Emotionally Numb? How to Deal with Anhedonia

Emotionally Numb? How to Deal with Anhedonia - BRC Recovery

Everyone has good days and bad days. Sometimes, though, you don’t feel either emotion. You just feel kind of blah, with no emotions of any kind. When you are emotionally numb, you may have a condition known as anhedonia.

Emotionally Numb

When you feel emotionally numb, it can be a result of severe stress that you’ve experienced recently. Numbness is often a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your lack of emotions could also be caused by a mental health condition, such as clinical depression, or by medications you are taking for a physical ailment. The condition can also be a side effect of an addiction to certain drugs.

What is Anhedonia?

The word anhedonia means, very simply, without pleasure. The condition can present in many ways, depending on the type of anhedonia you may have. Generally, though, when you have anhedonia, it means that you feel a sense of numbness or lack any kind of emotional feeling. This may cause you to have a negative outlook on life, as you stop reacting to things that would normally make you happy, you stop smiling, and you continue to exhibit more feelings of hopelessness.

Types of Anhedonia

When you are emotionally numb, you may be experiencing one of the two main types of anhedonia. Social anhedonia is a condition that results in you not wanting to spend time with other people. If you have physical anhedonia, it means that you don’t enjoy physical sensations. For example, if someone hugs you, you feel empty rather than loved or appreciated. The smell of fresh-baked cookies does nothing for you.

Effect on Relationships

Your emotional numbness can make relationships with friends and family members difficult. You are probably not motivated to spend time with others as it is no longer enjoyable for you to do so. You may become more isolated as you decline invitations for social gatherings or even to meet someone one-on-one for coffee or dinner.

Your condition could also affect you at work as you struggle to interact with co-workers. Celebrating a new contract or a completed project will not have any benefit for you emotionally. Performing tasks in your job no longer brings you pleasure or a sense of accomplishment.

Treatment for Anhedonia

There are options that can help you deal with anhedonia. You can seek professional treatment that will address the condition as well as the underlying causes. A mental health professional can help you manage your symptoms of depression if that is determined to be the cause.

Medications that treat depression, such as antidepressants, may also help with your emotional numbness symptoms. On the other hand, certain drugs can actually blunt your emotions and might be the root cause or might make the situation worse.

Regardless of the type of anhedonia, you may be experiencing or the reason you are feeling emotionally numb, seeking help from a healthcare professional can help you determine how to treat the condition effectively. You may need a new medication and you may need some techniques for regaining your emotional feeling.

What You Can Do

Seeing a professional to get treatment is critically important. You can also take steps on your own that can provide some relief.  

Exercise. You may think this is the last thing you want to do right now, but it can prove to be one of the more beneficial treatment options as you deal with anhedonia. Go for a run. Take a stroll through the park. Practice yoga. Try out a kickboxing class. These are all great for relieving your stress, as the exercise will flood your brain with endorphins, the chemicals your body releases naturally that can relieve stress and pain. Try to do some kind of physical activity every day.

Get some sleep. Getting an appropriate amount of rest is important for your mental and physical health. You should try to get at least eight hours of quality sleep every night.

Reach out to your support system. Relationships can be difficult when you are experiencing emotional numbness, but you have a network of friends and family members that want to connect with you. It will help you to reach out to them and talk to them about what you are experiencing.


At BRC Recovery, we understand the stresses you experience and how they can lead to emotional numbness. When you need help with mental health or substance use issues, we are here for you. Contact the professionals at BRC Recovery when you are ready for real change in your life. We offer proven treatment options that will empower you to reclaim your life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.