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After The Anxiety- A Feeling of Numbness

by Jacob

Hello, thank you for the website, and thank you for all the excellent advice.

Well after a few months of seeing a counselor and using the techniques here and from other places, (meditation, relaxation breathing, and hypnosis) I have managed to get my anxiety under control for the most part.

However, now I feel almost too even-keeled. I think a part of me is oddly enough, missing the rush of anxiety. (Im not sure of a better way of explaining it.) I feel almost numb. Like I'm not reacting to situations as strongly as I should. I don't miss the extremes of negative emotions, but I do miss the positive ones. Is this a temporary problem? Is there a way to improve it or will I just get used to it? Or is this just the way people without anxiety feel?

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hello Jacob!
Thanks so much for your email. It's really common for people with anxiety to go through periods of "numbness" and/or mild depression after bouncing back from anxiety. Some people have also explained this feeling as being "emotionally constipated". Anxiety takes a lot of energy and when you are under that for long periods of time, it's exhausting! Think of it this way, ever take your hand and rub it across the carpet long enough so that when you stop, it tingles and feels numb? Well it's sort of like that. Although it tingles and feels numb for a little while, eventually it returns to it's natural state.
Overcoming anxiety means thinking/feeling different and this means saying goodbye to all those large rushes of adrenaline. This is why they say that some people are actually "addicted" to their anxiety, because without it, it just feels "abnormal". Although feeling this way is different and will take some time getting used to, it's something you will naturally adjust to over time. Any aerobic activity can help greatly with this change. As you burn that excess adrenaline, you will build positive energy! I know it's difficult to let go of the anxiety, especially when you were getting something good out of it (many of you will understand what I mean), but this is temporary and your body chemistry will eventually change and you will adjust. It helps to remind yourself that this "new" you is a healthier, stronger you. Encourage yourself daily through this change. Change, as great as it sounds, comes with it's challenges and demands that we change how we do life. Hang in there Jacob! Keep going in the right direction and don't look back unless it's to help you move forward.

Sincerely,
~Susan

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