Emotional detachment is an inability to connect with other people. Being detached from reality helps protect people from stress.

“For others, it isn’t always voluntary. The person can’t be open and honest about their emotions because of events.”

When emotional detachment is a good thing and when it might be a problem, you can read about it below.

“When you disengage from other people’s emotions, it’s called emotional detachment. It could be an inability to connect with others.”

There are two types. In some cases, emotional detachment may be developed as a response to a difficult situation. It may be the result of a psychological condition.

Setting boundaries with certain people or groups can be helpful in using emotional detaching. You can keep a distance from people who want you to pay attention.

“When you can’t control emotional detachment, it can be harmful. You may feel a sensation of being smothered. If you notice emotional blunting, you should consider working with a mental health professional to address it.”

Learn more about emotional blunting here.

People who are emotionally detached or removed may experience symptoms.

  • difficulty creating or maintaining personal relationships
  • A lack of attention or concentration.
  • Being affectionate with a family member can be difficult.
  • avoiding people, activities, or places because they’re associated with past trauma
  • reduced ability to express emotion
  • Difficult empathizing with another person.
  • Sharing emotions or feelings is not easy.
  • difficulty committing to another person or a relationship
  • Not making another person a priority is wrong.

Over time, emotional detaching can build, or it can happen more quickly in response to an acute situation. Some signs and symptoms to watch for are different for everyone.

  • “It’s hard to feel emotions or feel empty.”
  • Losing interest in activities.
  • becoming less involved in relationships.
  • Showing little or no sympathy for others.
  • Being unkind to others.

If you suspect you may be developing emotional detachion, you should talk to your doctor. They can help you identify your symptoms and recommend treatment options.

There are a variety of potential causes that may cause emotional detachment.

  • Constantly exposure to bad or unpleasant news.
  • traumatic experience
  • Abuse.
  • There are side effects of certain medications.
  • conditioning as a child due to cultural expectations

It is possible that emotional detaching may be voluntary. Some people can choose to remain away from a situation.

Other times, emotional detachment results from trauma, Abuse., or a previous encounter. In these cases, previous events may make it difficult to be open and honest with a friend, loved one, or significant other.

By choice

Some people choose to take action to remove themselves from an emotional situation.

If you have a family member or colleague that is upsetting you, this might be an option. You can not have any contact with the person or persons. This will help you stay calm when dealing with them.

Emotionally detached is a protective measure in situations like this. It helps you prepare for situations that can cause a negative emotional response.

As a result of Abuse.

Sometimes, emotional detachment may result from traumatic events, such as childhood Abuse. or neglect. Children who live through Abuse. or neglect may develop emotional detachment as a means of survival.

Children require a lot of emotional connection from their parents or caregivers. If it’s not forthcoming, the children may stop expecting it. When that happens, they may begin to turn off their emotional receptors, as in the case of reactive attachment disorder (RAD). RAD is a condition in which children cannot form bonds with their parents or caregivers.

That can lead to depressed mood, inability to show or share emotions, and behavior problems.

Other conditions

Other conditions can cause emotional detachment or “numbing”. You may feel like you\’re not being heard if you have:


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant. Some people who take this type of drug may experience emotional blunting or a switched-off emotional center, particularly at higher doses.

You may take these medications for a long time. If the medication affects you in this way, doctors can help you find another alternative or find the right dose.

Emotional detachment isn’t an official condition like There is a disorder of the brain called the Bipolar Disorder. or depression. Instead, it’s often considered one element of a larger medical condition.

Conditions might include personality disorders or attachment disorders.

Emotional detachment could also be the result of acute trauma or Abuse..

A healthcare professional can see when you are not available to others. They may talk with you about your behavior.

Understanding how you feel can help a provider see a pattern that could suggest an emotional issue.

Asperger’s and emotional detachment

Contrary to popular belief, people living with Asperger’s, which forms part of the Autism spectrum disorder, are not cut off from their emotions or the emotions of others.

In fact, experts indicate they may feel others’ emotions more intensely even if they do not show typical outward signs of emotional involvement, such as changes in affect or facial expressions. This can lead to them taking additional steps to avoid hurting others, even at their own expense.

Treatment for emotional detaching depends on the reason.

If your healthcare professional believes you’re experiencing problems with emotional attachment because of another condition, they may suggest treating that first.

Depression,PTSD, and borderline personality disorder are possible conditions. Therapy and medication are helpful for these conditions.

If the emotional detachment symptoms result from trauma, your doctor may recommend psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. This treatment can help you learn to overcome the impacts of the Abuse.. You may also learn new ways to process experiences and anxieties that previously upset you and led to emotional detachment.

“Some people don’t feel emotional distance is a problem. You may not need to seek treatment in that case.”

If you have problems with feeling or expressing emotions, you may want to seek help. A therapist or other mental health provider can help, but you may want to talk to your primary care provider first.

Some people use emotional detaching to cope with overwhelming people or activities. You can either be involved or step away.

In some cases, numbing yourself to feelings may not be healthy. It is possible that turning off your emotions may lead to bad behaviors, such as an inability to show compassion or fear of commitment.

People that live through trauma or Abuse. may find it difficult to express emotions. This may cause people to seek other, negative outlets for those feelings, such as drug or alcohol misuse, higher risk sexual behaviors, or other behaviors that can lead to involvement with law enforcement.

People turn off their emotional connection willingly or unwillingly. This may be intentional, such as a defensive mechanism on emotionally draining people, or unintentionally due to a condition or medication side effect.

“If you live with someone who can’t process emotions, you may want to seek help from a mental health provider. They can help you understand how you process emotions and respond to others.”