Abandonment Anxiety is common these days. Anxiety is a natural response of a body in reaction to stress. It is constituted by emotion of fear or apprehension for what is coming next. Anxiety is a part of natural everyday life as a person might feel anxious on the first day of school, before a job interview or because of interpersonal conflict. However, if this anxiety remains for a longer period of time or if it starts to interfere with the daily routine of a person’s life, it becomes dysfunctional. Such dysfunctional anxiety is diagnosed as anxiety disorder. In this article we will discuss anxiety and abandonment anxiety.
Anxiety can play its role in motivating individuals to be prepared for a situation that can cause anxiety, in this way certain amount anxiety becomes functional for individuals. However, problems arise when anxiety becomes a hindrance for a person in performing daily routine tasks. It remains with the person all the time, it’s intense and incapacitating. It can interfere in the menial task such as using the elevator, crossing the road or going out of the house.
According to American psychological association, anxiety is the most common of all emotional disorders. It can affect individuals at any age. It is also more common in women than in men.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
Symptoms of anxiety differ from individual to individual. Symptoms can range from feeling butterflies in the stomach to irregular heartbeat. People can experience anxiety in the form of panic attacks, nightmares, painful thoughts and memories that the individual has no control on. A person might feel that his mind is disconnected from his body. Common symptoms of anxiety are as follow:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty in falling and staying asleep
- Trouble in concentrating
Many people grow with fears in their minds and these fears consistently stick to their minds and become a reason of anxiety, stress and depression later on in their lives. One of these fears is the fear of abandonment, a fear of abandonment is the term used in psychology for the people who have the strong feeling of losing their loved one.
Everyone deals with death or the end of relationships in their lives. Loss is a natural part of life. The fear usually comes from childhood or adulthood past experiences as a result of some traumatic loss. People usually having this type of emotional anxiety suffer from the feelings of being discarded, insecure, ignored and left behind. And the people are unable to carry healthy relationships later on, as this paralyzing fear makes them over sensitive.
Types of Abandonment Anxiety:
Abandonment anxiety can have a long term effect on an individual. A person might have fear that someone he loves is going to physically leave and not come back. He may fear that someone will abandon your emotional needs. Either can hold you back in relationships with a parent, partner, or friend.
Anxiety of emotional abandonment:
As a human being everybody has some emotional attachment with somebody. And everybody also carries some emotional desires. If someone you care about leaves you behind due to some reason or something, you will start feeling yourself emotionally abandoned. You will not only feel alone but you’ll start feeling as being ignored. And if you’ve experienced emotional abandonment in the past, you may constantly live in fear that it will happen again.
Abandonment anxiety in children:
In children this fear comes usually when the parents have ended up with their relationship. It is usually common in children that they may cry. They always expect that their parents will start living together again
Abandonment anxiety in relationships:
Abandonment issues also come in relationships when one of the partners excessively worries about their relationship. This fear of abandonment can make you suspicious of your partner. As a result of which it cannot make a healthy bond between the two and usually ends up with breakup or divorce.
Abandonment anxiety disorders:
People facing the fear of anxiety abandonment may experience following disorders:
Avoidant personality disorder
Avoidant personality disorder is a personality disorder that can involve fear of abandonment resulting in the person feeling socially inhibited or inadequate. Some other signs and symptoms are:
- Poor self-esteem
- Intense fear of being rejected or negatively judged
- Discomfort in social situations
- Avoidance of group activities and self-imposed social isolation
Borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder is another personality disorder in which people face extreme fear of abandonment. This type of disorder in person has the complex of inferiority. It may include following signs:
- Confusion and nervousness
- High level of fear of being rejected
- Not feeling comfortable in social circles
- Not taking interest in group activities and keeping yourself socially isolated
- They have unstable relationships
- They have made a very wrong self-image
- They have mood swings and inappropriate anger
- They have fear of being left over.
- Many people facing this disorder are sexually or physically abused as children.
Separation anxiety disorder
The children who experience the separation of the parents might develop separation anxiety disorder. It is more common in children with both working parents than in others.
- Panic attacks
- Having the feeling of stress of being separated from loved ones
- They refuse to leave the home
- They face physical issues like stomach ache or headache
Behavioral patterns of Abandonment Anxiety:
Many people struggle with abandonment anxiety. People having abandonment anxiety share some common behavioral patterns:
These symptoms include:
- Some people fear intimacy and find a reason to leave a relationship before the other person can.
- Some people keep many affairs with many people, as they have the fear of being alone so they leave them before.
- Some may constantly seek out a friend or partner and demand emotional guarantees.
- People are overly sensitive to criticism.
- They don’t trust easily on others. They have difficulty trusting in others.
- They have difficulty making friends.
- They take high measures to avoid rejection or separation.
- They get attached to the people too quickly, then moving on just as quickly.
- These people face difficulty committing to a single relationship.
- They work too hard to please the other person.
- They also blame themselves when their relationships don’t workout.
- They are sometimes too sticky as they sometimes stay in the same relationship even they know it is not healthy for them.
Reasons of Abandonment Anxiety:
All these above mentioned abandonment anxiety and fears have tremendous effects. They can prevent someone from leading a normal and healthy life.
People who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, especially during childhood, are more likely to face this issue. Similarly, adults who were neglected as a child also repeat these behaviors with their own children. Taking too much stress can lead to worse fears and anxieties.
Some people who have experienced an injury or death or been a victim of a crime may develop these issues. Losing a loved one unexpectedly can create an emotional gap that can also be filled with fear of abandonment. Physical and sexual abuse can create constant mental health issues, including a fear of abandonment. And if basic needs aren’t met it can lead to the same mental health issues. The loss of relationships like breakup divorce, death, for some people the end of a relationship is too painful. It may lead to persistent fears.
- If you fear abandonment in your current relationship, it may be due to having been physically or emotionally abandoned in the past. For example:
- As a child, you may have experienced the death or separation of a loved one.
- You may have been ignored by your parents.
- You may have been rejected by your friends.
- You went through a prolonged illness of a loved one.
- Your partner has left you suddenly in a very bad manner.
Treatment for Abandonment Anxiety:
The person facing chronic abandonment issues will suffer from a prolonged mental illness. They fail to keep healthy relationships as a result of which they become socially isolated. People also keep distance from these kinds of people. And the person needs a proper treatment for this disorder. It’s a very big challenge to compel the person towards the treatment of this issue So first of all that person needs to seek out the help of a mental health specialist, such as a therapist or counselor. They can help you overcome fears of being abandoned. They’ll also help you to understand from where the fear actually originates and what you can do to cope with this fear.
People with abandonment issues have to just make sure emotional needs are met is important for friendships and relationships. This way, you’re able to provide for your partner, friend, or child with proper needs of a relationship.
Following steps can be taken by person to overcome abandonment anxiety:
- You can start the conversation like you can encourage them to talk about it, but never pressure them to talk about the same topic in the case if they don’t want to.
- Always understand that the fear is real for them, whether it also seems real for you or not,
- Always reassure them that you won’t leave them alone.
- Also ask them what you can do to help them to get out of this fear.
- Also suggest some therapy, but don’t push it. If they also show their consent to move forward, offer your assistance in finding a qualified therapist.
Treatment for this type of anxiety can be very successful. It requires commitment. A therapist can teach you how to cope with these thoughts when they come to your mind. They may also encourage you to return to therapy if the thoughts and anxieties become problematic again.
Abandonment anxiety is a type of anxiety experienced by a person when he is confronted with the idea of losing their significant others. It is not limited to adults but can also be experienced by children. A person should seek professional help when this anxiety becomes dysfunctional for him. There are many ways to treat this anxiety such as therapy, meditation or yoga.
FAQs about Abandonment Anxiety
- What is anxiety abandonment?
It is a type of anxiety faced by individuals when they are confronted with the idea that they are going to lose their loved ones.
- What are the disorders of anxiety abandonment?
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- What is the treatment of anxiety abandonment?
- Express the feelings
- How abandonment anxiety does affect a person?
In following ways abandonment can have effects on a person:
- Low self-esteem
- Trust issues
- Anger issues
- Mood swings
- Fear of intimacy
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic disorders
- How do I fear rejection and abandonment?
Highly emotional conversations will inevitably become unproductive. When this happens, leave the conversation. Let them know you care, but step away for a few hours. When you return, begin the conversation from a less emotional place.