The emotional relationship of attachment in a schizoid


Before the age of 5, human beings develop a relationship of attachment with the mother. The level

of attachment which develops between them will determine the child’s ability

 to form emotional attachments in later life, and is unique to every child.

Schizoids are characterised by the fact that little or no emotional attachment ever developed between mother and child.

 Since they have no experience of emotional attachment,

this will preclude them from developing emotional attachments

 with anyone else in their adult lives. This inability to form emotional attachments, is referred to as

schizoid detachment


In schizoids the attachment between mother and child fails, or is very weak ….

 The person does not feel attached to his parents, his siblings, his family,

 or his country – or the attachment is very weak.

 These people will fail to establish ties with other people, and will always be lonely.

 They will not feel linked to anyone, nor will they ever admire anyone.

When faced with separation or reunion, they will either feel indifferent or experience low levels of pain or joy.  

  But, since humans are social beings by nature, lack of attachment becomes a major problem.   

 Franz Kafka, a Czech writer, experienced affective detachment and expressed it thus:

“For me, the office, the university, the family, and everything else is like a living individual to whom I am bound

for some unknown reason, but for me it is totally foreign.

It is so foreign to me as to be absurd.” (Letters to Milena)



The moderate detachment can be considered as a virtue. In fact, is one of virtues of the moderate schizoids.

The strength of our attachment to a country, a family, or group may prevent us from viewing them objectively.

 A strong attachment will prevent us from being able to identify faults, to criticize or denounce them.

 And, when they are criticised or attacked, we become defensive and immediately stand up

 for them as though the criticism or attack has been made against ourselves.

Although this kind of attachment is necessary for unification of the group,

it is not conducive to the individual’s growth, improvement and progress.  

 People who are capable of separating themselves from the group sufficiently

 to be able to criticize it, who feel a certain amount

of detachment and who can maintain some distance from it,

 will be capable of seeing defects and errors, and will be able to promote positive changes.

 Thus, each group needs to have some members who have a certain amount of detachment.

 However, members with moderate detachment may be perceived as traitors, and be rejected by the group.

 This is a punishment which few will contemplate risking.


 Albert Einstein, who discovered the Theory of Relativity, was German and admitted

 to having a moderate detachment to his homeland.

 Einstein was openly critical of certain things in his country.

 The Prussian Academy of Science, of which Einstein was a member, knew this,

 was most indignant about it, and regarded him as an "agitator”.

 Einstein resigned from the Prussian Academy of Science, the Bavarian Academy of Science,

 and renounced to his German citizenship.  

 Albert Einstein was able to do this, but someone with a stronger attachment would be unable to do it.


 Many people will support their country through right and wrong.

 This kind of attachment is beyond criticism, whereas moderate attachment is more conditional.

 Einstein was a model of moderate detachment:

”My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced freedom

 from the need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I gang my own gait

and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart;

 in the face of all these ties I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude--a feeling

which increases with the years. One is sharply conscious, yet without regret, of the limits to the possibility

 of mutual understanding and sympathy with one's fellow-creatures. Such a person no doubt loses something

 in the way of geniality and light-heartedness ; on the other hand, he is largely independent of the opinions, habits,

 and judgments of his fellows and avoids the temptation to take his stand on such insecure foundations.” 


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