What’s it like to feel dead inside

It can feel like your entire perception of yourself is two-dimensional – like a picture rather than a living, breathing creature. It’s like your chest is a gaping void where there is nothing left but a painful, empty black hole. You can feel panicked, trapped and utterly alone, isolated and abandoned by your environment and yourself.

Depression is many things to many people. The common perception of depression is that you are sad all the time. Some people don’t feel sad, per se, they just feel nothing; they feel dead inside.

Others describe it as sheer boredom or emptiness, spiritual existential depression, or a loss of meaning and connectedness, both within and without – a nothingness. Somehow in all this nothingness, there exists physical suffering.

Emotional suffering IS physical suffering. Escaping these feelings and the associated unbearable painful state of being, manifests itself in different ways, for instance, turning to alcohol and/or drugs to try to feel better even temporarily. Many people who suffer from emptiness are trying to avoid or disconnect from their feelings.

At one time your emotions became too overwhelming, overloading your system ,leading to shut down mode thus feeling empty. After acknowledging the emptiness, the first thing to do is to start reconnecting with your emotions; allowing yourself to feel again and allowing yourself to reconnect with your life energy. Of course, this is easier said than done.

A significant part of your whole ‘system’, with or without your awareness, will use any means necessary to ward off the possibility of reconnecting with your feelings, as you perceive this as an immediate undeniable threat to your existence.

Understandably, you are constantly ‘on-guard’ as an automatic response against complete destruction. Your whole ‘system’ will still be operating on that base level of survival.

What was once an effective way to ‘organize’ yourself for self-preservation now becomes a ‘straight-jacket’. Feeling nothing prevented you from feeling overwhelmed with terror but also prevented you from feeling anything else. So, as well as not experiencing negative emotions such as being sad or anxious, you also do not feel joy or love. You become restricted and fixated, over identifying with this ‘survival mode’ of being – it becomes who you think you are. The good news is that you are much more than you think.

Through engaging in therapy, many people can find hope and healing becomes a real possibility. You might find yourself developing enough safety, stability and trust to allow yourself to begin to move from survival to living. You might find yourself on a path towards transformation through reclaiming buried inner resources that never fitted with the ‘script’ that you maintained about yourself. You might experience and recognize connectedness within and without that might at first feel alien, but at the same time feels like coming ‘home’.

Through reacquainting yourself with your own Body and Mind, experiencing your relationship to yourself and to ‘another’ in a secure way, you might just find and reclaim meaningfulness, serenity, pleasure and a sense of living.


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