Disconnection is a term used to describe the experience of loneliness, isolation, or detachment from relationships or society, and it includes feeling unable to ask for help when feeling alone. It is also used to describe the sense of not knowing oneself, one’s feelings, and one’s desires. Disconnection may show up in every corner of life, whether fleetingly or with more permanence, hindering interactions in educational, work, and social settings. Emotional disconnection, also called emotional detachment, may be a sign that someone is suffering from depression or trauma, and makes the best treatment for disconnection—connecting with others at a meaningful level—incredibly difficult to initiate.
My whole existence could be described in two words: inadequate and lonely. I remember one day walking down the hall in school. I was so tense that I couldn’t seem to walk straight. I felt like I was a prisoner in my own body and mind. There was me, and then the rest of the world.
It's been 17 years since Robert Putnam's best-selling book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community sounded the alarm about societal changes driving new levels of isolation and alienation; by now, most of us know that loneliness isn't a problem to be laughed off.