What is it?

Emotional detachment is a psychological condition in which a person is not able to fully engage with their feelings or the feelings of others.
It can be ongoing, as it is in people with attachment disorders, or it can be a temporary response to an extreme situation.

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Signs & symptoms

Potential symptoms of an attachment disorder in adults can include:
* difficulty opening up
* challenging intimate relationships
* poor listening skills
* a lack of physical, verbal, or sexual contact
* poor self-esteem
* substance abuse
* ambivalence


Trained mental healthcare providers can diagnose emotional detachment.
The first step is typically an interview, or assessment, in which the therapist will ask about the person’s moods, thoughts, feelings, key behaviors, and any recent changes they have experienced. They will also ask how long this has lasted.


Treatment for emotional detachment will depend on individual factors. If the person is a child, the treatment plan will typically include other members of their family.
For adults, treatment depends on whether the emotional detachment is in response to a specific situation or part of an ongoing pattern. Individuals can work with therapists to:
* learn how to open up
* find ways to relieve stress and anxiety
* improve their ability to trust others
* strengthen their sense of self
* develop skills for regulating their emotions

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

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