4 warning signs that you are suffering from emotional paralysis
Difficult childhood experiences in particular can make us feel paralyzed in similar adult situations. These signs can speak of such emotional paralysis.
Do you sometimes feel so overwhelmed that you’re practically paralyzed? You can no longer think clearly and your body no longer seems to obey you? Then you probably suffer from emotional paralysis. Most of the time, this difficult combination of anxiety, depression, and guilt is rooted in past trauma—often in childhood. Anyone who has internalized that their own feelings have no right to exist often reacts by suppressing their emotions. Even as adults, we apply the protective mechanisms we have learned in difficult situations – and feel paralyzed.
These signs speak of emotional paralysis
1. You’re so afraid of making mistakes that you’d rather not do anything at all
If we learned as children that we must not make mistakes in order to be loved, then as adults we want to avoid that at all costs. Try something new? Better not – that could go wrong. To make a suggestion? Better not – someone might not like it. If you’re used to thinking like this, it’s a pretty clear sign that your emotional paralysis is preventing you from trying new things and evolving.
2. Your feelings are often extreme
Do you sometimes think you can’t keep your emotions under control? You’re either ecstatic or saddened to death – and seem to jump back and forth between these two extremes? Strong mood swings and alternating between strong emotions and complete numbness can also be a sign of emotional paralysis. Especially if you have the feeling that you cannot regulate your feelings at all and are helplessly at the mercy of them.
3. You can’t get involved with someone
The fear of failure, of making mistakes, or of being hurt is also often reflected in relationships. Are you one of those people who would rather not get involved with someone in the first place because they are too afraid of something going wrong? This, too, can be a warning sign that you are emotionally paralyzed. You would rather live without love than face the fear of losing it.
4. You feel physically paralyzed
Emotional triggers can also make themselves felt on a physical level. If our psyche is overwhelmed with fear, it may show up in the body, our brain is then in a kind of “freeze mode”. For example, you feel that you can no longer move certain parts of your body, such as your arms or legs, or that you can no longer speak.
Emotional Paralysis: You Can Do It
If you think one or more of these points might apply to you, then addressing the issue may be helpful. Since trauma and difficult situations in the past are often responsible for such emotional paralysis, you may want to talk to a therapist about it. Together you will definitely find a way to get out of this numbness and learn to deal with your triggers.
Sources used: bustle.com, psychologytoday.com, psychcentral.com