Emotional withdrawal is a common lived experience between all of us. When we are frustrated or in a difficult situation, we find ourselves alone and away from others for a while. After a while, we regain our spirits and return to a normal routine of life. Of course, this coin has another side. Some people stay in the emotional isolation for a long time and get used to it, and this is the beginning of more serious problems.
What is an emotional withdrawal?
When a person ignores the feelings of others or no longer communicates emotionally, he or she experiences emotional withdrawal. These people can not have emotional relationships and usually do not want to have such relationships. People who are involved in such a situation will not experience problems such as stress in the relationship and the resulting injuries.
Emotional withdrawal is not always difficult, and in some cases, it is a reaction to difficult and stressful situations; For example, a person who has just broken up with a loved one may feel that he or she no longer wants to be in an emotional relationship. However, the reality is that emotional withdrawal harms the mental, social, and emotional health of individuals.
Symptoms of emotional withdrawal
The problem of emotional withdrawal in each person has unique symptoms. Here are some of the symptoms that are common among people who struggle with this problem.
- To heartbreak;
- Preference alone;
- Indifference to others;
- Avoid being in public;
- Empathize with others;
- Inability to express emotions;
- Difficulty in establishing and maintaining relationships;
- Decreased communication and tendency to isolation;
- Lack of listening skills;
- Emotional duality towards others;
- Reluctance to communicate or participate in group activities.
Remember that emotional withdrawal is not a mental illness and is only likely to be a sign of some kind of mental illness. For this reason, people who have experienced the symptoms should seek treatment before more serious problems occur.
The reason for the emotional withdrawal
People avoid emotional communication for a variety of reasons, such as psychological problems or reactions to difficult situations. Here are some of the most common causes of this problem.
1. Bitter experiences of the past
People who have been abused, emotionally neglected, or traumatized in the past are more likely to experience emotional withdrawal; For example, children who grow up in difficult situations move away from emotional communication to cope.
۲. mental illnesses
Some mental illnesses may also be the cause of emotional withdrawal. The following diseases are named:
- Bipolar disorder;
- Personality disorders;
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
3. Taking certain medications
Taking certain psychiatric medications can make patients emotionally withdrawn; For example, some antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may cause this problem. If the patient experiences withdrawal symptoms while taking these drugs, he should consult his doctor. The doctor will either change the dose of the patient’s medicine or prescribe another medicine to treat depression.
4. Choosing an emotional withdrawal
Some people choose to stay away from emotional relationships by choice. They have different reasons for doing so. They may do this to cope with the difficult situation in which they find themselves. Sometimes they choose to withdraw emotionally to prevent injury.
Moving away from communication may be a positive response to coping with stressful situations and restoring lost composure. However, this reaction has a positive effect as long as it has not become a pattern of behavior or habit. If emotional withdrawal affects the right relationship with others, it means that it will be problematic in the future.
5. Attachment disorders
Emotional withdrawal is one of the symptoms of attachment disorder. There are two different types of this disorder, which we will describe below.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
People with this condition are often abused or neglected as children. After a while, they will not be able to communicate effectively with their parents or guardians. If left untreated, they will have difficulty communicating and attachment problems until adulthood. People with reactive attachment disorder are unable to control their emotions and do not know how to express them properly.
Unrestrained Social Cohesion Disorder (DSED)
In this type of attachment disorder, children are unable to communicate effectively with their caregivers. At the same time, however, they may become intimate with a stranger and prefer to spend time with them instead of their parents.
Method of detecting emotional withdrawal
The easiest way to diagnose emotional withdrawal is to pay attention to its symptoms. People who have these symptoms should consult a psychologist or psychiatrist. In some cases, these symptoms are temporary. However, sometimes these symptoms are signs of problems such as mental illness and need serious follow-up and treatment.
When patients talk to their doctor about the symptoms of emotional isolation, he or she should check the patient’s mental and physical condition. If there is a more serious problem, the doctor will diagnose it. However, if the person is not sick, he can refer to a psychologist and use his strategies to improve the symptoms of emotional withdrawal.
To help diagnose possible illnesses, patients should fully explain their physical and mental health history to their doctor. Emotional events that occur in a person’s life, feelings and behaviors have a significant impact on emotional isolation; Therefore, patients should talk about the events that have affected their lives.
Treatment of emotional withdrawal
By examining the patient’s symptoms and mental state, the physician finds the cause of the emotional isolation, and as the cause improves, the effect is resolved; For example, patients who become emotionally isolated due to depression or personality disorders can re-establish effective emotional relationships with others after treatment for depression.
Psychotherapy or medication are methods used to treat emotional withdrawal and its cause. Psychotherapy methods are divided into two categories: cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapies (ACT). In the following, we describe each of these methods.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapyIn this method, the beliefs and behavioral abnormalities that have caused emotional withdrawal are examined and treated. Psychologists in the CBT method suggest alternative solutions to the patient to deal with stressful situations. They also help the patient develop emotional skills and communicate effectively.
- Acceptance and Commitment Treatment: In this way, doctors help patients better understand and control their emotions.
Dealing with emotional withdrawal
People who have experienced emotional withdrawal have many problems in relationships and personal and social life. Here are some effective ways to deal with emotional isolation and improve relationships.
1. Use mindfulness exercises
You can focus on the present with mindfulness exercises; So, you know in the moment what situation you are in and you consciously decide how to react emotionally.
۲. Strengthen social relationships
With the help of a psychologist, you can become more aware of yourself and your feelings. Reach out to people you can relate to safely. By encouraging and supporting you, these people will help you to break up emotionally by strengthening social relationships!
3. show emotions
In this way, instead of guarding the people you are in a relationship with, you are emotionally disarming yourself! If you are in a relationship with someone who understands your needs, spends time with you, and helps you to heal your emotions and relieve past experiences, start expressing your feelings! Allow yourself to understand entering the emotional space and its benefits over staying away from emotional communication.
last word; Is emotional withdrawal difficult or the solution?
Emotional withdrawal can be a natural reaction and choice of human beings to face difficult life situations. However, if it becomes a behavioral pattern, it affects a person’s social and emotional life and may be a sign of mental illness. Be sure to consult a psychologist if symptoms of emotional withdrawal affect your performance and relationships. Treating these symptoms will help you resume your emotional life and communicate effectively with others.
Reading this article and gaining information about this problem is the first step in helping people who are emotionally withdrawn; So if you know someone around you with these symptoms, start the process of helping them by submitting this article.