Can a psychological issue cause numbness in the body?

Yes, indeed. Numbness is a very common symptom of stress. Often one can have somatic representations of inner stress that finds ways to manifest. These can also be in the form of weakness, walking abnormalities, tremors, headaches, stomach pain, or seizure-like spells. Close evaluation and treatment with a psychotherapist is typically the treatment of somatoform or somatization disorders and avoidance of multiple medications that are not truly indicated.

Psychological issues will not only impact your mind, but also your body. In fact, emotional traumas set into motion the emergency function of the sympathetic nervous system known as the "fight or flight" response. When pressed by a psychological issue, your brain will work to problem solve - sending messages to your muscles and organs to be ready to fight the problem or flee from it.  Most times, you'll be able to work the psychological issue without great stress on your mind or body. Other times, the emotional trauma might be too overwhelming to work through. At these moments, the acute stress of the situation causes your body to hold onto the psychological issue. These "somatic experiences" can take the form of numbness in a part of your body, sensations of hot or coldness, even physical pain, just to name a few. Often, the kind of body sensation(s) you have can be quite symbolic of the trauma with which you have endured. Psychotherapy looks at the literal experiences of emotional pain, and also the symbolic levels of it. And as such, body awareness and somatic experience are important aspect to consider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.