
Seek professional help
If the numbness is proving to be too much for you to manage on your own, seek professional help. A therapist can provide guidance and support in managing your emotions.
How You Can Help Someone Coping With Emotional Numbness
If you know someone who is going through emotional numbness, there are a few things that you can do to help:
Listen without judgment
Allow them to talk about what they’re feeling and don’t judge or criticize them. Just listening can be helpful.
Don’t push them to take action
If they don’t want to take action, don’t push them. Let them know that they can take their time and you are there for support when they feel ready.
Avoid offering advice or opinions
Just like you shouldn’t judge your loved one, it is important not to judge the feelings that someone else experiences after experiencing this numbness. Offering advice or opinions can make them feel invalidated.
Provide practical support
If they need help with anything, offer to help out. This could be something as simple as taking the dog for a walk or doing the grocery shopping.
Therapies to Treat Emotional Numbness
There are a few different therapies that are effective in treating this numbness:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of therapy that helps you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to this numbness.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a type of therapy that helps you manage emotions effectively. It focuses on teaching skills to help you regulate your thoughts and feelings.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
IP is a type of therapy that helps you identify and work through problems in your relationships. It can help address any underlying emotional issues that may be contributing to your numbness.
EMDR is a type of therapy that uses eye movements to help you process traumatic memories and reduce the emotional impact they have.
NOTE: Emotional numbness can be a difficult experience to cope with, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing the same thing that you are and there are many ways to cope.
Emotional numbness can be a difficult experience to cope with, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing the same thing that you are and there are many ways to cope. If the numbness is proving to be too much for you to manage on your own, seek professional help.
A therapist can provide guidance and support in managing your emotions. There are a few different therapies that are effective in treating emotional numbness, so find the one that is best suited for you. Remember to be patient and gentle with yourself as you work through this difficult time.