Is it possible for a person to stop feeling emotions?

I was raped a couple months ago, Since then, along with other unfortunately events that have occurred, I have been having trouble feeling emotions. It's almost as if I'm a sociopath lacking any feeling. What can I do to change this?

Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

The fact that you are concerned shows that you absolutely have emotions about lacking emotions.  Seems like you fear that you are becoming a sociopath, and that alone shows you have emotions.

It is incredibly normal to feel "numb" after a trauma like rape.  The emotional impact of rape can be beyond overwhelming, which the brain responds to by basically suppressing those circuits from awareness.  It doesn't mean your emotions don't exist--you brain is just trying to protect you from feeling them.  Because our brains aren't great at selectively burying emotions, it tends to take them all at once.  So when new, emotionally upsetting events happen, the brain sees allowing any emotion through as a threat to the system, so to speak.

Speaking to a counselor could help to process through how you are feeling about lacking emotion.  If you search in your area or online for a telehealth therapist, chances are you will find a therapist that has a background in treating trauma that would suit your specific needs.  That may mean that they will recommend talking through your trauma, which can seem like a very daunting task; however, the sooner you process through it, the less it has the power to take over your life.

It's actually really astonishing that you are reaching out for help and I so hope you are able to find what you need!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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