What is Emotional Numbness

What Is Emotional Numbness And How Can You Overcome It?

Presented by BetterHelp.

Your body and mind are always looking out for you, whether you’re aware of it or not. As humans, we’ve developed instincts, skills, and other mechanisms that allow us not only to survive but to thrive in life. So, when life is overwhelming and you’re dealing with an obstacle that feels insurmountable, it’s only natural that your mind would step in and try to protect you.

This is where emotional numbness is often born, as it gives us the ability to continue moving through life without being too affected by it. While this may seem advantageous, as no one likes feeling sad, angry, or scared, the reality is that being unable to feel any sort of emotion means losing out on the full experience that life has to offer. While you may not feel negative emotions when you’re numb, you also can’t feel positive ones, like joy, admiration, or amusement.

While you may feel emotionally numb occasionally, it’s important that you have the tools and support to be able to pull yourself out of this feeling. Otherwise, it may persist and affect your life more and more deeply as time goes on. Here, we’ll discuss what emotional numbness is, how to identify it, and ways to overcome it effectively.

What Is Emotional Numbness?

Emotional numbness, as described by mental health professionals, is when you feel unable to experience emotions—whether positive or negative. You might describe this sensation as emptiness, almost as if you have a void that can’t be filled.

Feeling emotionally numb can make it challenging to engage with life as usual, as situations that are supposed to cause a reaction out of you may not do so. For example, you might get to see a friend you haven’t seen in years or get a failing grade on a test and feel indifferent in each scenario. This can affect your interpersonal relationships, performance at work, academic performance, and much more.

It’s normal to feel numb when faced with intensely painful emotions, but it’s also crucial to have other ways to cope when faced with challenges.

Signs Of Emotional Numbness

If you’ve ever felt emotionally numb, then you know it’s not the best experience. Some of the signs of emotional numbness can include:

  • Trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty connecting with others
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feeling a sense of detachment from the world
  • Lack of motivation
  • Having low energy
  • Indifference toward other people and life in general
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being unmoved by people or situations that would normally cause a response
  • Developing a low libido
  • Feeling as if you have no purpose or that nothing really matters

Emotional numbness may affect everyone differently and to varying degrees but leaving it unaddressed can still cause it to worsen.

What Causes Emotional Numbness?

Some of the common causes of emotional numbness include:

  • Mental health conditions: Mental health disorders and concerns like PTSD, depersonalization-derealization disorder, depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use disorder, and severe stress can all lead to the development of emotional numbness.
  • Medication: Certain medications, like antidepressants, may cause emotional numbness. It can be crucial to speak with your healthcare provider if you experience this symptom from taking a new medication.
  • Challenging life events: Going through something difficult, like losing your job or a loved one, can lead to emotional overwhelm that eventually turns into numbness. These big emotions can be so painful that feeling nothing appears to be a better option.

Understanding the unique cause of your emotional numbness may help you develop a plan to overcome it.

Overcoming Emotional Numbness

Recognizing that becoming numb to the world is a maladaptive coping mechanism can be one of the first steps in overcoming it. Other habits and strategies that can help you get out of this rut include exercising, practicing self-care, and getting enough sleep at night. It can also be essential to eat balanced, nutritious meals and become more aware of what you’re thinking and feeling by practicing mindfulness. By caring for yourself and growing in self-awareness, you can establish a healthy emotional foundation from which to heal and flourish.


Remember that feeling emotionally numb is a natural response to painful emotions and not something to be ashamed of. Rather, consider how impressive it is that your mind has safeguards in place to help protect you. While emotional numbness may initially be helpful, as it can allow you to take a moment to calm down, it’s not meant to last for an extended period. Thus, finding effective coping strategies can be key to overcoming this sensation and experiencing all that life has in store for you.

Article written by admin

By Profession, he is an SEO Expert. From heart, he is a Fitness Freak. He writes on Health and Fitness at MyBeautyGym. He also likes to write about latest trends on various Categories at TrendsBuzzer. Follow Trendsbuzzer on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.