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article / 09 Oct 2017

Ask the expert: Is it normal to not feel any emotion at all?

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald


When we think of depression, it's easy to mistakenly associate it with profound sadness…but if you've ever been depressed, you'll know all too well the sense of emotional numbness that comes with this mental state.

Depression leaves you feeling detached from the world; a passionate uni student will become paralysed at the thought of starting an assignment, a keen runner will give up training, and a social butterfly suddenly wants do nothing but stay in bed.

Psychologists refer to this state as 'anhedonia', where the things that define you lose all appeal – a consequence of the emotional flatness underlying depression. Anhedonia is what feeds the "I have nothing to look forward to" mentality, even when in reality this is not the case.

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