Do You Feel Emotionally Numb?

By | June 5, 2020

We all feel numb at times, and not only when your dentist gives you an injection. See, numbness is more than just physical. We can feel emotionally numb, too. Emotional numbness, or not feeling any emotions, can lead to many problems. We’re here to explain what it is and how you can fix it.

What is Emotional Numbness?

This is when you feel no emotions or very little. Something that should upset you doesn’t do anything. The funniest joke in the world can barely crack a smile, if at all. It can be an empty feeling, or a feeling of isolation.

Some people may not look at emotional numbness with much empathy. If they see someone not reacting to a tragedy, they may think of that person as cold or self-centered. In actuality, the person who is emotionally numb may want to feel emotions, but they can’t. It can hurt knowing that you should be feeling emotions. Try as you might, you may feel like you can’t connect to the world.

Emotional numbness may be due to several factors, many of which are treatable. Let’s discuss some possible causes of emotional numbness, then tell you some ways you can treat it.

Emotional Numbness Causes

Emotional numbness has various culprits, including:

  • Depression. Many people think you are emotional when you’re depressed, but the truth is that depression can also be an intense unavailability of emotions as well.
  • Stress, nervousness, and anxiety. While these can cause intense emotions, they can also lead to you feeling numb, especially if you’re stressed beyond the breaking point. So many hormones affect your body, that at some point, you don’t feel anything anymore.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. When you experience an episode, you may feel extreme emotional numbness afterward.
  • Certain medications. Ironically, medicine used to treat anxiety or depression can turn you into feeling numb.
  • Not getting enough sleep. If you’ve had a few bad nights, you may feel emotionally numb as a result.
  • Boredom with life, or burnout. Doing the same job every day can make you feel burned out.

Meanwhile, doing the same activities every day, even if you enjoy them, can lead to some emotional numbness.

  • Grief can lead to emotional numbness. Some people may think of grief as crying and depression, but being emotionally numb is also a reaction. The fact that a person you love is deceased can be so taxing on the mind that you may not feel anything about it.
  • Childhood trauma can lead to being emotionally numb. Even if you don’t remember the trauma, it can still have a hold on you, and it can be hard to move past it. There may have been something that triggered your trauma.
  • Many other culprits can cause emotional numbness, from pain to it being a part of your personality.

It’s Usually Not Permanent

Luckily, feeling emotionally numb is not a permanent thing, especially if you know what’s causing it. However, if left untreated, the emotional numbness could grow stronger, and this could make it harder to treat.

With all that said, how can you go about treating it? Here are a few ways.

Find the Cause

First, you need to figure out the cause. You may know it if you’re doing a little digging, but you may also want to talk to a doctor, counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Sometimes, the cause is easily fixable.

For instance, if it’s your medication that’s to blame, you may benefit from your therapist changing your meds. This may be a quick fix.

However, not all causes have an easy solution. Here are some treatment options.

Work Out

Being consistent with working out is a good way for you to relieve your emotional numbness. Your brain releases endorphins, which can make you feel better and relieve some of your numbness.

Talk to Someone

Besides a therapist, you may benefit from talking to your friends and family, or another supportive person such as a therapist. When you trust someone, it can be much easier for you to talk about how you’re feeling in an environment that will be less judgmental.

Get Better Rest

If your emotional numbness is due to poor sleep, get better sleep. Unwind at night, and do something that makes you tired. If you can’t sleep, perhaps you should get up and do something else. Sometimes, insomnia comes in waves, and you may have to wait it out. However, if you’re showing no signs of improvement, you may want to talk to a therapist or doctor.

Take Medications

While some meds can cause emotional numbness, some can relieve it as well. Talk to your doctor and see what medications would be good for your situation.

Learn to Manage Stress

When being emotionally numb, stress can be a huge cause of it. It’s important that you learn about stress and what it can do to your body. Then, look at the sources of your stress. If it’s beyond your control, perhaps learn how to accept that not everything is under your control. If there are ways for you to control your stress, formulate a plan to handle them. A therapist can help you create a goal-based plan to eliminate all sources of stress.

Try Something New

Sometimes, you may be emotionally numb due to boredom. Why not get into a new hobby? If your job is making you feel burnt out, you can handle that by looking for a new job or having a side hustle that keeps you interested.


Everyone gets emotionally numb from time to time, but if it’s overtaking your life, then seek help. There is no shame in seeking help for your emotional numbness. You deserve to feel happy, sad, angry, and all the other emotions that come with life. Seek help from a therapist today and see what the solution to your emotional numbness is. It may be something simple.


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