Do you feel like you have emotional paralysis? We are all affected
by emotional pain, stress and emotional trauma in different ways, and of
course, your definition of this term may vary from some-one else’s, but
maybe you feel any one, or a combination of the following:
could be that you describe yourself as depressed. Perhaps you notice
your mood is very low on a regular basis, until it gets increasingly
difficult to bring yourself out of your state of depression. The result
is a feeling of being stuck in the deep doldrums, unable to get out,
and some people may call this,emotional paralysis.
WHO (the World Health Organisation) defines depression as follows:
is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of
interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed
sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems
can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in
an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday
If you are in deep depression (or
clinical depression), you may feel physically exhausted, to the point
that even getting up and walking out the door, or performing a few small
household chores leaves you physically drained.
may prevent you moving forward in life. Perhaps to you, your emotional
paralysis means you are stuck in fear, and are having difficulty
- Perhaps generally, you
appear to function normally, yet you compensate and cope with the pain
and memories of a previous traumatic event in particular ways, such as
through over eating, excess drinking, or you find yourself engaging in
repetitive behaviour patterns, such as getting involved in inappropriate
In this sense, you may feel that up to this
point, your emotional paralysis manifests in the reluctance or inability
to deal with your emotional hurt head on, to resolve it, and let it go.
- Perhaps you are carrying a deep
emotional hurt, from the distant or recent past. This could be due to
the loss of a loved one, divorce, emotional abuse – or some other form
As a result of this significant emotional event, you
may have put up barriers to dealing with your pain. Those barriers,
quite simply, may be the cutting off of your feelings, because looking
at your feelings could make you feel vulnerable.
Eventually, you may become more broadly detached from your emotions generally, as a form of ‘self protection’.
may even be that you now find it difficult to experience happiness, to
laugh and enjoy life, so that in one sense, you feel emotionally cut off
Dealing With Emotional Paralysis
are all different. At times we may need more support than at others.
It’s not weak to seek help, indeed, it requires strength to admit when
you need it, and that you are doing so because you wish to move forward.
Depending on the depth of emotional paralysis and hurt you are
feeling, and which of the scenarios above best describes your
situation, you may like to consider any of these, or a combination.
Seek counselling support from a qualified professional to help you face
and overcome your emotional paralysis. The aim should be not merely to
acknowledge your issue, but to actually resolve it and let it go.
2. Seek additional support from a qualified health care professional, especially in the case of depression.
Seek self-help tools to deal with your problems, such as self help
books and CDs, hypnosis and self hypnosis tapes and CDs, support groups,
and so on.
4. In tandem with any of the above, nurture
yourself. Give yourself time whilst resolving your feelings of
emotional paralysis, and try to reduce your exposure to stress as much
as possible. Keep away from emotional vampires (people who offload
their negativity and troubles, then clear off; or those who keep you
focused on pain, because it’s their main area of conversation and
interest!). Engage in relaxing activities if you can, such as walks in
the countryside, a candlelit bath.
In addition, you might
also like to try and help yourself feel better, with exercises to
improve your self esteem, cope with general stresses, and feel better
about yourself generally.
In short, investigate:
Self Esteem resources
Stress Coping Tools
Tools for releasing Fear and Anxiety
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