Emotional Numbness: A state where you feel nothing even though you really want to feel, something. Anything.

It’s 2:00 am in the morning and I should really be sleeping but here I am just sitting and introspecting on life, the result of which is this post.

Let’s start, shall we?

*Plays the Linkin Park song*

Have you ever thought what it feels like to be numb? Yes, you feel numbness and no I do not mean the physical numbness you experience when you put ice on a spot on your body for too long. I mean emotionally numb.

It is a difficult feeling to explain really.

In a way it feels like a perpetual meditative state, but, unlike meditation, it does not have any positive outcomes and it surely is not something anyone would ask you to try out. But, to really explain how it feels and how is it so not like meditation, I have *carefully* come up with a simulation sort of a thing.

Go to a room, a dark room (like the one shown below), preferably one with nothing in it (living or non-living) but most definitely nothing living. Somewhere you won’t have any distractions (No, I am not tricking you into meditating, trust me). Now just sit in that room, all alone in the dark and just close your eyes and lay down.

Dark room


More often than not, in such a situation you won’t feel anything, there will be a thousand thoughts in your head and it is going to feel really crowded but here is where the difference between meditation and just feeling plain numb comes in. When you meditate, you choose not to think of anything else, you try to concentrate and you don’t feel anything. But, when you’re numb you won’t really be able to choose one out of those thousand thoughts.

Why won’t you be able to?

Because, we like to think about things that trigger some sort of emotion in us, be it good or bad. You don’t just start thinking of random things, randomly and when you’re numb, you don’t feel anything.

So, what is so wrong about feeling numb?

Well, it seems all fun and normal when you are trying to simulate it once in a while, but the problem starts when that is what you constantly feel. You can’t go around explaining to people how you feel and you definitely can’t make everyone try the simulation that I just made you try out.

And, even that is fine, some people will try to understand and some people will actually understand what you feel because they are going through the same thing. But, there will be this other group of people who won’t understand you, they’re just going to deem you ignorant or arrogant. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. I REPEAT ABORT MISSION. Because, even trying to get these people to understand what you feel is the most futile thing you’ll ever do in your life.

How do you deal with numbness?

You don’t really ‘deal’ with it. You get ‘used to’ it. Yes, you do get used to it and it’s really not a bad thing as long as you’re not trying to induce feeling something by self-harming. In that case, go and visit a doctor.  What you can do in an attempt to deal with it is, just leave it, let it be, just surround yourself with people who kind of understand you and make you happy.

Yes, you’ll feel happy every now and then, it’s not an emotional paralysis. To explain this feeling I’d really just use the example of ice again. When you put ice on your finger for too long, it goes numb but if you try pinching that ‘numb’ spot, you might not feel the pain but you’ll feel that there is something happening. What I mean is; you’ll not exactly be ‘happy’ but you’ll feel better but just that the numbness will be so overwhelming, you won’t really notice the happy moments a lot. But, here’s where the hard part comes in, in order to deal with it in the most basic ways, you need to try and make an attempt on being positive, it will be really hard in the starting but you gotta keep going. Embrace the happy moments that you do experience and you will get better at embracing it with time. (Practice makes perfect, I tell ya)

Here’s the last and probably the most important thing that I learnt with time. What you focus on, expands. If you keep focusing on that numbness, the numbness is bound to expand. So, the ONLY way you can make yourself feel better or more like get out of that numb trap even though you don’t really ‘feel’ better or get out of it is to focus on the positive things.

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