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I’m Emotionally Numb

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I’ve had only 2 sessions of EMDR, but I’ve read online that it only takes one session to start bringing back emotions. I suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, mild bipolar, and borderline personality disorder. I became emotionally numb 2 years ago… I have a boyfriend that I know I care about because of the things that I do for him and the way that I feel when we’re together (Not a feeling, more like I’m imagining what I’m SUPPOSED to feel.) I want to feel that sense of love, that warm feeling you get in your heart. I know in my mind that I love him, but not with my heart, and that’s the issue. I’m not able to feel positive emotions like joy, love, lust, passion, etc. I only feel nervousness, dread, anger, and deep, bone-rattling sadness and hopelessness. I’ve basically been a robot for the past 2 years and it’s destroying me. I also have weird urges to hurt my pets, which I couldn’t control at some point. I used to feel so bad about punishing my pets, but now I feel satisfaction is hurting them for no reason. My therapist thinks she can help me, but I’ve been seeing her for 4 months and there is no progress. What should I do?

I’m Emotionally Numb

Answered by on -


While EMDR can and often does work rapidly I wouldn’t give up on the possibility that a few more sessions might be needed to help. While I’ve had people respond within 2 or 3 sessions, there are many that need a half dozen or more. Each person is different, and you may need more time. Also, I’d give your therapist a chance to help. While I know you want more immediate results, the fact that you know there is something not okay and are working toward getting it resolved with the right techniques and support is a very good thing. I’d encourage you to hang in there a bit longer with both the EMDRT and your therapist.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral


I’m Emotionally Numb

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I’m Emotionally Numb. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.