Detachment disorders stem back from the lack of secure attachments in childhood, from what I can see. This is what I found…
Detachment is described as a fear of getting clse to others, but there is also an unconscious desire for love. The latter brings out feelings of anger towards those who fail to provide this love. Pathological disorders of attachment, depression and suicide ideations have been found to correlate with detachment. Sable (1991) cited Bowlby's four adult patterns of insecure attachments: (1) anxious attachment (2) insistent self-reliance (3) insistent care-giving (4) emotional detachment. Evidence has been found that these four patterns can lead to future disorders. For example, the anxious attached individual later became diagnosed as over-dependent or histrionic. The insistent self-reliance individual was just the opposite acting as though they did not need affection. The insistent caregiving individual devoted self to caring for others. The emotionally detached individual can be later diagnosed as borderline, histrionic or narcissistic.
Rosenn (cited by Greene, 1994) found that common fantasies of being unloved, unwanted and discarded increased in depressed children. Sable (1992) felt it was necessary to explore the patient's attachment, separation and loss experiences, in the context of current and past experiences. Toolan (1978) found that depression did indeed exist in children/adolescents and therapy was based on age, intelligence, ego developement, defenses used and attitude of parents. Depression is a reaction to loss of an object which leads to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The degree of object loss and depression depends on the developemental stage at which time this loss occurs. The younger the child, the more severe the consequences. They may become fixated, regress, or they may fail to form adequate object relationships. When this loss occurs at a later age, the child reacts with anger and hostility towards the person who abandoned him/her. This often takes the form of acting out behaviour or major depression and suicide ideations.
In summary, research has found that both attachment and object relations theories have similarities in the context of emotional and physical deprivation. Several disorders can develope such as detachment disorders, depression, suicide ideation, personality disorders, etc. Resilience in children can be he only differential factor in determining which children will develope these disorders and which ones will resist.
Hope it helps some jon, yet sorry if it does apply to your ex-BF.
- La Rosa