“I don’t care”: what is emotional insensitivity


Almost everyone has periods of emotional insensitivity. At some point, the brain simply turns off some of the functions, and we live purely mechanically. This is neither good nor bad. Different people perceive the same events differently. We are not connected to a single control center, which means that we cannot react in the same way to what is happening. An emotionally insensitive person seems to freeze and become indifferent to everything, including situations that previously evoked a lively response.

What is emotional insensitivity

Emotions are an integral part of human life. They guide our desires and actions, make us strive for more and be proud of our achievements, grieve, get angry, upset, wonder, love. Each emotion has many shades that make up a variegated picture of life experience.

Emotional insensitivity is not just indifference, it deprives you of the ability to perceive the external world and evaluate everything that is happening around. She does not allow to work normally, communicate and live. Hobbies, interests, relationships with people become insipid and unnecessary, because there are no emotions: a person does not want to do something that does not bring joy or pleasure. Why make senseless movements?

Responsibilities are another matter, they must be fulfilled, otherwise you will sink to the bottom. And everything beyond that – meetings with friends, entertainment, hobbies, creative impulses – is tied to emotions and desires.

Many people mistake insensitivity as a lifesaving mechanism for coping with stress. This is not true. It can be really helpful to turn off your emotions from time to time in order to focus on important tasks, as being too hot will only hurt. Another bad thing: we too often forget to go back and mentally live a difficult situation. Residual emotions accumulate inside and sooner or later make themselves felt.

The habit of silencing emotions in order to block out any unpleasant feelings is called avoidance, and it is not the best defense mechanism. Lingering insensitivity indicates serious violations, in such cases it is necessary to contact a specialist. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • loss of interest in social activity;
  • feeling of uselessness and detachment;
  • emotional and physical exhaustion, loss of strength;
  • complete indifference, neither positive nor negative emotions;
  • general lethargy, difficulties in daily activities;
  • inability to think deeply and perceive complex information;
  • difficulties in expressing feelings in words and explaining them to others;
  • the desire to close at home and not meet with anyone.

Causes of emotional insensitivity

Most often, this condition occurs in response to persistent pain, physical or mental. A person who has to endure torment involuntarily tries to drown out emotions, and then it becomes easier for him. It helps at first, but the problems only get worse in the future. The trouble is that the wall is getting taller and denser and over time there is no gap left in it where at least some emotions, positive or negative, could penetrate.

The path will be closed until we figure out to cut through the door.

Among the most likely causes are psychological problems, including:

  • depression;
  • psychological and physical abuse;
  • chemical dependence;
  • stress;
  • grief;
  • traumatic experience and post-traumatic disorder;
  • increased anxiety or anxiety disorder.

Emotional insensitivity often develops after shocks, especially in people who have been bullied for a long time by abusive parents or partners. As a rule, victims of violence cannot influence what happens to them, and therefore withdraw into themselves, because this is the only available way of protection. Difficult experiences come back again and again: even when everything ends, a person tries to avoid situations, conversations and sensations that remind him of the past.

In anxious people, emotional insensitivity is triggered as a kind of compensatory mechanism that allows you to reduce high levels of stress to bearable. It can also be caused by certain medications. This side effect is observed in almost all psychotropic drugs.

What is emotional insensitivity and how to overcome it

How is she treated

There is no universal remedy for emotional insensitivity; each case is individual. Friends, relatives, support groups will not be able to help with all the desire, because they do not know how. The best way out is to see a psychologist. He can identify the underlying causes and work through this condition with the patient.

You should not wait for an instant result: boxes where unlived emotions are hidden must be opened carefully, rethinking each situation. Done correctly, the ability to feel is gradually restored. The most common approaches to treating emotional numbness are two:

A therapy of acceptance and responsibility. Focused on the development of awareness, the ability to recognize and interpret emotional experience “as is.” The patient learns to distinguish his own destructive reactions and replace them with constructive ones.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Pays more attention to developing the ability to understand and express emotions. The patient learns to consciously replace negative attitudes with positive ones. In addition, the method helps to thoughtfully evaluate different situations and choose the correct emotional response.

Insensitivity is not always due to dramatic events. It often develops in those who live in constant stress and work to the limit. In this case, psychologists recommend revising the way of life.

How to maintain psychological balance

Emotional insensitivity can be prevented by following a few simple rules.

1. Do charging

Sports activity is the best remedy for emotional insensitivity. When we move actively, the brain releases endorphins, which boost mood and boost energy. Just twenty minutes a day can significantly improve mental health.

2. Practice good sleep hygiene

Quality sleep works wonders. You just need to create conditions for him: a comfortable bed, a dark room, no smartphones in bed and not stay up late.

3. Watch your diet

Food is a vital fuel for the body. This is the perfect car, but if you fill it with anything, it will certainly fail. If you replace unhealthy foods with healthy ones and eat when you really want to, your health will soon improve.

4. Reduce stress levels

Most unfeeling people have many unresolved problems. They accumulate gradually and turn into an unbearable burden. In the end, the brain simply cannot withstand the overload and goes into a limited mode. To prevent this from happening, it is critical to rest and replenish your resources.

5. Learn to recognize, express and experience emotions

Anyone who has been indifferent to everything for a long time simply forgets what it means to feel and respond to impressions, because unclaimed skills are dulled over time. It could be worse. People who were abused in childhood do not know what emotions are because they were not allowed to experience them. Fortunately, emotional intelligence can be developed.

6. Look for people who are ready to support you

It is good when friends and family are nearby, ready to help in difficult times. Sometimes it’s enough just to have a heart-to-heart talk to make it clear what to do next. But if there is no one to trust, look for support groups, go to a psychotherapist, just do not be alone.

Emotional insensitivity does not go away by itself, the path to recovery is long and difficult. You will have to change yourself and change your relationship with the outside world. But you can definitely do it. After all, this is done in order to return the taste of life again.

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