Feeling numb and detached 

Feeling numb and detached 

During times of high stress you might find yourself shut off from your emotions. This can be a good way to cope in the short term when you don’t have the psychological resources to manage at that particular time. For example, you may need to remain focused on your professional job, or aspects of your job may be distressing but unavoidable. You can also become detached if you feel emotionally overwhelmed, as this is your brain’s way of trying to survive the moment.

Things that can help 

While this can be useful in certain situations, try to recognise if this is happening in other areas of your life as well. Be mindful of how you might be trying to cope with these feelings, such as use of alcohol. Speak to your colleagues for support if you feel able to.

Understanding responses to stress

This article is part of a series aimed at helping you understand responses to stress. Emergency situations, whether national, local, or within your team, are stressful and we want to equip you to manage them. There are a number of reactions that you or your colleagues might find yourself experiencing when faced with this stress, each article in this series is intended to help you overcome these.

You can read the other articles in the series by following the links below.

Unpleasant, intrusive memories or bad dreams

A change in my behaviour – avoiding reminders and people

Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Feelings of guilt or shame

Feeling tense, on edge, or restless

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