Brain HealthBrain WashConnectionDIsconnection syndromeMental Health

Defining Disconnection Syndrome

By: Austin Perlmutter, M.D.

As we enter the 2020s, we’re faced with a strange paradox. Despite widespread access to all the things that are supposed to make us happy, we’re lonely, anxious and depressed. We are separated from sustainable joy.

We call this state disconnection syndrome.

In Brain Wash, we outline 8 central characteristics of disconnection syndrome. They include impulsivity, instant gratification, chronic inflammation, chronic stress, loneliness, mindless activity, narcissism, and poor relationships.

Importantly, we can intervene on each of these components, and when we choose to do so, we transition from a life characterized by disconnection and reconnect to health, joy, and meaning.

Unfortunately, many aspects of the modern world can keep us locked into a state of disconnection syndrome.  For example, constant consumption of negative and fear-inducing news can induce chronic stress. Ready availability of high-sugar and refined carbohydrates in our foods creates chronic inflammation in our bodies and brains. We can wind up in constant pursuit of instant gratification through our foods and our social media use.

When we fall into this trap of disconnection syndrome, our thinking is biased towards short-term solutions. We’re prone to spend money on things we don’t need, and time on mindless activities. We struggle to develop meaningful relationships with other people and with ourselves.

The impact of this disconnection cannot be overstated. As our thinking becomes more egocentric, our decisions more short-term oriented, and our actions more mindless and impulsive, we stop caring about the future. We step on others to get ahead, ignore our relationships with people we care about, and promote the types of behaviors that lead to wars, widespread health problems and general unhappiness.

It’s time to make a dramatic change in our thinking, and to get off the disconnection syndrome merry-go-round.  This action will provide us with better lives while providing a positive ripple effect throughout the world. Brain Wash outlines the most powerful ways we can make this change, but you’ll find lots of extra guidance on our Brain Wash website. Let’s make the journey towards reconnection together!

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