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Has anybody ever gone numb emotionally?

I know this may sound like a silly question, but has anybody else gone numb for a short while emotionally. I don’t know why it gets to that point, but I think it probably has something to do with life in general and all life’s b.s that a person can literally run out of f**** to give. What do you guys think or have you ever felt like this or similar?

EmeraldJewel 7 Sep 18

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Yes, yes, and yes. I've had to for self-protection and self-care. I also highly recommend you read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck by Mark Manson. Really good book!!

Haven't read that book but I have run across it being promoted by those who have read it as a very good book.

I've heard of this book. I'll have to add it to my reading list.

I’m going to definitely check that one out! Thanks for recommending it!!


There have been times when I have wished I could go numb emotionally.

Deb57 Level 8 Sep 22, 2018

first you need to have such a messed up childhood you learn how to compartmentalize. Once you get that down it's easy.


Absolutely! I think it's a common response, perhaps to long term stress factors.


I have been numb emotionally, the first time was after my first wife died. I became very introverted kept the curtains closed in a sence i was like the Pink Floyd tune i was comfortably numb in my own thinking. the thinking was numb an far from free.


Asolutely....was married for 23 years ...the life was drained from me the point of feeling anxious and unhappy.Life started to lose it 's point ..despite all the blessings that I should have embraced .
But now .. divorced ..and not regretting a single day. Love my life ..and living again.


Yes, I have felt this multiple times throughout the years and for extended periods of time. I consider it “going dormant”, as I hope to awake from it after an appropriate amount of time.

I like that! I've been dormant a few times and consider myself to be right now, to an extent. The coming back to life is always amazing.


Yes. Emotional numbness and disassociation are common with mood disorders or trauma.


Hell yes. I am seeming unconcerned on the outside but extremely sensitive inside. I think it is a defense mechanism for psychological preservation.


I remember going numb emotionally as a teenager after I read "1984". It affected me a great deal. I've never reread it simply because I don't want to go through that again.

@AmiSue Being raised Mormon, I had a pretty sheltered childhood. It was probably too miuch too quick when I was young. I may reread it, having learned a lto more of the world, it probably won't have the same effect.

@zarathustra13 I always have to ask myself, who really benefits or benefitted from what politicians and the government does.

I pretty much limit my news intake to NPR and the BBG any more. Most news these days isn't really journalism, but rather just "infotainment.", only only a tad more reliable for accuracy than the tabloids.

In th eU.S. over 90% of the media, which includes all news papers, magazines, TV and radio stations are owned by just six corporations, which don't really actually compete against each other, as they all basically tow the same line as to what and how to report news.


Yes, a couple of times. After the divorce from my first husband and after the death of my second. Both times lasted about 6 months.


When l was antidepressants for a couple of years, they put a cap how high or low l could go emotionally. I miss that.

Go back on them.


So much, yes.


My wife has been (apparently permanently) in this condition since a major extended family kerfuffle some years ago. Let's just say it involved a culmination of years of emotional abuse from her father and monster-in-law and the realization that she was an unloved child. And I have been this way since my son's death a couple of years ago. In both cases it was really reaching a long-developing tipping-point of emotional overload (I had experienced other major losses before). Too much unwanted and unasked-for drama and grief and loss. I think the emotional subsystem can only take so much long-standing stress, and then a circuit breaker trips somewhere. Or the subconscious decides to install an avoidance mechanism to protect from further emotional pain.

Another cause aside from the PTSD-like triggers mentioned above is childhood emotional neglect, which is doubtless a factor for my wife. When you grow up with the notion that your feelings are unimportant or not worth acknowledging you can fall into a pattern of being estranged from them.

I suppose that it could happen on a shorter term basis in some people too. Don't know why not.

The problem, from our experience and what I've read, is that you can't selectively avoid just certain negative emotions, you end up blunting all of them, with the result that you don't experience emotional highs OR lows, except maybe when it's not personal. I can blubber over a sad movie but I cannot blubber over my own sadness anymore. Same thing for satisfaction or laughter. It's like trying to brown bread in a toaster that's not plugged in. Or perhaps more accurately, it only works on its lowest setting, you get warm bread but no crispness.

Another weird effect of this is that the only strong emotion that still arises at times is irritability / irascibility. I have to exercise a lot of self-control sometimes not to be cranky, which, of course, feeds the cycle.

We have not found a solution for this and in some ways it's a mercy. My wife has had a lifelong problem with anxiety and insomnia and this has improved considerably. In her case, that is probably saving her life, particularly since she seems physiologically very atypical in her reactions to mind altering substances that a shrink might prescribe to help her. She's had some really horrible experiences trying those.

On the abundance-of-caution theory that what you're experiencing could be warning signs of more pervasive or even permanent problems, I'd urge you to use meditation, therapy, or any other means at your disposal to avoid emotional overload. Eject the asshats from your life, for instance. I wish I'd done it much sooner, and I know my wife does.

Here's a pretty good article about the more persistent numbness I'm talking about, I don't know how much it applies to you but -- for what it's worth: []


Unfortunately only when alcohol was involved.. otherwise there's too much anxiety (mentally and emotionally) and I feel I can't breathe and will want to get out of that situation as soon as possible


I pursued numbness the last couple years of my marriage. I convinced myself it was better than the alternative. But it turns out, divorce was the best alternative.


Yeah, the last 18 months to two years of my marriage. It's a long story but didn't really appreciate where I was mentally and emotionally at the time until I was out of it, nor did I appreciate the long term effects and damage that period of time did


Yes. It's a survival mechanism, kicks in after a traumatic even or if the trauma is re-triggered or if I'm under too much stress. My mind shuts down to protect itself.


I believe that "going numb" is a defense mechanism. For some of us, it's
our minds going into protection mode, especially after a trauma.
After repeated battering, sometimes our hearts do the same. Okay, it's still
our minds, but you know what I mean.


It's the brain's way of saying "Enough!".


I am going through divorce depression or something tried time off, meds, don't know how to feel anymore and it's numbing to.

Same here, but I realized that meds were part of that. Some can make you feel like that. I stopped what I was taking and I'm fine now. Just don't do it on your own but with medical advise.


That's what alcohol is for. Been numbing for over 15 years.


Only after sex

Hahahanow that’s funny!


I find it harder to recall a time before I started feeling this way.


Dunno....I like Linkin Park tune though

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