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Numb

Dear Sam,

For the last few years now, i feel nothing. Like, no anger, no excitement, no fear. Sometimes i feel sad, but thats it. And because i dont feel fear, i do a lot of stupid things. I dont feel digust either. No emotion whatsoever. I dont know whether im a physcopath or whether its something else.

Its just odd because i remember when i was younger and it would be Christmas eve and i would be so excited that i physically couldnt stay still or i would get really really angry at people for somehpthing and have a tantrum, or i sould be absoluteky terrified of something and start bawling my eyes out. But now i just feel numb. Im 13 now. I cant remember exactly when this started, but i think it was around 8 or 9.

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Sam

Hi there,

Feeling numb can be a response to difficult experiences or being overwhelmed with things happening in your life.

Not recognising your emotions may mean that feelings have been buried away and this can sometimes happen when you're under a lot of stress or are going through a tough time. Feeling numb can also mean you lose touch with positive emotions like happiness and excitement, as well as more difficult feelings like anger and fear.

It's important to find ways to express your feelings in ways that feel safe. You could try writing a journal or expressing yourself using the art box. Or writing about your feelings in our mood journal. Some people find listening to or playing music helps.

It’s best to also think about getting some support to explore feelings that have been pushed away for some time. You could try talking to one of our Childline counsellors or an adult you trust, such as your doctor or a family friend.

There are techniques for getting through a tough time when you're feeling detached or cut off from things. Focusing on what's happening right now can help you to connect with your surroundings and to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings, such as feeling sad.

Doing things that you call stupid, and that make you feel fear or disgust, could mean that you're doing things that put your safety at risk. If you ever need support to stop doing risky things you can always talk to Childline. Remember to call 999 if you ever need urgent help.

Building your self-esteem can help you to value and take better care of yourself. Try writing down a list of things you're proud of or that other people have said about you. Think about the positive things a best friend would say about you too.

Thanks for your letter, take care.

Sam

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