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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it normal to not feel any emotion at all?

    I'm a 39 year old female and I have been battling depression and anxiety for the past 4 years. I find that I have no emotions at all. I don't feel happy, I don't feel sad, I don't laugh, I don't feel anything. I may on occasion feel angy but not very often I watch comdy shows on TV but don't react to them at all. Should I be worried about it? My memory is also quite shocking. I can't remember anything. In the afternoon I often question myself if I have had a shower that day because I can't remember. My daughter asks me if I remember certain things and I have no idea what she is talking about. These things may have happened recently or a couple of years ago. I feel like I am going insane.
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  • 4




    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    When my depression was untreated I could have written your post - not feeling happy, not feeling sad, just feeling nothing (and wanting to curl up into a ball, hoping that the world would go away).

    The good news is that depression can be treated (it is a word, not a life sentence).

    Please get in touch with mental health professionals - treatment might involve anti-depressants (from a psychiatrist) and/or talk therapy (from a clinical psychologist). I needed both and my life is now rich and full.

    Good luck.

  • 5




    Dr Jeannet Weijers is a registered psychologist and hypnotherapist with over 20 years experience in assisting adults, adolescents, children, families and couples with supportive therapies ... View Profile

    That flat feeling of feeling nothing is a very common symptom of depression, and so is difficulty concentrating, which could explain the memory loss. However, it is best to check with your local GP who may be able to direct you to the right therapy to resolve these concerns.

    The good news is that depression and anxiety can be treated. For more information I suggest you have a look at the beyondblue website which contains checklists to help you to identify your symptoms and possible therapies.

    You can begin to feel better sooner than you realise with the right assistance.

  • 3




    Dianne Zebic

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Dianne Zebic has retired as of 31/01/2015 View Profile

    I agree with the above suggestions, the sooner you can see a mental health professional (Counsellor, Psychotherapist or Clinical Psychologist) which treats depression and anxiety.

    I would suggest you can have a chat with your doctor and discuss any other treatment that is available to help you, which depends on the severity of your condition.

  • 2


    Joel Curtis

    Health Psychologist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sport Psychologist

    Joel helps change people’s lives by assisting them overcome problems that they may have. He works with people to help them achieve whatever they want ... View Profile

    Yes I also agree. Feeling nothing is a common occurance in people experiencing depression. It sounds like you have been dealing with this issue for some time. It would seem to me that it is impacting on your quality of life. I would recommend that you make the step to see a Psychologist for some support. See you GP for a referral.

  • 4


    Jason Sullivan

    Healthshare Member

    What kind of drugs would be recommended for this sought of issue

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    There are a number of classes of anti-depressants; each class has a different pharmacological basis of action.

    One thing to bear in mind is that anti-depressants often take a while (up to a month or so) to become fully effective.

    So, if you are prescribed an anti-depressant and don't notice any improvement after a month then going back to your prescrbing doctor to discuss trying something else, either from the same or a different class, is a good plan.

  • 2


    Frank Breuer

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    My 2 cents, speaking from 20 years working with clinical population.

    Not feeling anything can be addressed with Antidepressants, however, they can have the opposite effect, i.e. feeling even more numb. Hence, I'd refrain from a general statement here.

    The decision to commence on Antidepressant drugs should not be based on a single question or issue.

    We have to consider the context and the severity of the depressive episode. 

    That is one aspect. Another aspect is that AD have different effects on different people, including but not limited to side effects. 

    For some people ADs work well, for others the side effects dominate and for a third group ADs do not do much at all. 

    ADs are definitely indicated only in severe cases of depression e.g. someone has severe difficulties to maintain a normal daily routine, such as getting out of bed and is isolated. 

    As a general statement, I'd say that Psychotherapy is the first line of treatment, for all forms of mild to moderate symptoms, provided the client is open to the this form of treatment. 

  • 2




    Alison is passionate about her work with individuals, couples and families. She is especially interested in working with FAMILIES who are being torn apart because ... View Profile

    Have you experienced trauma during the last couple of years? Or a series of traumatic events? Perhaps there is a disconnect between the emotion and the recognition of that emotion- particularly if it is a strong negative one.  Anger can be the representation of this lack of connection. Are you perhaps "stuck" in the anger stage of a major loss? Perhaps the death of someone very  important to you?

    Do seek the support of a health professional whatever  the answer. 

  • 1




    Brigitte Safrana

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    I created Surfing The Blues and Surfing The Baby Blues Counselling & Hypnotherapy services in order to help individuals and couples restore balance in their ... View Profile

    I agree wholeheartedly to the suggestion that you should be assessed first by your GP and then discuss a mental Heath care plan with a psychiatrist who will be able to put you on the right medication to start with and start talking therapy if you are open to it.  And no it is not normal not to feel any emotions.  Combined with your memory loss you need to be assessed by the right professional.  It is definitely associated with a chemical imbalance of sorts and needs treatment.  With the right treatment you will be feeling a lot better pretty soon.  Take heart and good on you for asking. 

  • 1




    I work in partnership with my clients to achieve the best possible outcome, specific to my clients goals and objectives. I am most experienced in ... View Profile

    You are displaying typical symptoms of depression. Seek professional help.

  • 7


    Dr Pek Ang


    Specialist Psychiatrist - management of Depression and Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Bipolar, ADHD, Autism, Mood and Anger problems and Personality Disorders. Management of Psychological problems associated ... View Profile

    Hi.  I agree with the posts.  

    Depression is the most likely cause of the lack of emotions.  In fact one of the classic signs is called Anhedonia - which is an inability to feel pleasure.  Of course we assume this is a new thing and not something you have always had [which could be due to other causes].  Trauma and conditions related can also lead to numbing and anger as mentioned already.

    After 4 years of this, lack of concentration and memory problems can follow.  It is important to get this sorted as once treated to Remission, these symptoms will improve.  Having said that some medications can also make people feel a little numb.  

    So I agree with the posts so far.  Please see your GP if you haven't already.  If you have and am stuck, ask for a referral to a Psychiatrist for a thorough Assessement and a Psychologist or Counsellor to help assist you.  

    Meanwhile lifestyle measures are Complimentary.  Exercise, giving up alcohol and cigarettes and Krill Oil can help boost your brain's recovery.  Sleep is probably the most important.

    It is likely that your symptoms can be helped.

  • 1


    Kiera Frost

    Healthshare Member

    Dear, I think you need just new bright moments in your life. It can be diferrent changes, the best one is trevelling to another country and live there a couple of months. Only such changes can improve your emotional conditions and return to usual life.

  • 2


    Kiera Frost

    Healthshare Member

    Dear, I think you need just new bright moments in your life. It can be diferrent changes, the best one is trevelling to another country and live there a couple of months. Only such changes can improve your emotional conditions and return to usual life.

  • Sharon Devine

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I have a strong interest in treating grief, family of origin issues, workplace bullying, addictions, and life dissatisfaction. I am also open to discussing any ... View Profile

    The lack of feeling and reduced memory is very much commonly seen with depression and anxiety. 

    It would be good to discuss with your GP, just to have a full check up, look at any medications you are on, and check for interactions.

    Websites like beyondblue have good advice for ways of dealing with depression and anxiety, and there are forums where people discuss what has helped in the past. Other options include seeking therapy/ counselling or starting medication.

    Best wishes on your future journey.

  • Max is a consultant psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides specialist ... View Profile

    Hi there,

    Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that you have been battling depression for such a long time. Many of the experiences that your describe are common to people experiencing depression, however the your symptoms, specifically the length of time they have endured, suggest that you may be experiencing a disorder known as as dysthymia. This is a chronic depressive disorder. While primarily chronic, people can experience bouts of depressive episodes - i.e. there may be periods where you feel worse, however your 'normal' is usually pretty low.

    I would suggest that you get in contact with your GP to make an appointment to see a psychologist under a Mental Health Care Plan. Finding a the right psychologist will be important, so make sure that you feel comfortable with a professional.

    Warm regards,


  • Naomi Rose


    Naomi Rose is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia & AHPRA and an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has ... View Profile

    When you say, ‘I find that I have no emotions at all’ It could mean several things. It could represent a feeling of void or emptiness; or loss or grief; it could be a sense of numbness or a place where emotions have shut down to survive due to some traumatic experience amongst others.

    In my experience of working with trauma with the clients of the Royal Commission, it’s quite common not to remember or the memories can be very sketchy when we might have been exposed to trauma.

    I would encourage you to see a psychologist, so you can start to make sense of what is happening to you and find a way forward. Also, I am sure your daughter and family are concerned for you too.


    Naomi Rose

    Psychologist and Systemic Couple/Family therapist

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