Emptiness: What Causes it and How Therapy Can Help

Emptiness is the feeling that life lacks meaning or purpose. While most people experience feelings of emptiness at some point in their life, consistent emptiness can coincide with emotional despair or numbness. When feelings of emptiness become chronic, it can seriously impact a person's wellbeing.

What causes emptiness?

In many cases, emptiness comes around after losing a loved one - not necessarily through death but also separation or the end of a relationship. Losing a person that may have contributed to one's structure or purpose in life can make one feel as though they've lost that too.

Chronic emptiness is also a potential symptom of certain mental health concerns like depression, borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, or anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure).

Alcohol and drug addiction are also tied to feelings of emptiness; whether a person turns to substances attempting to relieve emptiness or their attempt to quit using causes feelings of emptiness.

Emptiness isn't always a symptom of mental health issues but sometimes a trigger. People experiencing chronic emptiness may feel isolated, anxious, and emotionally numb. They may attempt to fill the void by engaging in behaviors that can become addictive, such as compulsive gambling or shopping.

Overcoming emptiness

Emptiness can be hard to pinpoint and describe because it refers to the absence of a feeling.

Emptiness can be experienced differently from person to person, and it varies depending on whether a certain underlying mental health issue is present. For instance, emptiness, as it pertains to depression, may bring about loss of motivation, pleasure, hopelessness, and low self-worth.

In general, some people describe it as an empty feeling in their chest.

If you resonate with any of these feelings or sensations, a therapist can help you get better - whether that's to get to the root of the issue or address your emptiness as its own symptom.

When you feel empty, it's important to engage in emotionally fulfilling things. Therapy can help you find solutions and steer you in a positive and rewarding direction.

Diane K. Schmidt Counseling Services | 8575 W. 110th Street, Suite 304 Overland Park, KS 66210 | Phone: 913.730.6778 | Email: diane@dkschmidtcounseling.com