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Latin sēclūdĕre, < sē + claudĕre to shut.



The act of secluding, i.e. shutting out or keeping apart from society, or the state of being secluded, or a place that facilitates it (a secluded place). A person, a couple, or a larger group may go to a secluded place for privacy, or because the place is quiet. Seclusion of a single person is also called solitude.

Restrictions on the seclusion of a man and a woman

In some cases where there are legal, religious or social restrictions on two people having physical intimacy, there may even be such restrictions on just being together in a secluded place. For example, under traditional schools of sharia or Islamic law, a man and a woman who are not married and not mahram, being together in a house, a room, a bathroom, or a secluded place may be forbidden. A man and women could be in a secluded area for work purposes, just talking, anything that does not allow them to pass their limits.

Seclusion as a therapy

Seclusion may be used as a control tactic in psychiatric treatment settings. Seclusion of an agitated person in a quiet room free of stimulation may help de-escalate a situation which may be dangerous to the agitated person or those around him.

In relation to administering medications, seclusion is a tactic devised for those unwilling to proceed with instructions. Patients who are secluded due to aggressive behavior should not be restrained to seclusion nor medication to calm them instead restraint measures should be taken into consideration. Other measures, such as behavioural therapy, should be considered when assessing the care of the patient.

Seclusion must only be used in the best interest of the patient, it must only be used as a last resort method and must not be prolonged as a form of punishment on the patient. In Ireland, The Mental Health Commission governs seclusion in psychiatric institutions. The Act states that a person can only be placed in seclusion if

  • it prevents them from hurting themselves and/or others
  • and it complies with the rules set out by the Commission.[2]