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Emotional detachment

Emotional detachment

People in romantic relationships know how important it is for two partners to connect with each other emotionally. They have to work as a team in order to fight against the challenges life brings. But the emotional connection is not only required in romantic relationships; it is also needed for all other relationships. Someone who understands emotions and can connect with others can have better relationships not only in personal life but also in work life. But being an emotionally detached person, you might lose your precious relationships.

This article is all about emotional detachment disorder, meaning its signs, causes and treatment options. So, let’s get started:

Emotional detachment disorder

emotional detachment disorder meaning

Emotional detachment is the inability to be fully engaged with emotions, not only yours but also those of others. It may also interfere with your psychological, emotional, physical and social development. For those who are dealing with stressful situations, emotional detachment can prove helpful. Emotional detachment is usually temporary. But in the case of attachment disorders, it can be ongoing.

So emotional detachment disorder is when a person is unable to connect with his or her emotions regularly. The problem is not on a temporary basis.

Emotional detachment disorder NHS

emotional detachment disorder nhs

Emotional detachment disorder NHS can appear in several different ways. Let’s discuss emotional detachment disorder NHS symptoms:

During childhood

A child can develop two kinds of attachment disorders:

Reactive attachment disorder

Children can develop reactive attachment disorder because of negative experiences in their early childhood years with adults. Some symptoms of reactive attachment disorder are as follows:

  • Difficulty in calming down
  • Showing no or little emotions while interacting with others
  • Not expecting to comfort primary caregivers
  • Appearing scared, irritable or unhappy while taking part in normal activities with primary caregivers

Disinhibited social engagement disorder

Symptoms of disinhibited social engagement disorder in children are as follows:

  • Being over-friendly with strangers
  • Walking up to people they don’t know and even hugging them
  • Letting strangers pick them up
  • When in a strange situation, do not check up with their primary caregivers

In adulthood

Here are some potential symptoms of emotional detachment disorder in adults:

  • Opening up is difficult
  • Keep on exhibiting challenging behaviour in intimate relationships
  • Listening skills are poor
  • Lack of verbal, physical or sexual contact
  • Self-esteem is poor
  • Ambivalence
  • Substance abuse

Emotional detachment PTSD

emotional detachment ptsd

Emotional detachment PTSD is also real. Someone who has post-traumatic stress disorder may also experience emotional detachment. During this period, a person is dealing with a lot of emotions, so it is not easy to understand and communicate the right emotions at the right time. That is a reason a person appears to be emotionally detached.


The right diagnosis is critical, and only a trained mental health care provider can properly diagnose emotional detachment. The first thing is to take an interview where the professional will ask a few questions about the person’s thoughts, feelings, moods, behaviour patterns and changes that they have experienced recently. They will also ask how long has all of this lasted.

The right diagnosis is only possible if you remain honest with your mental health provider and go for their help at the right time. If you are wondering when you should seek their help, here are some factors that you should look for:

  • Excessive anxiety and fear
  • Changes in habits, especially in sleeping and eating habits
  • Bad mood
  • Vague or mysterious physical ailments
  • Anger issues
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor performance at school or workplace
  • Fights with authorities
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Substance abuse

Those who are dealing with emotional detachment because of certain situations, for instance, health crisises, must make sure that they have the support they need at the moment.


The treatment approach used for addressing emotional detachment depends on the cause of detachment. A doctor will try to know more about your symptoms and make a diagnosis; after that they will help in determining your treatment plan. If your symptoms are related to personality disorder, PTSD or depression, your doctor will recommend treating the condition to relieve the symptoms.

If a patient is a child treatment plan will include family members too. For an adult, it is required to assess whether this emotional detachment responds to a particular situation or is a result of an ongoing pattern. GET PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE NOW

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy, also known as CBT, has been proveN successful against maladaptive behaviours and beliefs. It is also helpful for people in learning new coping mechanisms to develop stronger emotional skills without depending on detachment as a way to cope.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an excellent therapy that incorporates mindfulness. It helps people become more aware of their issues and in controlling their emotions in a healthy way.

Emotional detachment in marriage

emotional detachment in marriage

Couples who know each other understand when and why their partner is acting weird or using coping mechanisms and do not allow these differences to keep themselves emotionally detached when their relationship is going through a tough time. There are clear signs that a couple with detachment issues is heading towards a dangerous zone. Soon you identify these signs better; it will be for you to resolve the issues. Here are some signs of emotional detachment in marriage:

Being emotionally unavailable

Remember when you tried to approach your partner, and you received a warm and welcomed response. Yes. Being emotionally available is very important in a relationship. But sometimes a person is busy with something or in a hurry so he or she might not be available for you, it is okay. Your partner makes it up to you when he has time. But when your requests for connection are ignored continuously, it means there might be some issue.

Not being in touch

Those who are in committed relationships or are married do not leave each other without telling each other. When the plan changes, they leave notes for each other or text or give a call. The aim is to be in touch with each other all the time. When your partner does not try to be in touch with you it can be a clear indication that there is something wrong.

Always annoyed

Anyone can have their irritating moments when they don’t want anyone to bother them. Sometimes there is not a particular reason for a couple’s fight. Being impatient, changed voice tones and other things are signs that the partner does not want to connect. And a partner usually apologizes when he or she behaves negatively. But an emotionally detached partner will blame you, fight with you and will not care about you.

Long periods of silence

Is your partner not talking to you for a very long time, or rather than being available, he or she is seemingly somewhere else? You can talk about it with your partner. But if there is silence for a long time and he/she is not ready to have a conversation with you about it, your partner has an emotionally detached personality.


Communication is very important in a relationship. Some people are not very wordy and only talk when there is a need to talk. But they do try their best to communicate in other ways to make their partner believe they matter. Precisely interpreting the love language of a partner is a significant part of a successful relationship. On the other hand, what if your partner was very open once about everything, but now, he or she seems quiet, does not communicate at all? It means there is some kind of detachment issues.

Emotional detachment in relationships

emotional detachment in relationships

Relationships are complicated, and when someone is emotionally unavailable, it becomes even more challenging to navigate. Emotionally detached people try to avoid emotional or serious conversations, which leads to emotional barriers. Thus, the relationship does not achieve maturity. If you are facing emotional detachment in relationships, here is what you can do:

Identify the signs

There are plenty of signs of emotional detachment that I have shared above. You need to identify these signs in your partner. Sometimes everything is in front of us, but we are unable to decide what is actually wrong. Identifying the signs can help you in identifying the issue and dealing with it.

Be aware of the cause.

There are plenty of categories of emotional detachment, and it is important to be aware of the cause behind this behaviour. Sometimes detachment is temporary, and it might be related to something that happened recently in your relationship or at the workplace so try to talk. Just like that, sometimes it is a choice, and sometimes it is because of a mental health issue.

They should acknowledge that there is a problem.

Emotional detachment is a problem, and if your partner is emotionally detached, he or she must acknowledge that. You can point out the issue, but that is also not easy; confronting someone is like a double-edged sword. If someone does not acknowledge their flaws, it will backfire. You can politely talk about your observations and concerns, but you cannot ask them to change themselves or try to change them. It is something they should do on their own.

Focus on your own emotions

While talking about someone’s emotional detachment, express how it is affecting you. Moreover, think of some clear examples that you can use to explain why you think they are detached emotionally. If you feel like your partner is receptive, then you can help them in moving forward and dealing with the issue. But only if they are ready to talk about it.

Try not to manage your partner’s emotions.

We can’t be answerable for our partner’s emotional fluctuations. But it depends on us how we deal with it. That implies if your partner completely shuts you down because they are stressed, it is not your duty to fix them, you can offer help, but you cannot pressure them. You will see a change when you take a step back and let them deal with it. It can never be forced or manipulated on them.


Individual and/or couples therapy can be beneficial to a relationship. Needing to converse with somebody to handle your feelings is not something to be embarrassed about. So, considering an unbiased third party that can navigate your discussion is the right thing for you. It will shed new light on the issue and help you identify harmful patterns in your relationship. BOOK COUPLES THERAPY

Are you an enabler of this behaviour?

If someone is emotionally detached, it has nothing to do with you, also; it is not your responsibility to fix this, but it is important for you to think about how you might be an enabler of this behaviour. You need to think about boundaries in your relationship, what you need, deserve or want. Unpacking this will take some work, but you can do this for yourself.

Emotional detachment test

emotional detachment test

Assessing whether you are an emotionally detached person or have some other emotional personality issues on your own is not easy. There are plenty of emotional detachment tests available online that can help you, but these tests are not accurate. You can only try these tests for fun purposes or having a brief idea. It is best to consult a doctor.

Still, here are some questions that are asked in an online emotional detachment test:

  • There are times when I feel happy and sad at the same time.
  • It’s not hard for me to remember feelings I had as a child.
  • My feelings are hurt easily.
  • I find myself daydreaming a lot.
  • I don’t enjoy hearing stories that have a definitive ending. They feel less real to me.
  • I don’t support companies that have strict policies and guidelines.
  • I don’t believe the philosophy that says, “There’s a place for everything, and everything should be in its place.”
  • Getting too close to someone and too involved in their lives is scary.
  • Good parents don’t mind acting like a kid.
  • Sometimes I like to fantasize that I’m an animal or imagine how it would feel to be an animal.
  • When a friend or partner has a bad day, it feels like I’ve had one, too.
  • Instead of working from an outline, I like to just wing it and let the ideas flow naturally.
  • Sometimes people in my dreams can transform into other people.
  • Unknown forces often influence my reactions and behaviours.
  • All people are basically the same. There’s no difference between a person with problems, a normal person, or someone who has mental issues.
  • I’m not normally a sensible or level-headed person.
  • I would love to be more creative.
  • Sometimes I hear someone calling my name, but I can’t tell if it’s real or if I imagined it.

You get four different options to choose from, choose that you find most relatable, here these are:

  • Not at all true
  • Just a little true
  • Somewhat true
  • Moderately true
  • Very true

Based on your answer, your emotional personality type will be assessed.

Emotional detachment quotes

emotional detachment quotes

Are you looking for Emotional detachment quotes? Don’t worry; we have got you covered. Here are some of the best Emotional detachment quotes for you:

  • “Serving as the only audience for a man raised by crowds of admirers exhausted her. […] The buried thought that he might have found comfort elsewhere was almost a comfort to her.” ― Carey Wallace
  • “Like everything else, we know the futility of money only when we have more than enough of it.” ― R. N. Prasher.
  • “When you have inferiority complex, people appear to be mocking you about it. Trying to detach from people won’t work. Detach from your own body-mind and identity. It belongs to the universe.” ― Shunya.
  • “You may be attached only to your family members but what’s the guarantee that they are not attached to people outside the family? And those outsiders are attached to even more outsiders. This chain of Karmic infection goes on and on. So your fate is linked with an entire beehive. Detach!” ― Shunya
  • “A glass of water is holding water. But empty glass is not holding emptiness. Neither emptiness is holding the glass. Both are free and yet they are into each other. This is divine love. No attachment, only pure love.” ― Shunya
  • “If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Infinity Sign.
  • “Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. ” ― Simone Weil.
  • “They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.” ― Gabrielle Zevin.
  • “Take any emotion—love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions—if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them—you can never get to being detached; you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain; you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. “But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.” ― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie.
  • “It’s life that matters, nothing but life—the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot.
  • “You know, I think the people I feel saddest for are the ones who once knew what profoundness was, but who lost or became numb to the sensation of wonder, who felt their emotions floating away and just didn’t care. I guess that’s what’s scariest: not caring about the loss.” ― Douglas Coupland, Player One: What Is to Become of Us.
  • “Always remember that you were once alone, and the crowd you see in your life today are just as unecessary as when you were alone.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson.
  • “The denigration of those we love always detaches us from them in some degree. Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.” ― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
  • “Remain in the world, act in the world, do whatsoever is needful, and yet remain transcendental, aloof, detached, a lotus flower in the pond.” ― Osho, The Secret of Secrets.
  • “Never invest so much in anyone romantically that you lose your head. The Buddha of casual sex, I remain detached at all costs.” ― Edward Vilga, Downward Dog
  • “A display of indifference to all the actions and passions of mankind was not supposed to be such a distinguished quality at that time, I think, as I have observed it to be considered since. I have known it very fashionable indeed. I have seen it displayed with such success, that I have encountered some fine ladies and gentlemen who might as well have been born caterpillars.” ― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield.
  • “All you have to do [to win a Pulitzer Prize] is spend your life running from one awful place to another, write about every horrible thing you see. The civilized world reads about it, then forgets it, but pats you on the head for doing it and gives you a reward as appreciation for changing nothing.” ― David Baldacci, The Christmas Train.
  • When Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart, they went their ways.” ― Siddhārtha Gautama, Diamond Sutra.
  • “The possessions themselves were not the problem, it was my relationship with possessing.” ― Chris Matakas, #Human: Learning To Live In Modern Times.
  • “Detachment is not giving up the things in this world, but accepting the fact and to be continuously aware that nothing is permanent.” ― Aditya Ajmera.
  • “As long as we lean on anything outside ourselves for support, we are going to be insecure. Most of us try to find support by leaning on all sorts of things – gold, books, learning, sensory stimulation – and if these things are taken away, we fall over. To the extent that we are dependent on these external supports, we grow weaker and more liable to upsets and misfortune.” ― Eknath Easwaran, The End of Sorrow.
  • “If I don’t see the reason of someone being my friend, chances are, we are just floating and I need a ship to set sail.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes.



Emotional detachment can be a serious mental health problem, especially when it has arisen during childhood. People having emotional detachment may experience extreme hardships, but treatment can help. Some people also use emotional detachment as a way to deal with difficult situations. But it is not always a reasonable choice. If you feel like you are detached from your emotions, talking to a mental health provider is your best option.

So, this was all about emotional detachment. I have tried my best to share useful information with you hope so you will find it helpful. BOOK COUPLES THERAPY NOW.

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