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Feeling Empty? - 4 Easy Steps To Get Started With Depression Therapy Online
Updated August 18, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Feeling Empty And Depression Therapy
What does it mean when you have no feelings?
A lack of perceivable feelings (or feelings of emptiness) is called alexithymia, and about 1 in 10 people experience it. There is no definitive cause or duration of alexithymia because emotional numbing is a common symptom of several psychiatric conditions, including PTSD and depression. When the brain experiences trauma, it often shuts down certain neural pathways to protect itself. This is especially common in the aftermath of a car accident or violent incident. Survivors may feel numb and wonder why they don’t feel sad, upset, or frightened. In these cases, you feel empty; what it means is that the brain is protecting itself.
Also, while the absence of emotions is often associated with psychopathy, people who lack feelings are not necessarily psychopaths. In fact, research shows that people with psychopathy or sociopathy do experience emotions. For these people, feeling numb may reflect their low empathy, and empty feelings may be due to boredom or feeling a lack of connection to others. If you're feeling empty, what it means could vary widely.
How do you describe emptiness?
As a mental and emotional experience, feeling empty typically refers to a lack of fulfillment or pleasure from activities that one believes should provide those things. This condition is also called anhedonia, and it is very common among people with depression. When you feel empty, you may have trouble finding joy in small pleasures or feeling motivated to pursue pleasurable experiences. You may also have a reduced response to painful events or stimuli, i.e., feeling numb. Often, this happens when the brain has already been traumatized. Rather than producing negative emotions, the brain “buffers” against further trauma to protect itself. This can produce feelings of emptiness.
How do you fill a void?
People who feel empty or like there is a “void” inside them are often experiencing depression. This can manifest as a feeling of hopelessness, lack of direction, and trouble experiencing joy and excitement. Even when positive or joyful things happen, you may say, "I feel empty." There is no single way to treat depression or feelings of emptiness, but most therapists suggest constructive, nourishing activities as part of a treatment plan when you're feeling empty. Doing things that activate both sides of the brain and include a low-risk reward, such as painting, doing puzzles, or exercising, can help “rewire” the brain and overcome empty feelings.
What disorder causes a lack of emotions?
Several disorders can cause alexithymia: the lack of feelings or inability to recognize emotions, or anhedonia, which is the inability to experience a pleasure. People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder can all struggle with feeling empty at times, emotionally numb, or they may struggle to process their feelings. However, a lack of emotions has slightly different causes and manifests different ways in each of these disorders. If you're feeling empty or feeling a lack of connection, it’s important to speak to a mental health professional to understand your unique situation.
What are signs of emotional detachment?
People with mental illness may struggle to connect with others: many people with depression report feeling empty even when they engage with loved ones. Perhaps they are nervous about rejection or intimacy. They feel empty when interacting with others or can’t find the mental energy to empathize with others’ struggles or share their experiences. This is not necessarily a sign of autism or psychopathy, as many people believe. Rather, it can be difficult to connect with others when depression, anxiety, or trauma interfere with the brain’s emotional regulation. This can lead to feeling empty when the brain is withdrawing to cope with stress and pain. If you struggle to feel comfortable around others, have little interest in socializing, or feel detached from your loved ones, consider speaking to a mental health therapist about a possible mood disorder.
Therapy And Depression Treatment Can Help With Symptoms Of Persistent Depressive Disorder
Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. Keeping these things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are. If you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, and how much therapy costs, please contact us at email@example.com. BetterHelp specializes in online therapy to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.