Are you someone who doesn’t tend to experience emotions very much? If you do, does it tend to be muted and you don’t really get excited about very many things? Do you sometimes wish you could feel joy or happiness more than you do or have in the past? Maybe you aren’t sure what real joy feels like. If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you could be suffering from emotional numbness.
How Severe is the Problem of Emotional Numbness?
While the media and news don’t report this, my sense is that emotional numbing is something that pervades our culture. The most obvious way that people numb out emotionally is through the use of substances, especially if they develop addictions to these substances. People also numb out with behavioral addictions, such as compulsive sexual behavior or others. Some people have been traumatized in the course of their lives and they have emotional numbness because of this. So this problem pervades our society, and has for a long time. At least 20% of the population suffers from this and the totals are probably even higher than this.
What To Do About It
If you suffer from emotional numbness, you probably have also experienced some form of trauma in your lifetime, and the shock that you’ve experienced as a result of this has left you with some degree of numbness. There are no easy ways to get rid of this without professional help, but one of the important things to realize is that at least you have an awareness of the numbness. That is good, because it helps you be aware that something happened to you that needs to be dealt with. Trauma therapy is the most straightforward way of treating this, and I’ll get into that later. Other things you can do have been described in an earlier blog post of mine on coping with trauma.
How I Can Help In Treating Emotional Numbness
I have been working with clients who suffer from numbness and helping them to recover from the effects of shock for most of my 10 years as a therapist. I use two forms of trauma therapy to help my clients: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT). Both of them help to treat the shock that causes you to feel numb, particularly ImTT. The vast majority of my clients are able to get past the shock that causes numbness and work through all the related feelings and memories that have dogged them, sometimes for decades. If you would like to talk to me about whether trauma therapy may help you to overcome shock and feeling numb, feel free to call me at 512-374-0100, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can fill out the form below and I can arrange a free 15-minute phone consult to help you determine whether seeing me for therapy would be helpful. Get back you ability to feel real emotions, instead of holding on to the numbness that’s bothered you for probably far too long!
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 14 and up in private practice. His new e-book is entitled Life’s Lessons from the Young and the Old and is available for purchase on Amazon.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you overcome trauma.