- 1: the action or process of detaching : separation
- 2a : the dispatch of a body of troops or part of a fleet from the main body for a special mission or service
- b : the part so dispatched
- c : a permanently organized separate unit usually smaller than a platoon and of special composition
- 3a : indifference to worldly concerns : aloofness
Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.
In Buddhist and Hindu religious texts the opposite concept is expressed as upādāna, translated as "attachment". Attachment, that is the inability to practice or embrace detachment, is viewed as the main obstacle towards a serene and fulfilled life. Many other spiritual traditions identify the lack of detachment with the continuous worries and restlessness produced by desire and personal ambitions.
In psychology, emotional detachment can mean two different things. In the first meaning, it refers to an "inability to connect" with others emotionally, as well as a means of dealing with anxiety by preventing certain situations that trigger it; it is often described as "emotional numbing" or dissociation, depersonalization or in its chronic form depersonalization disorder. In the second sense, it is a type of "mental assertiveness" that allows people to maintain their boundaries and psychic integrity when faced with the emotional demands of another person or group of persons.