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Emotional Numbing

Emotional numbing is when you shut out your feelings after a traumatic event. It becomes a coping tool to avoid having to confront your feelings about what happened to you. While emotional numbing can provide you with temporary relief, avoiding confronting your feelings can lead to negative consequences in the future.

Symptoms of Emotional Numbing

If you are experiencing emotional numbing, it could mean you are no longer taking part in activities that you used to enjoy. You could also be feeling detached from other people. You do not want to talk about what is bothering you or participate in anything. It may be hard for you to be happy and you may feel like you would rather live in isolation.

Causes of Emotional Numbing

Emotional numbing can come as a result of physical or emotional pain. In order to protect yourself from getting hurt again, you would rather detach and numb yourself to avoid any negative feelings. This could also mean avoiding thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event, as well as people or places connected to the event.

While you may feel fine for a while by numbing yourself, you will likely experience long-term effects such as having trouble making connections with people and not being able to get in touch with your feelings. Emotional numbness can also be a result of anti-anxiety medication. If so, speak to your doctor about decreasing your dose or stopping the medication altogether.

Treatment for Emotional Numbing

When you find a therapist that you feel comfortable talking to, you can start talking about the cause of your emotional numbing. You can also learn about useful coping tools like allowing your feelings to process in a safe environment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be productive as it can change your thought processes of powerlessness to strength. There are also some lifestyle changes you could make, like developing a social support system, which can enable you to better express your emotions.

You can also make sure to get plenty of rest—seven to eight hours a night is recommended, as well as fitting in a 20-minute nap, so you can wake up feeling good. Mindfulness strategies like deep breathing and meditation can allow you to focus on what is happening now and allow you to have control over disorganized thoughts or feelings.

By confronting your feelings and expressing them to others, you can be able to be happy again.

Emotional numbing can prevent you from achieving a happier life, but talking to a therapist and expanding your social support network can help. At The Guest House, we provide treatment for addiction and mental illness caused by trauma. Our customized treatment options include breath work, equine therapy, art therapy, grief therapy, cinema therapy mindfulness, individualized and group therapy, and more. Call us today at (855) 876-3884 to learn more about how we can help.