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What Does It Mean When I Feel Numb?

by Louise W. Rice
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As human beings, we’re used to experiencing many different feelings. There’s anger, sadness, joy, and many more emotions. When there’s an absence of emotion, it could be alarming. Feeling numb is exceptionally uncomfortable. You may not understand what’s going on with you because you’re used to feeling a variety of emotions, and all of a sudden, those feelings are gone. There’s nothing wrong with you if you can’t seem to feel anything. There could be many sources for the numbness. Here are some reasons why you feel numb and what you can do about it.

You’ve been through a lot

Life can be extremely challenging, and sometimes we get overwhelmed by our experiences. It’s natural for our senses to get overloaded. Sometimes our bodies and minds need to shut down after experiencing a trauma. You may have recently lost a loved one. You’re sad about this loss but can’t seem to access those feelings, and instead, you feel nothing. Everything seems to be dulled. You can’t cry or scream or let out those emotions. That’s likely because your body and mind are in a state of shock.

Sometimes numbness occurs when there’s so much emotion that you can’t seem to let it out. When you’ve been through something traumatic t, it takes your body and mind time to process that trauma. Try not to be so hard on yourself if you can’t feel anything. Give it time, and you’ll be able to access those emotions.

You’re afraid to “go there.”

Sometimes people feel numb because they’re afraid of their emotions. They know underneath that numbness that there are strong feelings, and that can be overwhelming. If this is the case, remember that you don’t have to access all of your emotions at once. You can take a look at one thing at a time. Imagine you have a box of toys in the attic. You don’t have to look at all of them at once. Take one thing out of the box and examine it. Apply this analogy to your emotions. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with an intense feeling. You’re in charge of your mental wellness. Don’t push yourself to handle things that you can’t look at at the moment.

Depression and numbness

When a person is depressed, they may feel numb. There is an absence of joy in their life, and they feel that emptiness or numbness. Another reason you might feel numb when you’re depressed is that you’ve cried so much that you don’t have any tears left. Whatever the case may be, the numbness associated with depression is uncomfortable. You want to feel something desperately, but instead, you feel nothing at all. It’s frustrating, but you can’t force yourself to feel. One thing that can help is writing out your feelings of depression.

Journaling through numbness

One way that you can cope with his emotional numbness is to write down your feelings. It’s a safe way to get out the emotions on your own time. Writing can be a tremendous cathartic way to express yourself. When you can’t seem to feel at all, you can take a pen and paper and write down what’s going through your mind.

Sometimes we don’t know what emotions we’re experiencing until we take them down on paper. Take a moment and open a notebook and start writing. You can even start with the statement, “I feel numb.” You don’t have to know why you feel a particular way. Accept the fact that there’s an absence of emotion. And you will get to the source of those feelings in time.

Talking about numbness in therapy

Online therapy is a great place to talk about your feelings. If you’re having trouble feeling anything at all, an online therapist can talk you through these issues. You can discuss what’s going on with you and what could be making you feel numb. If you’ve been through a traumatic experience, an online therapist is there to help you process those feelings.

You can talk to an online counselor at a company like BetterHelp. Online therapists care about your feelings and want to help you sort through them. Remember, you won’t feel numb forever. Take some time and reach out to an online therapist who can help you understand what’s going on with you and how you can process your feelings.


Marie-MiguelAuthor Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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