A couple of months ago, I published a post about my experiences with emotional numbness. I was lucky enough that a few brave people reached out to me or commented on their own personal experiences, so I’m glad to know that it’s reached someone. I’d love to raise awareness of emotional numbness/anhedonia as I feel that people don’t understand it or really know what it is.
Leading on from that post, (found here: https://bit.ly/2PyAEeq ) I thought I’d let you all know how I’ve been coping since then. Now, there has been a little (and I mean little!) improvement. I’m sure it will take a lot of time to get back to my old self, and as I’ve felt totally numb for the past four years I’m sure it will also take a while for my body and mind to adjust. After plenty of research, I’ve put together my own little personal plan in an attempt to combat my emotional numbness. And I’m ‘pleased’ to say it’s working – ish. I now tingle. Yup, that’s the only way to explain it. Two emotions are there, briefly, subtly yet almost, tingly. Anxiety and excitement.
I have experienced unipolar depression for years now, and at the beginning aged sixteen I believed to have anxiety too. This was because I’d have panic attacks and develop many physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. However, over the years these have dramatically lessened so now I remain unsure. Maybe it went as the anhedonia grew? I don’t know. I don’t understand it. However, while I still can’t experience as strong anxiety as I once did, I feel something. If I think to the future, whether that’s thinking of work or general adult life, I feel a very small group of butterflies lightly flapping their wings and a little sick, y’know the anxiety sort of sickness. And honestly, I’ve never felt so ‘happy’ to feel anxious. The same too with excitement. I don’t have to think of anything in particular, yet if I think ‘I’m excited’ then there it is again – the slight tingling of joy. Weird, huh? I can’t explain it.
Maybe it’s my online research, as from this I decided to begin to journal my emotions, or would-be emotions, and write about my day. Answering these three questions: What are you looking forward to today? What worries you about today? What made you sad today?
Maybe that’s helped. Maybe it hasn’t. I simply don’t know. There are other ways that I’ve found too. Each of which I’m trying when I have the time or the opportunity arises. One way that I have found through research is to express your feelings/emotions creatively whether that’s through drawing, journaling, painting, making a collage, etc. just anything to get the mind thinking about your day and from a more emotional perspective. Another suggestion I read was to remind yourself that ‘It’s okay to feel sad/happy/angry’ etc. in the hopes, that one day, something will occur. The most bizarre suggestion, although interesting, that I’m trying to do is to thank people internally (bear with me on this!). Obviously, when people open a door for you, or help you out in any way, we’d thank them. Naturally. Yet, not only do I now say ‘Thank you’ but I try to internalise this too, for example, I’d think over and over about how nice it was for them to do such a thing and think of them as a very kind person – to sort of, tug at my own heartstrings and make me ‘emotional’ thinking about them. Does that make sense? Probably not. This whole topic is very hard to put into words, so congratulations to you if you’re keeping up! :D
So that’s that. Have you experienced this? What techniques have you tried? Thank you for those people who reached out and commented on my previous post about this topic, it means a lot and I hope it’s resolved for you soon. Thank you for reading!
Take care, Sophie x
As always, please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional or any other type of professional, this is a hobby for me and is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice. I am not liable for any consequences as a result of this information and if readers rely on any of the information on my blog, it is at their own risk. I cannot confirm that all information is correct, accurate or reliable. The information is true to the best of my knowledge, yet there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This information isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have, or believe to have, a mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.
Note: This picture belongs to Wix.