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Feeling empty is one of the hardest things in the world to describe. But, if I had to use one sentence to explain it, I would say that it is one of the biggest and deepest voids you will ever experience.

As someone who has dealt with a mental health condition that includes the symptom of feeling emptiness, I know firsthand how difficult it is. Before I knew my diagnosis, I didn’t understand what was going on. I would go through bouts where there was simply nothing but haze and to be honest with you, it was pretty terrifying.

Fast-forward to now, and I understand exactly what is going on, and knowing what the symptom was and that I was experiencing it helped me immensely. If you’ve started to feel like you might be experiencing something similar, you may need to look to the signs I have listed below, and above all, don’t be afraid to reach out to a health care provider for help.

1. You often feel like there is a massive void inside of you that cannot be filled.

When you experience feelings of emptiness, it leaves you feeling a massive void inside of you. You may want so badly to feel something, but because you don’t, you will feel like there’s no point in even trying. Because of this, the void within you may grow bigger and bigger.

2. Emotionally turbulent situations are difficult for you to respond to.

During emotionally intense situations, you struggle to respond. In a situation that most would be excited about, you draw a blank. You know what it’s like to be excited because you’ve felt it before, but during spells of emptiness, you feel more like a blank canvas.

3. You seek out impulsive activities.

Sometimes, you want so badly to not feel empty, that you go to great lengths to make the emptiness go away. This may involve reckless driving, drinking in excess, or even using drugs.

4. You feel a lack of motivation to your core.

Oftentimes, you may realize how much you need to get done. However, because you feel empty, you have nothing inside of you to push you to do those things. You may even struggle to take care of yourself.

5. You don’t enjoy things you once really enjoyed.

Once upon a time, you had hobbies. There were many things you enjoyed. Now, when you try to do those activities, you have no push inside you to take part, because you don’t feel the excitement of the activity anymore.

6. When people ask you to explain how you feel, you are at a loss for words.

When your friends and family ask you what’s wrong, you can’t answer them because it’s hard to explain. You want too badly to let them know what you are going through, but don’t know-how.

7. You feel numb, a lot.

Much of the time, you feel numb. You’ve grown so accustomed to the emptiness that the empty feelings have turned to numbness.

8. You feel alone at your core.

Even when you are surrounded by people, you feel so alone. Because of this, you often feel like you are different than everyone else, or even feel like an alien.