Symptoms of emotional numbness

Updated February 21, 2017

Emotional numbness is another term for depression. If you are feeling emotionally numb odds are that you are feeling disconnected from the world around you. These types of feelings usually occur after a traumatic experience. The traumatic experience can be physical or emotional and the effects can last for years at a time, or may not come to the surface for years after the event.

Lack of Interest

Many who suffer from emotional numbness display a lack of interest in most every activity that there is. Likely a sufferer will no longer take pleasure in the activities that brought her pleasure in the past. You may be suffering from this condition if you find yourself indifferent to most activities and transitions within your life. It's normal to be indifferent to some aspects or happenings within your life, but it's a red flag if you show little interest in most things.


People who are depressed or emotionally numb often prefer to be alone most of the time. They will likely avoid family and friends for most events and occasions. Often, they create excuses to be alone or to avoid a social responsibility to people that they previously valued. This behaviour is normal for people who are overloaded with work or school but if it continues for long periods of time, the sufferer should reach out for help.


Irritibility and anxiety are common symptoms for emotionally numb people. Though they appear to never really fluctuate in emotions they are usually on edge and easily angered. Watch for these symptoms in your loved ones. Anxiety and irritability are sure signs of depression and excessive stress which can cause depression. Emotionally numb individuals may also appear to be more negative or sarcastic than normal as well.


Fatigue or excessively tired people are also candidates for depression. Though they may appear to get lots of sleep, it's likely that they aren't getting quality sleep as they are constantly worrying and anxious. Sleep depravation can hinder your daily life in many ways. Quality sleep is important for the proper functioning of your body both mentally and physically. If you find yourself overly fatigued, find some ways to de-stress so that you can get better sleep.

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About the Author

Crystal Lassen hails from Kansas City, Mo. and has been a book critic since 2008. Her reviews have appeared on the Publisher's Weekly website and are largely concerned with current events. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from The University of Kansas.