I feel numb & on autopilot behaviour

numbing and autopilot behaviours definition red flag behaviour changes from the pen of

“Shock is when language and emotion get overwritten by trauma’s numbing code.” 

Stewart Stafford

To read, Scroll Down or click in heading 1️⃣Why do we go into numbness & autopilot mode? 2️⃣ Protection by numbing or autopilot can be one or all of the following. 2️⃣.1️⃣ Dissociation 2️⃣.2️⃣ Derealisation 2️⃣.3️⃣ Depersonalisation 3️⃣ The problems of always living on autopilot

1️⃣ Why do we go into Numbness & autopilot mode?

When you do not feel alive in the present, this is called feeling numb or on autopilot. When you are faced with an experience that is overwhelming and/or you can’t escape. Your brain steps in and protects you from the distress caused and emotionally removes you from your immediate surroundings, your body and/or your emotions. As if you ‘don’t feel alive’, then nothing matters at all. Which gives you protecting from being disappointed or hurt by other people again.

This emotional numbness, often described as running on auto-pilot, makes it feel as if you are:

▶️ detached from other people or

▶️ looking down on yourself and others as if you are outside of the world, 

This is called ‘Dissociation’, and it is your brains way of protecting you by building a wall around your unsafe thoughts and memories. To stop the

▶️ distress,

▶️ guilt and

▶️ shame

you may feel at your failure to do the most basic thing in life and keep yourself safe.

2️⃣. Protection by numbing or autopilot can be one or all of the following.

2️⃣.1️⃣ Dissociation

autopilot behaviours funny red flag behaviour changes from the pen of

Happens when your mind stores thoughts, memories, and emotions in sealed boxes. To be dealt with at a later date when you feel ‘strong enough’ to cope with the thoughts, memories and emotions.

It’s an effective strategy in as much that it hides the unpleasant feelings but it also hides all the good memories and happiness. So you feel empty inside. Disassociation ranges from

▶️ mild day dreaming to

▶️ the more extreme depersonalisation and derealisation.

2️⃣.2️⃣ Derealisation

▶️ When you feel as if you look at the through a veil.


▶️ As if places and people are a long way away.

2️⃣.3️⃣ Depersonalisation

▶️ You feel as if the world is dreamlike, it is not quite real, and people and events lack meaning. 


▶️ You feel as if you are separated from yourself. As if you are a reflection or you are looking down at yourself.


▶️ You feel as if the entire world is dreamlike, less real, lacking in significance.


▶️ You do things without thinking or enjoying as if you are living life on autopilot.

3️⃣ The problems of always living on autopilot

The problem with living on autopilot/disassociation over a long time is that it tricks your brain into thinking that it is constantly under attack. This is also known as operating from a position of survival. Nobody, including you, can be in a constant state of survival and still function well. 

Its important to remember that numbing and living on autopilot involves detaching yourself from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.

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