Everything you need to know about emotional blunting



Everyone has their own way of facing emotions and processing them.

While some people express their emotions freely, others might suppress their emotions and find it difficult to emote appropriately.

This limited emotional reactivity is referred to as emotional blunting and various factors such as trauma, mental health and substance abuse can lead to this condition.

What is emotional blunting?

Emotional blunting is a person’s diminished capacity to fully experience their emotions and react or respond in an appropriate way. In some cases, some people may not be experiencing any emotions at all and could possibly be going through emotional numbness.

Emotional blunting includes a numbing effect when it comes to emotional experiences. A person’s inability to express emotions, be it through verbal, written or behavioural means is also diminished. People suffering from emotional blunting may find it difficult to emote through their faces and modulate their voices as per their emotions.

This is a common condition for people suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotional blunting can be a result of four common factors:

1. Medications

Antidepressants can cause a person to suffer from emotional blunting. These sedatives can also lead to triggering inhibitors in your nervous system that reduces one’s ability to feel emotions.

2. Depression

When a person feels a void inside them, they may start to feel non-reactive to anything happening around them. Depression can make a person emotionally blunt and make it hard for them to rationalise their emotions.

3. Alcohol and substance abuse

Drugs and alcohol can impact the nervous system adversely and cause dissociation from one’s actual surroundings and events in life. This makes a person live their life in a state of numbness.


Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause emotional blunting due to a person experiencing a traumatic event. A sense of emotional detachment, traumatic flashbacks and poor mental health can lead to emotional blunting.

How emotional blunting can impact a person?

Emotional blunting can make a person lose their ability to feel sadness and happiness. It makes one restless, lose appetite, feel sexual urges and disconnected from their surroundings. A person suffering from emotional bluntness finds it difficult to talk to people and is doubtful about their abilities.

To manage the condition, you must seek professional help. Thus, if you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, talk about it with your friends/family and reach out to a mental health professional.