Emotional Numbness

I was diagnosed in Nov 2010, and at that time my life was a bit of a mess, divorce, selling of home, a car accident, and then the diagnosis! I was put on some Anti D’s to help and i think they did. More recently I’m very fortunate in that I remarried, had a baby boy (Now 2 1/2) completed teacher training and now a FT teacher. I felt confident enough to come off the Anti D’s as life was far better, but current feelings of emotional numbness (only classification I can give it really) have left me wondering whether its coming off the Anti D’s that’s left me feeling like this or is it quite normal/common etc. I can tell I’ve been quite moody of late (Wife would agree) and I cant place my finger on why? I used to be quite a heart on the sleeve kid of guy, not afraid to shed the odd tear but in three years nothing. I’m working in an EBD school, so very challenging and supposedly emotional but again im neutral and its going against how i think i should feel. I’m hoping my inability to make much sense and explain to those around me (wife, family, friends etc) is actually making some to you guys having experienced it yourselves. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone know of any social groups in or near Stevenage? Thank you. Jakeo


i read ur post with interest…

ebd is stressful i guess but i have spent a long time trying to ‘settle’ my emotions because as humans we thrive on the ups and downs which in reality causes the problems and to have them ‘in check’ would be a bonus for u, not just with ur job but with life and coping with this ms malarkey. however if u see it as a problem (which i do understand what u r saying-i was rmn for 10 yrs) then i would suggest that talking it over with someone would be a good idea. i dunno who that person would be but could give u a few suggestions if u ‘get’ what i am saying however if u think i am talking cr*p thats ok too and just ignore me! we all cope differently with ms but i think its essential to find the right way for us.

take care, ellie

hi jakeo

try you gp and ask if there is something that can help.

maybe cognitive behaviour therapy could help.

i know nothing about stevenage but i go to the ms therapy centre in manchester and it is great.

from my perspective it is quite normal.

(people were thinking i was bi polar because i’d be the life and soul one week then the poorly invalid the next.)

good luck

carole x

1 Like

Thanks Ellie, Re the job the emotional numbness is a bonus, being called every name going and dodging objects would become quite stressful if it wasn’t for the numbness, and perhaps in time I’ll learn to be appreciate it more. I think having been quite an emotional guy to appear void of any is going to take some getting use to. I will continue my pursuit of a support grp close by and give it a go. I was diagnosed whilst living in Cambridge so remained under my healthcare team there, my local gp are as useful as a chocolate fireguard. But thank you for support, already i think being more open will help.

1 Like

hiya again

i am not very good at explaining on here-bare with me please…

a friend of has chosen to work with abused kids but knew that she had to try and prepare herself mentally (which i can can tell you how she did that if you want…) i thought it was brill idea for someone to learn how to be understand and supportive and effective whist protecting herself not to become emotionally involved cos i guess that would then affect her professional input.

i have heard of police going undercover to identify/catch those who abuse kids-gangs etc. we dont like to think that goes on but we all know it does and i think these folk must really be exceptional in being human but they must also consider/protect/ themselves!

i understand the word numbness u use and why but maybe theres also a way to use it in a positive way as long as u fully understand how its affecting you and u can be honest with self…which i think you are doing and starting to recognise btw!

feel free to read some of my others answers on here then u may get a better picture of where i am coming from. but like i said before if u dont agree just ignore me. i am a great believer in listening to others then deciding for yourself…


Hi, life has hurled its nasties at you in the past, so it is time you received some happiness....congrats on the new wife and little un!

I wonder if going back onto a lower dose of anti-d`s might help. Some folk…MS or not…find life easier to cope with as the norm way of coping with life in general. Not speaking personally here, but do know many that fit that vein.

Hope you find that support group…I am miles away in deepest Yorkshire!

luv Pollyx

I wonder if emotional numbness is common in people with MS? It makes it difficult to be empathetic or to interact with people authentically. I can very clearly see that it makes other people feel ill at ease because my emotions don’t match with what I say. It also is unpredictable. I would be talking with a friend heart-to-heart and then suddenly I may smile in a phony way with no emotion behind it. I become stuck with no way of reversing the situation. The other person and I slowly turn away in what feels like a forced way. I’ve had MS for almost 50 years and this problem began a few years ago. I hate it. It’s so uncomfortable. Have any of you experienced this problem?

I had previously heard that MS can actually make you emotional hyper sensitive; it was certainly true for my mum. it was quite funny really… but anything sad / bad news on the TV, or conversely any happy event like someone excelling at something, she would be flooding tears.

Watching the olympics etc were a minefield and if an emotive montage of successes or highlight moments came along… oh mama! she would be nigh on hysterical with the water works.

and so too am i, a manly man, i suspect, becoming more prone to getting a bit of proverbial dust in my eye.

at the moment it is not at the stage of being anything and everything… but recently a hockey player called Bryan Bickell (look him up) quit his professional career due to a recent diagnosis. and damnit… if that didn’t nearly cause me to embarrass myself!

Paolo, you have heard correctly; MS certainly can make us emotionally hyper sensitive. It is known as the Pseudobulbar affect and does seem to match your descriptions of both you and your mother’s emotional symptoms.

I too have had emotional moments; however, they have been but fleeting.

MS Trust have a page on this rather lesser known symptom:

On this page the Trust write of both ‘Pathological laughing and crying’ and ‘Emotional liability’, the latter of which describes the feelings I have experienced.

A quick Google of “Pseudobulbar effect MS” finds 28,000 references.


I like this post^

i no longer have the ability to express this succinctly however, hence this post!

1 Like

Hi, I’ve recently been diagnosed with RRMS well last January, but it was fully confirmed​ a few months ago. And I’m sacred i could be having a relapse. As my left eye keeps hurting and that’s how it all started of before I found out. Does anyone on here know what is the best thing to do? I’m due to start treatment soon

Rozzy, if you have an MS nurse, then 'phone her/him and take it from there. If you don’t have a nurse, then you can always speak to your GP, or ring your neurologist’s secretary and have a word with him/her.


PS, Rozzy you’ve tagged this onto the bottom of an existing post. If you look at the top of the Everyday Living board you will see a blue tab ‘New Post’, click on that to start a fresh thread, that way more people should see it.

Oh wow sorry i didn’t realise, thank your for your advice.

Ben and Paolo you have made me very happy and relieved. I thought I was losing the plot when I started to well up whilst watching Countryfile (FFS) Previously I was a bit repressed but now if I start to laugh or cry , it rapidly develops into a suppressed snot fest over which I have little or no control. I wonder if ShiftMS could do a video to help explain this to my mates.


​i have found some info via Google all a bit American but some useful nuggets.

1 Like

Mick, I’m happy that you’re hap… oh blimey, here I go again…


1 Like

Hi, I have been away from this site for a long time but here I am! Have signed off sick from my full time job in the NHS due to stress. According to my GP there are usually one of five reasons that he has been happy to sign people off:

  • Work pressures
  • Long term health condition, such as MS
  • Moving house
  • Separation/divorce issues
  • Money/financial problems

Sad to say I have all 5 in one package all at the same time Friends are a great help and family who still contact me. Anyone in the Manchester Area who thinks they can help let me know please

hi vince

go to the ms therapy centre (NW) at trafford park.

i go there every tuesday for Hyper Barric Oxygen Therapy.

a wonderful friendly and informative group.

carole x

Thanks have made a note of this. Since my diagnosis in 2011 keep meaning to visit there!

Thanks M8!