Can Depression Make You Feel Disconnected from Your Body?

Depression can make you feel disconnected in many ways, in mind, body, and soul. Many of the symptoms of depression show a pattern of losing connection with oneself and others. A bout of depression can result in detachment from one’s physical experience just as much as it can cause isolation from others. Many people with depression sense disconnection as though their body is no longer theirs. It’s low energy, lethargic, heavy, and it can make it even more impossible to function daily. This is how what it means to feel disconnected from your body.

Disconnection vs. Dissociation

Depression can make you feel as disconnected from your body as you may feel from everything else – interests, hobbies, loved ones, and even self. However, it’s important to set a distinction between symptoms of disassociation and feeling disconnected as a result of depression. Disassociation can feel like you are disconnect in the way from your reality and surroundings, as well as your body.

Depersonalization takes this further, making individuals feel disassociated from their own identity, leading to an alarming emptiness The main difference between dissociative symptoms and a general feeling of disconnection is in the experience: people who dissociate may not remember the episode. It can feel like looking in at oneself without being in control of the steering wheel, and it is out of that person’s control. With the sense of disconnection from the body that can come with depression, it’s more of a habit-formed, unconscious process. Much like losing touch with other people, feeling disconnected from one experience living in the physical body.

Why Depression Can Make You Feel Disconnected from your Body

When depressed, caring about your needs can be an afterthought. This shows up how depression can numb a person from their body’s signals. Hunger and satiety are not easy to pick up on, leading to either losing one’s appetite or overeating. Depressive can mess with one’s sleep schedule, with negative thoughts and rumination resulting in insomnia.

Others feel unending fatigue that leads to sleeping too much, sometimes sleeping as an escape from daily life. All of these symptoms hint at an underlying disconnection with the body. Alongside lost interest in hobbies or activities, a person can feel physically and emotionally numb. Limbs can seem lifeless and weak, and even memories can become vague. Usually, this physical disconnection is another layer to the body’s coping mechanism – to escape, hide, or avoid underlying pain. Disconnecting is another way to distance ourselves from our experience.

How to Reconnect with your Body

Depression is challenging enough to deal with and manage on its own, without throwing a dose of disconnection from the body. Trying to manage these feelings is much like telling a depressed person who has cut contact with their social network to simply reach out to them. Fortunately, there are ways to reconnect with your body once more, which can help alleviate other depressive symptoms as well.

  • Grounding techniques
  • Meditation
  • Take care of your basic needs
  • Give yourself permission to feel your emotions
  • Spend time in nature

Grounding techniques encompass a variety of activities that bring you back to the present. When disconnected from your body, your mind might be elsewhere. Either you’re detached from what you’re doing, distracting yourself from your problems, or thinking about the past or future. Taking a pause, breathing deeply, and feeling more present in your body reduces that disconnection. Meditation and going out in nature work similarly, promoting a constant practice of mindfulness. Being mindful of your body and present situation helps you become more in tune with your body’s needs.

Although it may take conscious effort, it’s necessary to take care of basic needs like healthy, mindful eating, sleeping well, drinking water, engaging in physical activity, and other self-care activities. Finally, allow yourself to experience emotions as they come up, rather than distracting yourself or numbing them. With a support system and healthy coping skills, depression can linger without a proper way to manage it. Feelings of disconnection from the body can further worsen depression. Without the signals we need to know something is wrong, it’s easy to feel stuck. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us at 844-639-8371 for professional mental health services today to provide the support you need to thrive.

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