There is a rare condition in which people claim to experience no thoughts or have no inner monologue. This could be a symptom of trauma, depersonalization, or other dissociative disorders. But worry not, if you are experiencing this, there are ways to overcome this condition.
Something that can really bother trauma and depersonalization (DP)/derealization (DR) sufferers is the apparent absence of thoughts. This is sometimes colloquially referred to as blank mind syndrome.
Research about this condition is limited, though many anecdotes scattered around the internet in depersonalization forums, Facebook groups, and elsewhere suggests that this condition is real.
Several of my clients who I have helped fully recover from DP/DR have told me about their blank minds and how debilitating it made them feel.
One client of mine has always claimed that he felt like he was “gone”. As if he was not there at all. He claimed his mind was “empty”.
Is Depersonalization Causing Your Blank Mind?
Blank mind can sometimes be associated with depersonalization & derealization disorder. You can take an educational test to see if you experience this disorder.
Does Trauma Play a Role in Blank Mind?
Many people who undergo a traumatic event can feel like their mind has been shut off. They may also feel numb and can’t have any emotions as well. This is a survival mechanism. The brain tries to protect the person from the extreme negative emotions after a traumatic event. Sometimes, along with shutting off the emotional centers of the brain, your ability to think is also compromised.
Someone who experienced a traumatic episode can feel like they are on auto pilot. They may feel like a robot, simply living life but not fully present. From the outside, they may even seem fine, but on the inside, they may feel empty, devoid of thoughts and emotions.
Trauma need not be the result of events such as rape, or a road accident, but it can also arise from consistent abuse in childhood, or even when the child has been neglected and not cared for or nourished properly. The child then develops coping strategies to help with the challenging situations. But later in life, these strategies may break down, leading to post traumatic stress disorders.
If you feel you experienced trauma in your life, then you need to process that trauma safely. You may need to visit a trauma specialist and get treated for your trauma. Doing so can help with your blank mind.
In addition to this, if you feel really disconnected from the world around you or generally feel disconnected from yourself, then you may also be suffering from depersonalization and derealization. If this is the case with you, then I’d advise you to take a look at my online course DP No More which can help you break out of such conditions and experience life as you did previously.
If you did not suffer from trauma then read on.
Is Your Mind Really Blank?
If you think you have a blank mind, then I want you to closely examine your experience.
Most people who experience a blank mind will actually think to themselves something along the lines of “I have no thoughts!” or “My mind is blank!”. If you examine this carefully you’ll see that these are actually thoughts. You are just not paying close attention to what is going on.
Even saying something like “I have a blank mind” means that your mind is not really blank because you just constructed a thought in your mind.
I’m not saying what you are experiencing is not unusual. Yes, depersonalization or dissociation does seem to affect the way one thinks. There definitely can be an absence of chatter or even a lack of attention (more about this below), but there are definitely thoughts in your mental space when you examine closely. Your mind is not totally empty or blank.
This Exercise Will Tell You the Truth
Here’s a simple exercise you can perform to figure out if your mind is blank or not.
Try to pick a subject of your choice to think about. I always suggest picking a favorite movie of yours.
Now think about this movie. Imagine the scenes from it. Imagine the characters talking and the dialog. Now, can you hear them speak in your mind?
Just try to let thoughts come up about this movie. You may have watched it when you were young. There may be memories around this particular film. Let them all come up.
Go ahead, take some time now to do this.
After a while, you’ll see that images and words seem to come up when you do so.
Also, go one step further and try to come up with deliberate thoughts about this movie. You can think something like:
- “That is such a good movie!”
- “I had so much fun watching it”
- “I cried a lot during the climax”
- “It scared the hell out of me!”
These are just some example statements to help you come up with your own.
Really spend some time thinking about this favorite film of yours.
What I’m asking here is that you deliberately engage your mind to produce thoughts. When you do so, you’ll see that indeed you can produce thoughts if you do desire.
Lack of Attention?
What is going on when a person’s mind has gone blank or empty? Does it mean that there are no thoughts or does it mean that there is a lack of attention?
I’d wager that in most cases it is just lack of attention.
Before depersonalization/derealization, we may have been paying too much attention to all the thoughts going about in our mental space. Every little thought would have demanded our attention.
Maybe after depersonalization, you just have stopped paying attention to them. The thoughts are still there, but your attention is not. Your attention may be wholly placed on the depersonalization experience (because of how unique, weird, or unpleasant it maybe).
Most often, you actually don’t need attention to perform a lot of tasks. This is especially true for menial tasks such as washing dishes, going for a run, checking social media on your phone, etc. These tasks are something you have performed many times before, so the brain conserves energy by switching off its attention circuit. In this case, because your attention is free to focus on something other than the current task at hand, it is then placed on your thoughts instead.
But when you experience DP/DR, because of how new and different this experience can be, all of your attention is now placed on the experience itself.
This can look like a blank mind, but it may be just that you are not paying conscious attention to the thoughts that are going on inside. You are wholly absorbed in the DP/DR experience.
But if you choose to pay attention to your thoughts, then you can (as we’ve seen through the above exercise.)
Or Absence of Chatter?
Mental chatter is the term used to describe the constant barrage of thoughts we experience as humans. These could be judgments we make about our current experience (“Oh, it’s so cold out”, “I feel great”, etc), or it could be something we are thinking about (“What should I make for dinner?”), or just random thoughts.
This mental chatter is a hallmark of human experience. For the most part, this is benign but it can turn distressing for some people because their thoughts can be very negative in nature.
Sometimes these thoughts can be scary and intrusive as well, but with some education, one can learn how to properly handle scary and intrusive thoughts.
Meditation is aimed at reducing this mental chatter. Expert meditators claim that their mind is quiet with very few thoughts if any. A lot of people aim to reach this stage of clarity.
Perhaps this is what the DP sufferer experiences minus the years worth of training that the meditator engages in?
Many people aspire to experience reality without this constant chatter. Maybe some DP sufferers are getting to this place of tranquility without the need to put in thousands of hours of training?
Seen this way, the absence of mental chatter can be a boon instead of a curse.
These Additional Strategies Can Help
If you are really bothered by this experience, I suggest you follow some of these steps to deliberately overcome this “blank mind”. Whenever you feel like you are experiencing a blank mind, you can try out the following:
- Brain teasers and puzzles that require thinking, for example answering riddles, and quizzes (even something as silly as a pop culture quiz).
- Playing mental games with your friends.
- Writing an essay about something, like your favorite movie or a book.
- Reading something that is intellectually challenging like a book about world economy, science, or history.
In all these cases, you’ll notice that you have not lost your ability to think and create thoughts. It’s still there.
When you fully recover from depersonalization, you’ll have your attention and your ability to have spontaneous thoughts come back. It will be a slow process, but it will happen.
Don’t be alarmed right now about the absence of mental chatter or lack of attention. Try to allow this experience and not fight it. Before you know it, you’ll start to have thoughts just like you did before, without putting in any conscious effort. For now, I’d advise you to focus on recovering from depersonalization & derealization as a whole and not trying to manage each and every such individual symptom.
All images are from Pixabay and Flickr Creative Commons
I don’t think I’ve dp/dr but I surely don’t have automatic / spontaneous thoughts, when I’m washing dishes and that stuff I’m usually thinking about other stuff the problem is that I control what I think it’s like there’s no thought comming up without my control/effort the thing is if I want to stop thinking consciously I don’t know how to do it.. when I play videogames my mind is engaged in the task I’m paying full attention to it which makes me to not hear my thoughts. Is there something that I can do to start having automatic / spontaneous thoughts? I need help :\ My doctors doesn’t believe that I’ve no spontaneous thoughts.
I feel the same way. Have you learnt anything to help you with this since posting? Can you let me know either in the comments or at email@example.com Thanks!!
Esha Desai says
Hey, have you found out any helpful information? I would really appricaite it if you let me know
Have you found help, suffering from the same issue and it’s causing me anxiety please reply to me
Hi. I feel the exact same way. Do you have any helpful information for me? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would really appreciate it
I feel exactly same as you, and i have no energy to control my thoughts, and i want to know too how to deal with this syndrome….and this is my email at email@example.com
I feel the Same way
Have you found anything out ?
If you have can you please any thing about this to my email [HIDDEN]
Have you found help, suffering from ethe same issue and anxiety please reply to me
Antwaun Kent says
So, please image or begin to picture like to think of our minds in a moving field or space (like a airplane/spaceship). An our thoughts are like all of the things around us. Some close, some far and or small and opposite that. Now label them in importants, as big things you don’t forget ( money$ look) your car, parents, etc. are large planets or mountains, (you get it) and small things like random memories of places and things, small tasks and fine detail facts are all just not zoomed in and or distance lil things. build familiar spaces for them to exist and don’t forget to revisit them. Keep it simple at first and then develop your free land/space. Hope it helps
“The more room you give me, the more space I got!” – Bjork
I suffer from a blank mind and I don’t know what’s causing it. I can sit and listen to the place where thoughts used to come from, and there’s nothing. I tried your exercise but I could hardly even remember the name of a movie I like. Once I did, I kept going blank trying to think of scenes from the movie. It’s the same when I try to think about other things. I can’t even think about my boyfriend. And if I sit, trying to “hear” myself, there’s nothing. What would you suggest to people who can’t get themselves to think?
I had the exact same reaction to everything you’ve just said. Since I’m also on this page, I can’t really offer any help. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone in this experience.
This is EXACTLY ME!
a user says
This is exactly me. It’s not a matter of where my attention is, because I have bearly any energy. Everytime I try to think of anything my mind goes blank and almost hurts from the blank feeling and I have to backtrack and think of it again. This is 24/7. It almost feels like there’s a huge rock in my head that takes up alot of my brain and whatever’s left is what I can bearly make a thought with. Feels like I’ve only got a very small about of RAM.
I’m just not all there, or anywhere. A whole lot of nothing like the void before I was born.
And same with the movie I could barely think of a couple of scenes from a show I’ve watched 3 times, and couldn’t think about it beyond that.
I had to reread this over and over because it’s hard to keep it in my head.
Hi, what I experience is that i really go blank even when the topic is very known to me and i go dumb in front of them. I really so heavy in my head and would get relaxed when i take a deep loud exhale. Feels my nerves going strife which connects to my head by then. When i think of the situation after sometime in solitary condition, i can come-up with pretty creative cool ideas and thoughts about the same. I’m a intervert, so is that anything to do with it? And what do you suggest to overcome this?
This is also what I always experience especially during school hours and it irritates me a lot because everytime there is an activity that requires your opinion or in subjective form my mind goes blank even in simple questions I can’t think of answer. But when I’m at home or alone I can also come up with cool ideas same as you do but It will also somehow take me a lot of time to think and come up with cool ideas
It just futrates me a lot everytime I need school work to do because I just feel like I’m really dumb. I’m also an introvert.
Sorry for my English. I hope there is someone who will reply and can suggest
My mind is 100% blank and I don’t know what to do. I have been having this problem for months and I fell like sometimes I can’t remember what I was doing and that my brain is switching on and off. I have recently been having headaches too. I think there is something wrong with my prefrontal cortex, which controls thoughts
Swamy G says
Blank mind can be brought up by stress and trauma. Have you recently experienced any new level of stress? Or have you experienced any trauma in the past?
i have……4 years of everyday chronic stress and It’s causing me to mind
mike elofson says
I am commenting today for the greater of humanity. I suffered a blank mind seven years ago. I am on this page because I have (GONE THROUGH), yes I have made it completely through, full circle, 360 degrees, the Blank Mind Syndrome. I am here to figure out what it was and what it is called. This is it. Backstory, I am a Male, 38 working as a maintenance manager of 5 years in a very high stress situation with undiagnosed ADHD. the thoughts in my head were overwhelming. I had lists everywhere. My Mind went blank, I said this is not good. walked out of work went to the DR, left with zoloft and a year of therapy. I started a new job.
Six years later, I was diagnosed at the age of 45 with ADHD, the Psychologist said i couldn’t do a complex function, and the brain fires slowly, and did an amazing getting where i got with what i had. i started Adderall and after a week of journaling said oh my god this is how a normal brain works. keep in mind on a subconscious level i wasn’t allowing most information to enter my brain, because our brain knows it can not manage it. the burning question was always what caused Blank Mind Syndrome and why is it still affecting me. this path is important to unlocking my blank mind. I went on a job interview and the interviewing ceo wanted me to be a maintenance manager, i wasnt applying for that job. afterwards i beat myself up outloud for three days. then i walked with the plant manager through the current manufacturing facility, (i am the master electrician, no responsibilities) and said at my former job i could tell you in great detail everything about the plant and all the equipment and issues with every single item. IT ALL CAME RUSHING BACK, the memory of “ALL THE ATTENTION I WAS GIVING TO THOSE THOUGHTS” (thanks Swamy G for teaching us). i turned off the world and focused on how to manage all the incoming thoughts. two days later i had org charted where all the data comes from, understood that a task is the simplest form of work and MULTITASKING YOUR BRAIN IS DAMAGING. if i can share one thing. stop multitasking (this is a very complex function to understand). i have taken it so far that there is no second thought in my head, not even the next step i am going to take. only the single thought that comes up, i act on it, get it done, then do the next item that comes into my head. no more lists, unless work requires me to do more than one task, that is called a job or (project). thankfully you have all found Swamy G even if its seven years later, God Bless You ALL! Mike Elofson
With the exception of when I first started treatment for ADHD, I have had brain fog/a complete absence of thought for well over 12 years now.
I’ve been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, FND, BPD, depression and anxiety but numerous healthcare professionals have assured me that I don’t have brain damage. :/
I haven’t felt quite right ever since I endured a particularly difficult period in 2006, in which my sister was imprisoned for murder, I changed schools & subsequently lost all my friends. I suspect I’m struggling with undiagnosed PTSD.
I wish someone could help me. 🙁
Mike Elofson says
Take the your “bad memories” every time they pop up try and learn something. the goal is that after many re-occurring memory thoughts and learning from them, those “bad” memories will strengthen your rocky foundation and they automatically turn from “bad” to a victory, building a stronger foundation moving forward.
God Bless All (God in charge of the good and bad, knowing this makes it easier to understand and pray for the wrong doers as well as the victims, we all deserve Gods Prayers and Blessings we are all his children, He is our Heavenly Father always Forgiving us and Loving us unconditionally)
I have a problem. Wherein my mind goes blank and i mean it. Example is when i’m eating or doing something i would find myself dozing off with my mind going blank, losing interest to do things and if someone asks me about a certain issue that i used to know … i can’t answer because i can’t think… my mind keeps on getting blank and i keep on spacing out.
I’ve been like these for months now and i feel like it’s getting worse.
Manny Terra says
I have been blanking out every three weeks since January 2020…I get a ringing in my ear, then dizziness, then total nothing…don’t know where I am, don’t know who I am…don’t know why I’m at home…it scares the heck out of me. It lasts any where from 15 min. to half hour….been to the doctor and the hospital, they have taken so many tests…CT Scans, EEG’s, ECG’s, MRI…..all come out negative…doctor doesn’t know what’s causing it…what can I do, I’m at my whits end.
I knew I’ve suffered from this for over a year, but I was never aware that it was an actual thing. Thank you for this, and thank you for letting me know that I can overcome my blank mind syndrome.
I’m female 29yr. I was a high honors student. Hardly had to study and received nearly straight A’s. I decided when i was 19 that i was tired of dwelling /reflecting on everything and people. Was stressed and getting emotional. I then focused on clearing my mind completely and only taking in my immediate surroundings; the sounds, lighting, shadows, wind, scent, etc. I am very good…too good at it. My mind is always clear now. I now forget everything almost instantly, if it is a task that i should do later. I can only do things immediately or its forgotten or i notice the object later and then do the task. I write lists and then forget to address the list, even if it is out in the open. I am very capable. I can problem solve, cook, hold long in depth conversations, etc. The thing is i don’t think about any of those things. I just do them. Its instinctive or a reflex. A conversation just happens and i just say things. People believe that my words sound very well thought out and very wise or complex. But those all happen with a blank mind. It is like my conscious mind is blank and i run completely off of subconscious. I like to say I’m driven off of instinct and reflex and my subconscious because i just do and say without any conscious effort. It’s great because i don’t have a care in the world or get anxiety about a situation for more than a moment. But my feelings and emotions, aka my subconscious, control my reflexes. My feelings dictate what actions i do. I can not remember an event unless i attached it to an emotion /feeling. I remember a joke only because someone laughed at it, but i wont remember it if someone asked me about it. But if they said who i told it to and what the joke was about then i feel an emotional chord is struck and the memory /words about the memory spews from my mouth. I don’t even think it. It happens instantaneously like a lightening strike. This has lead to much frustration for me personally. I cannot remember things at will. It’s hard to focus my attention on things unless it is a physical task. Like troubleshooting a complex electrical circuit with a microprocessor with ppcl that controls multiple relays and a actuated motors. Assembling an entertainment center or complex home gym. I can do these things without consciously about them. I can drive for 8 hours and it feels like maybe 30 minutes. I speed a bit but i consider myself an aggressive and defensive driver. I want to be able to think, focus, and remember things again, at will. What should i do? I feel like i need to volunteer for a neural brain scan so i can say “Look, my brain waves are flat lined! Have you seen this before? Because i can’t find any help because no one that i have talked to can relate.”
I am no expert, but it seems like you had an ” Awakening”. The kind that Eckhart Tolle speaks about. Many are striving to get to the state you are in. Do some research, yoy may be pleasantly surprised. Good luck
i can relate, its scary.
I can relate massively to this ,, I wasn’t A grade student tho 🤣but okay basically when I was 16 I started to smoke the weed , used to make me go straight into my head and all thought and shit would happening , got to the age of 18 and I litro have no thoughts at all no dreams no nothing just a blank mind , tbh I’m happy like don’t have problems that I liteo have to think and when something happens my subconscious kicks in, I feel like my subconscious is goood compare to other and iv read up a lot about people saying they hate it and ect but I generally feel more sounder then I was when I was turning 16 , pretty much my mind is blank, get it going , the only thing bad happening is you get bored fucking easily and can’t relate to people much since my brain works differently to others , some times I can see it’s all in their heads and that cos I feel like I’m more down to earth cos nothing in my head , just there and here If you know what I mean , but yeah if you have a blank mind don’t be scared and that count it as a blessing at least you won’t have no negative thoughts , and if you do have thoughts think positive thoughts ,
I can relate so much to this I’m 19 and although I can evaluate myself and my thoughts, I feel there’s not much there to evaluate, only that I’m evaluating and what my goals are for that week are and that’s about it. When I have conversations literally don’t think it’s just comes out and sometimes it sounds good and other times not. But yeah good to relate have you changed at all after posting this , come to any conclusion ? Kinda lookin for explanation and myb a guide cause idk deep down I’m lonely and although I have life long friends, I’ve changed my minds changed and it’s hard to be with ppl I can’t relate to mentally let alone grow together. I still live in my hometown at home going to a near college and have been thinking of just leaving somehow to “find myself” and thoughts anyone ? Of course I have to worry about parents thinking what the hells going on in my mind and want to develop better relationship somehow with grandparents before it’s too late but also like gotta do me it’s my life… sorry I’m typing this fast as I should be writing an essay due tn but yeah it’s been on my mind lately. Also I used to smoke weed for about 2.5 years so I’m sure that’s screwed with me plus got cheated on my my gf of 3 so Ik I have some trauma Fersure but yeah I understand it’s going to be a process recovering although Wht tht state will be. I’m just hoping someone reads this and myb offers explanations, past experiences rlly don’t know what I’m doing here but airbody stay safe !!
Mike Elofson says
I can relate, i spent years with Blank Mind Syndrome.
I am now what Joan said “AWAKENED”
they sound exactly the same when you described what you experienced. difference is Blank mind i would say is void of attention, where Awakened your attention is focused on one thing. no longer multitasking your brain, which is the AWAKENING
Your current state sounds like my natural state – especially the “People believe that my words sound very well thought out and very wise or complex,” “I am very capable,” “I can only do things immediately or it’s forgotten,” and “I can do these things without consciously thinking about them.” I also generally don’t get anxiety, don’t worry like others do, and I don’t hold grudges or stay mad (it is hard for me to even get intensely mad in the first place, because true anger takes time to develop and once I am out of that situation, I immediately forget about being angry.) My mind has always been naturally silent; a blank slate. I seem to have aphantasia as well (an inability to imagine in the usual sense.) I tend to react to the world with a emotional feeling or physical reaction instead of a thought. I can immerse myself in a given moment, but once the stimuli is no longer there, I don’t “think” about the experience unless someone asks me to (my mind remains a clean slate). When I do “think” it is more like recalling data and an associated feeling or emotion rather than an “inner monologue.” So I guess I am saying that I can relate to your current situation, even if I can’t help you get back to your original state, I do share your experience, so you’re not alone. Even if it’s occasionally frustrating being late to or forgetting appointments, forgetting where you are going, what you were doing, or where your keys went, if you are like me, you are intelligent and adaptable, so you’ll make it work, true friends will forgive your quirks, and isn’t less emotional baggage a huge positive in life? Perhaps the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks… :/
I have always had what I call a blank mind, no images, no voices nothing but blessed silence and I do not dream. I count this a blessing.
Just Jill S says
How do you call this a blessing I cant understand people when they are talking and can’t hold a conversation as my mind is permanently blank
Same, me to and idk how to change that and think and understand people and have a conversation
We are using the same words “blank mind” for two different concepts – I feel you are referring to being unable to reason or verbalize, for example in a stressful situation, such as social mixers, giving a presentation, or facing a bully. That sort of “blank” is very frustrating and anxiety-inducing, especially to someone who normally has (or had) thoughts going through their heads.
I understand that the “blank mind” Gali is referring to is something like Aphantasia; not being able to visualize, hear inner monologues, or dream, are examples (there are varying levels of Aphantasia, so no two individuals’ experiences are exactly alike.) I am “blank-minded” like Gali, and since I was born this way, it seems perfectly normal to be “blank” all the time. He says it’s a blessing because there are those of us who don’t understand how people can function with thoughts or images or songs buzzing through their heads all the time. It is a foreign concept to us.
Hi, I am experiencing my mind going blank. My everyday duties, today I was put on the spot to explain how yo do a job. It went straight out my head. I didn’t even know where to start as I forgot the start process. This has happened many times.
Swamy G says
Have you been experiencing any stress lately (not because of the blank mind, but think about other areas in your life). Or, did you experience any trauma in childhood or recently?
I suffer from no thoughts or feelings, I’ve had this since 2018, I suffered from psychosis, can that sort of trauma cause this?
There’s Pure Awareness which is absolute emptiness beyond the minds content which comprises of Thoughts, Feelings, Sensations, and Perceptions / Images . You are Not your mind, rather you are it’s “Watcher” or “Observer” aka Awareness. You are thus the watcher of the mind. Not the mind. When u Realise this Truth, Awareness becomes Aware of Itself! Ie the Emptyness that u experience becomes aware of itself as You. The True You. You couldn’t possibly be Thought… for what is it that watches and observes thought??? U couldn’t possibly be a Feeling, for what is it that watches and observes feelings??? You couldn’t possibly be any sense perception or sensation as experienced thru the senses, for what is it that observes senses and sense perceptions ?? “The Voice Inside your Head” is NOT YOU,, for what is it that sees, observes and “watches ” the voice inside ur head? You are the WATCHER OF THE MIND, U ARE NOT THE MIND! YOU ARE ITS WATCHER… So if u have an empty mind, become Aware that you are the Watcher of the Mind. The Absolute Emptiness is You. Awareness. And when u become Aware of this (from Awareness itself , not from thought as a perception) , Awareness Itself becomes self aware of itself as YOU. Awareness that you are Awareness (and not the Voice in your head) is IT! This is self-realization! It is called “No-Mind” or Samadhi in Zen. When u actually REALISW this Truth, the point of realisation is called Satori. It’s like a lightning Flash of Realisation that jolts you into “No-Mind” or Samadhi (extreme peace of no-thoughts , knowing urself over and over as Pure no thought Awareness) . You could call it your SOUL. So don’t be Afraid, u are experiencing ur Being-ness or your SOUL. *** The only thing is that u should have Absolute focus and absolute awareness – ie u shldnt be forgetting things or unable to think if u wish to. I would say that if u are forgetful or can’t focus or wilfully think, you are dissociated due to trauma. But…. the trauma that has dissociated you has caused you to rest in Awareness (ur Soul) because maybe ur mind was too painful to be with or pay attention to…. So the trauma has caused you to rest in ur being-ness. But you are not AWARE of this. When u become Aware that your empty mind is Your Soul, is YOU , awareness will become self aware of itself as YOU, as “IT” . And u reached Self realisation. Trauma can bring and has brought most monks or awakened ppl to this Self Realisation. It’s a state of Hyper-Awareness self aware of itself over n over n over as “the Soul”. You usually need to be hyper aware. Not Dissociated. Although extreme dissociation to empty mind is another way of getting there. So in ur dissociated state, u have to become aware that you are the Watcher of the Mind. Not the mind, which is a collection of thoughts / feelings/ sensations/ images/perceptions. You are none of those – You are the Absolute Emptiness that Observes all those! The Watcher of the Mind. Go read Eckharte Tolles book called “THE POWER OF NOW” and ull understand everything…. I have no thoughts alot of the time and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s Pure Awareness or PRESENCE. AKA The Enlightened State of Empty Mind. It’s ur Soul. So don’t be Afraid. It’s Pure Awareness.
Thank you so much Oren. This article is so resourceful, and has great potential to help most people who have commented out here.
I don’t think I have blank minda just feel like mine head is empty. Sometimes when people are talking with me or when I read something I can’t understand what’s going on and my mind is empty. Like when I’m talking I feel like “where these words come from” maybe I’m just stressing for nothing but it’s really annoying when nothing is going on in my mind or I can’t understand basic words and when I need to think really hard like know because English is not my language.
Sorry I just really wanted to share this.
Hi guys haven’t u find something to help with blank mind
Even me am struggling with blank mind
Sometimes when am in my room i just can’t think
Even when am with people i cant just understand the conversation
But anyway hope oneday i will be all right
If u have information or anything talk to me
i literally have a blank mind,
every time am having a conversations with someone, i have nothing to say.
theres nothing i can think off or come up with to make it fun, all i say is yes
i think the traumatic experience i had is when everyone in my family found out i did drugs after i had overdosed.
i felt like everyone was so disappointed in me that i couldn’t be happy with myself.
i come from a really religious family and the way i was raised vs what i did just made me feel so bad that i ended up with lots of anxiety where i d be sweating from just being nervous and being around people . all this happened to me this year. i overdosed, lost my ability to talk and make conversation and have fun. it made me feel like commiting suicide but i dont want to see my mom sad so. am currently looking for a way to bounce back from all the depression and feeling of being really dumb,
so to anyone that sees this if you have a way to help heres my email:
I feel this exact way, i have been searching for some time now what the reason could be why i feel so empty. This article describes everything perfectly. I couldnt describe it my self becouse i feel nothing and cant think straight but this describes everything SO SO perfectly and is exactly how i feel. Im 16 and have had traumatic experiences with my mom (i live at my dads now). From the inside im empty i feel like a robot and i dont seem to truely enjoy things anymore or give a fuck. I got a bit relieved when i read this, that im not the only one.
Im so glad I found this page, I literally thought I was the only one or that I was retarded with a brain damage! I feel total empty, there are times that I feel like a robot, I wonder who is this guy that controls my actions? It can not be me. I am so happy that I am not alone on this difficult journey, I am extremely smart, I could multitask a lot of things, I had amazing inspirational speeched to myself, I felt like I was a genious but now in 2020 I feel my mind is black and I really need help
Hey. I’m going through the same thing as you, it started a couple of days ago and seems like it keeps getting worse as the days go by. I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes through think. I didn’t even know what blank mind was or that it was even possible until I bumped into this article yesterday. I got it from being on a 150mg medication. Then moving down to 75 mg and completely switching to a new medication that 10mg. It makes me feel like I’m not me and that I’m just living life empty, confused, lost. Then memories will come back and I forget everything. Idk how it’s possible for the mind to even do this.
I got dpdr from chronic fatigue and severe stress about my final exams. Would ginkgo biloba help in this case??
Me: “I have a blank mind.”
Blog: “you just put a thought together!”
Me: (mind blown) 😳
I will try all of that, I have a lot of things going on in my life like financial statement, things to do and taking responsibility.
Two years ago I started to complete my studies and in the beginning I was good but my last two semesters I started to lose it.
I was unable to think or to write an essay but finally I graduated.
And now I am still in the same position I can’t think or taking decision at work and nowadays I have alot of challenges and I have to be focus to alot of things but still I can’t.
After reading this I will try all the things and I hope will help me because I really need to break all negative mind and to be more focus.
i am 15 years old, and just recently i realized that i don’t have any thoughts whatsoever. However, i do have a great mind – i get straight A’s and i am practically good at everything ( not saying this in a narcissistic way), but the answers/ solutions always come to me AUTOMATICALLY. Like, i do not even have to think of answers- either i know it or don’t, because i can’t think. I cannot picture stuff in my head. It’s kinda scary.
i do depersonalise a lot and also occasionally derealise (though not as bad) but i know what that feels like and what can trigger it so i know its not the same thing.
im 18 now and for the last 4 or 5 years i’ve been struggling to think. the ability is just not there, and the things that have gone on in my life over the last couple of years have worsened it, i know. but i just cant imagine things or hear anything even when im thinking, my head is so silent apart from the random intrusive thoughts while im on a walk. when i think, i can feel that im thinking, but i cant hear anything no matter how hard i try and its so weird.
im in a constant state of mentally floating but im comepletely coherent – it feels like being tipsy to the point theres no thought or intense feeling but without any form of intoxicant. im not sure how to explain it.
This is very common. I have aphantasia, SDAM, no inner voice and no inner monologue. I have had these all my life, and they were not caused by trauma of any kind. Research and fMri studies being done on aphants shows that there are definite brain differences between them and non-aphants, and the same applies to the lack of inner monologue. It is not something to “cure”, any more than you can “cure” those who are colour blind, and it is not a mental deficiency.
Apparently a technique called ‘image streaming’ can cure aphantasia
I feel the same, I can’t remember anything short term, or understand what people say conversation for instance as before! so I started using my behavior instead and focus on others behaviors! as much as it pains me to not understand people anymore, or have that fake sense of understanding someone, we have to work with what we have now.
Greeting. I have this syndrome. I never had an insight into my thoughts. I have depersonalization, derealization and dissociation. The doctors don’t believe me. They claim that it is impossible not to have insight into their thoughts. When I walk down the street I don’t think about anything. When I sit and drink coffee, I don’t think about anything. That is very difficult. I’ve been sitting in the house for years and it’s driving me crazy. I should start taking Reagil 1.5 mg from Monday. Is there a chemical cure for an empty mind?
My mind is blank all the time, I don’t have any thoughts or imagination and I don’t understand emotion, wether myself trying to express any or reading others. I feel like I’m watching what I’m doing from just over my shoulder all the time and I struggle to engage in conversation even with the people I care about. Even a simple question like ‘what do you want for tea?’ Leaves me floundering like I know what we have in the cupboards but my mind is just blank
I have a blanked mind as well, each time I take a deep breath I can feel air coming out my ears. I have no ideal or no imaginations , I don’t like it because I know where I come from & it’s hard to become successful like this….
Who wants spontaneous thoughts. I have something less than spontaneous thoughts. Half assed social commentary, incorrect assessments of reality and malformed thoughts. I only want thoughts that I originate not garbage based on poor observation and analysis of the situation.
How do you stop this mental diarrhea? That’s what I want to know. Give me blank mind any day.
I have absoluetely no thoughts at all, and I can’t seem to focus on anything. I’m only a teenager but I suffer from narcolepsy, insomnia, migraine disorder, and along with depression in the past. I’ve been recently feeling like this and it feels like I can’t break out of it either. While this is happening, I get sudden mood swings and would suddenly feel very cold or start crying out of nowhere. I am under a lot of stress however my parents’ have done nothing to help with this fact and are providing even more stress. As if keeping up with school and exams isn’t hard enough. Even as I am writing this, my arms feel like they don’t want to do anything, and it’s probably taken me well over 2 hours to write this much because I keep spacing out. My parents get angry at me because I can’t respond to them due to a lack of focus, and they even slap me a few times, but it’s like I’m in a dream I can’t wake up from. Kind of like I’m doing things mindlessly, even putting myself in dangerous situations where I almost walked off the stairs. Sometimes I would do things like suddenly collapse or say something and I’d have no memory of doing so, (People around me inform me about this)This article helped me understand what I’m experiencing might be however I can’t seem to cure this and it’s like an endless cycle as to where I feel like I’m reliving certain days over and over again. I can’t really tell anyone about this so I’m leaving this comment for feedback and assistance so hopefully somebody can tell me how to break out of this state.
Me 2 bestie
Hey author, you have people posting here looking for answers who probably don’t have dpdr. And in particular your writing doesn’t seem to appreciate how their spontaneous unbidden thoughts might actually have been functional to them.
“Might they be unintentionally achieving a state desired by meditators?” Yeah no, this is you confusing two things as being the same thing because they both have some quality that can be called by the same word, “blankness”. Confusion like this via language is how somebody gaslights themselves out of knowing their own experiences. And there’s a limit to where most people will end up unintentionally.
People want blankness when the background noise is not functional. The people in the comments want their spontaneous thoughts back because the emptiness they are experiencing is not functional.
Spontaneous thoughts are surely generated by systems below your consciousness, whose job it is to generate them in some circumstances they recognize. If you suddenly aren’t having them anymore, like at all, under the same circumstances under which you used to be having them (keyword suddenly) – and you didn’t deliberately do any work to disable them _or_ recently have anything like a traumatic experience that would interfere – you have a problem that is very possibly medical.
At least that’s the domain whose responsibility it should be. Unfortunately you have a problem that afaik nobody knows how to do anything about, because medicine doesn’t really care about the structure of the mind, and meditation practice isn’t systematized enough out of its eastern religious context to actually consider itself a technical study of mind, and the solution that is cognitive science is still taking baby steps because science’s priorities are not sane.
Stacey Borda says
I have no thoughts in my head.i am 42 yrs of age and I’ve never had thoughts.there feels like there’s a blockage 8n my head stopping them from getting through. I have had enough and there seems to be no help for a blank mind.noone seems to know what’s causing it.im done enough is enough
I also feel Like this. Im pretty Sure it hast Something to do with the prefrontal Cortex. Maybe some Just have to relax and meditate or breathe. I dont know. I was raped and now i dont know what to do with myself. I also feel Like I lost the ability to Talk. I also think you need to get your awareness to your Partner. But it doesnt feel so Bad in this “dream-like” state. But im bored too. As hell. And i also would Like to fix IT badly. .. anyway maybe IT will Go away on ITS own? But im Not quite Sure. I will See a doctor about this. I dont believe in spirituality but it definitley Sounds better than dissociation.
Kristin Pointer says
I feel like I have shut everything down my emotions my thoughts. I suffer from severe trauma and PTSD. I don’t ever think before I speak I don’t have thoughts my mind is always blank. The only time I have thoughts is when I am extremely stressed and anxious. And that’s when I’m going to bed. I’m glad I’m not alone.
Im reading this at 4am in the morning…wondering. Ever since I took that first anti-depressant medication when I was 11 my brain has been empty or quiet, ever since. No thoughts, no mental chatter or dialogue, and even if I try my hardest to think or focus I don’t. Even typing shocks me because I am not thinking when I’m doing it, and I feel so odd because no body else can relate and no one understands.
Hey. I’m 30 years old and I was on some antidepressants 150mg, then tapered off from it on 75mg. Then went to an anxiety medication because the antidepressant wasint working for me. Then I noticed I started getting no thoughts, not feeling like myself. I sleep, eat, take care of my three beautiful daughters. The I don’t remember what I did throughout the day, I lose track of time and I feel like I have troubles rembering my past, I feel I ha e no thoughts. Some memories come back, then they go away again. I feel like I’m just living life with a blank mind. I’ve gone through trama in the past and it took me many years to heal from it. Now I’m going through a hard time with having no thoughts and it worry me. I have troubles falling asleep and staying asleep. I didn’t know what was going on until I came across this article today and started reading it. Then I realized dp/Dr and it’s every day. I though I was the only one who goes through it until I saw the comments. Thank you so much to everyone who shared what they are going through, it’s helping me out too.
Not sure what your actual qualifications are or your experience, but I’m surprised you failed to mention aphantasia and what role it might play into blank mind, as well as touch on those with aphantasia will never “pass” your “this will tell you the truth” test. (Though I highly, highly doubt you read any of these comments and never reply…)
Aphantasia’s will never see those memories in our minds, because we have no minds eyes. So, are our mind’s truly blank? Perhaps not in the “EEKkk! I have not thoughts!” kind of way.
I can only speak of MY experience as an aphantasia (as well as my 15 year old daughters experience as a “total” aphantasia as well) that we experience complete and utter blackness in our mind. No pictures, no memories (as such).
I’ve also noticed, since my spike in anxiety, that I also have no real chatter in my mind. I’ve never heard voices (which is just as odd a concept to me as someone being able to see pictures, images, and/or movies in their mind)… my mind is well and truly completely blank.
Yes, I can think – clearly – yes I can (in a sense) have an inner dialogue in my brain. But, sometimes, the silence is deafening.
Crazy enough, even though I am a complete Aphantasia (no pictures, no sound… full blackness) I am an fiction author. And, wildly enough, my daughter who is also a complete Aphantasia, is artist.
I guess, where there is a will there is a way.
I also have Aphantasia, and you are right, where there is a will, there is a way.
I am “a natural” when it comes to spatial reasoning and visual arts like drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. People say I must have a great imagination – and in a way I do – yet it isn’t like a “normal” imagination, as my mind is a completely blank slate while I am doing these things. For me it is more like a natural flow or feeling, or “just knowing.”
Since I was a kid I always said I didn’t have an imagination because the other kids could always think of stories to tell, games to do, but my mind always went blank. I would just kind of wander the room staring at all the kids, in the end I would end up reading a book because it was straightforward and I didn’t need to put much thinking into it. Now in my life I end up zoning out a lot whether I’m alone or with other people. I’ll just sit there and stare and all of a sudden I snap back to reality and see that 2 hours passed. Of course when it happens when someone’s talking to me I come back more quickly but I’m never thinking of anything. Also I wanted to comment about the part of the blog where you said “if you say my mind is blank that means your mind is not really blank and you constructed a thought” I disagree with that. I can say my mind is blank without putting a thought into it. I just stated a fact. My mind is blank. I’m thinking of nothing. It’s empty up here.
Hello everyone, I have created a subreddit for people with blank mind, no spontaneous thoughts, etc. Please join!!