Portfolio of Hope

Emotional detachment is when a person is unable to engage fully with their own or other people’s feelings. It can be ongoing- a sign of a mental health condition- or it can be a temporary response to an extreme situation.

(It is important to note here that; emotional detachment is NOT a mental health condition in and of itself/in its own right, but rather, it is a symptom of some mental disorders).

In terms of what can cause emotional detachment disorder, the main causes, are as follows…

  • Past experiences- People have a greater chance of developing attachment disorders if they have experienced difficult circumstances in their early life, such as; experiencing significant loss (e.g., death or separation from a parent or caregiver), experiencing emotional or physical abuse, neglect, trauma, etc.
  • Medication- In a 2016 study amongst 180 people, long-term use of antidepressants were shown to increase the likelihood of people feeling emotionally numb as a side effect of their medication (64.5% reported experiencing this side effect)…
  • Other conditions- Feeling emotionally detached can often be a symptom of another mental health condition, such as Depression and Personality Disorders.

The potential symptoms of an attachment disorder to look out for:

  • Inability to feel emotions/feeling empty/flat
  • Difficulty opening up to other people/problems expressing emotions
  • Poor listening skills/not paying attention to other people
  • A lack of physical, verbal, or sexual contact
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Substance abuse
  • Avoiding/losing interest in people, situations, and/or activities
  • Difficulty empathising with others
  • Feeling distant/detached/disconnected from other people
  • Preferring to be alone
  • Problems forming and maintaining relationships/not making another person a priority when they should be
  • Struggling to feel positive emotions
  • Difficulty being loving or affectionate with loved ones (e.g. family members)

&, further symptoms to look out for:

Left untreated, emotional detachment disorder can cause people to experience:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Emotional impairment
  • Difficulty in social situations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Problems with substance use

It is obvious then that, based on all that has been written above, attachment disorders, if left untreated, can, and, more often than not, will, have a detrimental effect on a person’s personal relationships and overall quality of life. And so, this is why getting the right treatment for symptoms of emotional detachment disorder, is paramount

The treatment options available:

  • Therapy- If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, your doctor will likely recommend treating the condition in order to help relieve your symptoms.
  • Mindfulness- A ‘self-help’ technique, mindfulness helps people to focus on the present moment, teaching them how to pay attention to their emotions and build self-awareness, so as to help them to become more aware of, and in control of, their emotions.

With treatment options available, as highlighted above, if you recognise any of the symptoms of Emotional Detachment Disorder written in this post in yourself, then, do take comfort in knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, if only you choose to follow it (the light), even in the face of darkness.

~ <3 ~

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