What to Do About Depression and Emotional Detachment
One of the scariest symptoms I've experienced has been emotional detachment in depression. I've witnessed it in other people since I was young, and at times I start feeling detached from situations where I think I might get hurt. Understanding the symptom of emotional detachment in depression helps me work through it.
What the Emotional Detachment of Depression Feels Like
For me, emotional detachment involves feeling a sense of emptiness where I once felt something. When somebody hurt me I used to find it easier to avoid feeling anything than to feel the hurt. It seemed humiliating to feel like I was letting somebody get to me.
Sometimes this would lead to feeling like I was sleepwalking through life. Nothing could make me feel, and I was happy not to manage my emotions. Unfortunately, this doesn't work out so well when you're trying to have a happy, fulfilling life.
Thankfully, the last few years have taught me that feeling these things is necessary for me to make progress.
Emotional Detachment in Depression Is Scary
It is frightening to wake up one day and feel totally different about the things and people I once cared about. It feels like I've become a shell of my former self, like I'm walking around in my own skin but not actively participating.
I don't want to be an inactive participant in life. You only get one chance at this, and feeling detached just doesn't feel like living. When I realized this, I knew I had to start letting myself sit with my feelings.
Some of my emotional detachment has felt linked to anxiety. I never want to feel it when something stresses me out or somebody hurts me, but it was becoming more detrimental to my wellbeing to feel nothing. It was leading to more anxiety.
Emotional Detachment in Depression Changes Relationships
One of the reasons I have worked so hard to pinpoint and change emotional detachment in depression is because detaching has ruined relationships. Some relationships I have needed to break from in order to be healthy, but I found that not feeling the pain linked to these relationships was more detrimental.
Working with Emotional Detachment in Depression
It is hard to change emotional detachment in depression. It wasn't a one-step process. It started by going to therapy, but it took me a few years after therapy to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I had to see the root of the problem, which was linked to my fear of feeling rejected from people and, really, the rest of the world.
Watch my video about how I've learned to feel my emotions. It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it. Then, let me know if you have any experience with emotional detachment or not being able to express your emotions.
Horsfall, A. (2017, August 29). What to Do About Depression and Emotional Detachment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2017/08/depression-and-emotional-detachment
Author: Ashley Horsfall
His dad was brutal to both of us..Buy I love him dearly and would lay down my life for him if I had to. Same for my sister in law and her kids..love them loads..In fact she wrote back after all this ..saying to give him time/space and to have faith.. Amazingly, as I was typing that e-mail in response to his 4AM call I knew what the repercussions / consequences would be ( I didnt want the repercussions) but still felt the need to self-sabotage a thus far good and loving relationship which we mended over past several years):( Needless to say I self-sabotaged the whole fuking thing and now I'm cut-offom them both...was told never to write or contact them in any form anymore.
This situation hurts almost as bad if not worse them my divorce did. The hurt is unbearable not to mention depression.
I mean what to do...they have detached from myself... so essentially I am detached as unhealthy as it is. Being that it is unhealthy is there anything that can be done. I hear a lot about loving yourself more etc... I cant see any way fwd with this...how can I detach emotionally from them knowing how unhealthy detachment is.
He’s been hurt by people he cares about many times
I think he’s now emotionally detached
But it’s weird
When he’s around people
Such as me
He can feel one way
But when he is by his self he feels less to nothing
Like instead of the love he was so sure he felt before
He would then feel like nothing
I don’t know how to help him
He doesn’t like being like this and I’ve been looking all over the place for some way to help him
In a way that will keep him in his comfort zone
I'm going through this right now.
I've been looking for counseling that I can afford, and at the same time trying to understand why my significant other has begun to distance herself.
I've been struggling with finding ways to express myself. Lately, I don't think she wants to hear what I have to say.
Email me if you have any ideas that can help.