Isolation occurs from a lack of intimacy. “Isolation is just like it sounds—lacking connections, struggling to engage with others, and avoiding emotional attachments,” Abrell notes.

Oftentimes, isolation can stem from issues surrounding attachment, self-worth or self-image, and intimacy. The stage before intimacy versus isolation is identity versus role confusion, Abrell notes, and if there’s still work to be done there, intimacy can feel like a challenge.

“There’s no intimacy without connection, and if we’re too in shame, too in self-doubt, or too much in insecurity, we can’t connect,” Richmond explains.

And this can turn into many psychological and physical detriments, Abrell adds, including loneliness, little to no social support, poor relationships, and even health effects ranging from heart disease to depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

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