It’s hard to describe what feeling numb is like, but you’ll intuitively know it if you’ve felt it. Know that you’re not alone.

Many people report feeling disconnected from the world around them sometimes, feeling “flat,” or feeling like life is on autopilot. Perhaps events and people seem muted, or less colorful somehow.

It can also be described as chronically running on empty, feeling ungrounded, having a hard time focusing, or losing track of time throughout the day. Feeling numb can make it hard to connect with others, which creates loneliness or a sense of isolation in your experience.

Emotional numbness, also called “affective blunting,” is most commonly associated with depression. It can also occur with other mental health conditions and medications. It can be linked with states like dissociation or depersonalization — feelings of being disconnected from yourself, your emotions, or your surroundings.

The good news is, emotional numbness is usually temporary and treatable. This article will walk you through causes, treatment, self-help strategies, and additional resources.

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