Wow! How’d you know? I am feeling numb. I go through stages that always seem to lead back to this place.

Feelings of numbness come and go, sometimes without warning. Their random tingling slips into our minds and leaves us as if we’re floating in a pool of nothing. Could it be? Well, feeling numb comes from situations in our lives that normally shouldn’t be there. These situations cause such ripples that they completely change our logical thinking.

What causes mental numbness?

Some days, I feel everything, or it seems. I feel every little irritation, every happy emotion, and even some feelings I cannot describe. Then there’s that numb feeling that tells me I’m possibly entering the gates of dissociation, which is one thing that does cause numbness. But guess what?

Here are many of the other causes of feeling numb:


Post-traumatic stress disorder, once known only as a “wartime disorder”, is now known as a disorder that strikes hundreds who’ve fought wars on their homelands, in their homes, and in their minds. Triggers come from PTSD, and these triggers can cause devastating damage to those who aren’t familiar with how this disorder works.

Now, speaking of numbness, PTSD can strike suddenly, leaving its victim in a cocoon state, curled in the fetal position and waiting for the threat to pass over. Even for hours afterward, emotions are absent. Because of whatever traumatic event which occurred, emotions have learned to hide away until the coast is clear.

How to cope:

Coping with PTSD is almost always best with professional help. Support from friends and family is also important.

2. Negative medical diagnosis

Serious medical diagnosis like Cancer can change your life in minutes. When things like this happen, emotions start to spin out of control. Most of the time, feeling numb is the first emotional response to a negative medical diagnosis. Many people hide negative news like this from loved ones which makes numb feelings much worse.

How to cope:

The best way to cope with negative medical diagnosis is to try and stay as positive as possible. Yes, this is extremely difficult for some people, but positive energy fuels healing in the body. Again, support is always a big help too.

3. Grief

Feeling the loss of a loved one manifests in two ways. Either you grieve after the death, or you start grieving with the understanding that death is coming soon. A prognosis such as the Cancer diagnosis gives medical professionals the ability to sometimes pinpoint pretty accurately how long the patient has to live.

Emotional numbness can go on for months while enduring the impending death of a  loved one. Emotional numbness can also happen at the onset of sudden death as well. Either way, this emotion can prove to be quite a problem in many ways.

How to cope:

It’s easier to cope with grief when surrounded by loved ones and friends. When alone, you have more time to dwell on the pain, hence more time to lose contact with your emotions.

4. Psychiatric drugs

If you suffer from a mental disorder, you may be prescribed with certain antipsychotic medications. These medications are designed to help you live a productive and normal life.

It can take time to regulate these medications and thus a feeling of numbness can take over your emotions. In some other cases, medications can be misdiagnosed also causing these numb feelings.

How to cope:

If you’re dealing with strange emotions, especially feelings of numbness, seeking the right professional help is best. If you aren’t satisfied with the help you receive for your anxiety or depression, there are many others who can provide the help you need. Support will be needed in this situation.

5. Depression

With depression, feeling numb happens frequently. In fact, depression can drive you into days of numbness with no ability to take care of any responsibilities. Once you’ve sunken into the pits of despair, it takes quite a pull to bring you out again. Feeling numb, when it comes to depression, just seems to come with the territory.

How to cope:

When feeling depressed, even though you may not feel being around others, you should try. Being with others helps keep you busy and may alleviate a bit of depression. Although depression doesn’t just go away like magic, it can be soothed in the company of those you love.

6. Stress/Anxiety

Everyone has felt the pressure of stress before and then felt the urgency of the “fight or flight” decisions. Stress can cause us to become emotionally numb when we cannot decide which route to take.

With anxiety, the pinnacle of this feeling comes with panic attacks or emotional numbness. Sometimes these can happen one after the other, or even simultaneously.

Feeling numb during times of stress or when dealing with an anxiety disorder can be unhealthy. Although it may seem like your checking out to keep from falling apart, you’re also avoiding your responsibilities, and in some cases, could be zoning out during a dangerous time. Take care to work on your numb feelings.

How to cope:

If you suffer from stress and anxiety to the point where you’re having a hard time feeling basic emotions, seek professional help as soon as possible. Friends, family, and especially trained professionals can show you the steps that can soothe and calm those anxious feelings and win back your normal emotions.

7. Loneliness

You know, loneliness is strange. I lived single for a couple of years and really didn’t feel all that lonely. Of course, that was just a couple years and I did have my children half the time.

According to studies, we often feel the least lonesome during the middle part of our lifespan. This loosely includes early adulthood into late middle age. It seems teens and seniors feel the most lonely.

Loneliness can cause emotional numbness. I remember those feelings. Even though I loved living single, I did zone out into numb land every now and then. It seems the silence can carry us away, often with thoughts of the past or even imaginations of the future.

Before long, we snap back into reality and emotions come flooding back. Often times, when we return to feeling, we’re awash with tears.

How to cope:

Coping with loneliness can be difficult depending on your personal situation. If you’re so lonely that it’s affecting your emotions, then finding a past time or hobby is sometimes a good idea. Not only can you learn new things, but you can also meet new people.

Staying connected with reality when you’re feeling numb

Although it isn’t catastrophic to feel numb sometimes, it shouldn’t become a normal way of life. As you can see, there are many reasons why our emotions check out for a while.

The important part is to understand how to get back on track and take control of your mental well-being. If you’re finding your emotions are absent way too much, it’s time to do what it takes to find yourself again.

You’re not alone, and I support your journey in self-healing.



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