According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Abandonment is the act of leaving someone or something or of ending or stopping something, usually forever. Losing someone close is an inevitable part of human life. People who have faced divorce, break up, or death of a loved one or leaving someone behind for a better opportunity often leaves them with a feeling of fear that they will be alone to deal with the difficulties of life. When such fear sticks in your memory and interferes with your life, it is termed as fear of abandonment. The insecurity of losing someone can influence your behaviour and thereby causing troubles in your interpersonal relations. For some of you, fear of rejection by friends, leaving school, college, workplace or social circle can also plague feelings of being unsafe, fearful and alone.
Abandonment can be terrifying, shocking and overwhelming for an individual. It can be caused by a single event, multiple events or a set of events. The resultant emotions can trigger the feeling of fear, horror and helplessness.
Feeling of being left alone.
Inability to form new relationships.
Holding onto relations even if it is unhealthy or abusive.
Please people at every opportunity.
Excessive and pronounced need for control over the environment or situations.
Avoiding all relationships and friendships.
Anxiety and Insecurity.
Need for constant reassurance.
Weakened sense of self-worth.
Abandonment is not age or gender-specific. Men and women have been equally diagnosed with abandonment issues. The foundation of fear of desertion can be found in the childhood experience of reassurance that comes from parents. During adulthood, it comes from personal and romantic relationships. Sudden traumatic events during childhood and adulthood can interrupt this assurance of emotional and physical needs.
Losing someone close unexpectedly, feeling of neglect or experiencing abuse can create an emotional void that gets filled with emotions experienced in anticipation of some pain or danger. These experiences can lead to the development of negative beliefs about relationships and oneself that form the basis for insecure attachments and abandonment fears. These beliefs can lead to self-worth issues like the feeling of being unlovable, untrustworthy and believing that people will always end up leaving. Some childhood experiences can also trigger abandonment issues in later life. These experiences may include:
Having a parent or a caregiver who is neglectful or unresponsive to the feeling and needs of a child.
Physical or emotional abuse and intimidation.
Inconsistent behaviour by a parent or a caregiver.
Sudden death or separation leading to the absence of a parent.
The fear of losing or being deserted can be caused by any of these experiences but not always a result of any particular event. The seriousness of abandonment issues can be traced to a pattern of inconsistency in meeting physical and emotional needs. In other cases, certain environmental factors like violence, low socioeconomic status can also induce a sense of insecurity and fear of attachments.
It is also found that your unresolved emotional wounds from one relation are carried over and intervenes in your future relationships.
Neglectful and insensitive experiences in your bond with others may cause you to develop characteristics of being distant, private and withdrawn. You may formulate a fear of commitment and avoid conflict by either shutting down, leaving or ending relations.
People who have experienced inconsistency in meeting their emotional needs may start developing intensely close and dependent relationships. They tend to become too needy and highly emotionally reactive. They face difficulty in separating themselves from their partners and any conflict or argument can trigger their fear of abandonment.
Psychological experiences mentioned above can increase the risk of chronic mental health issues like anxiety, stress, addiction, depression and poor attention. Few people may also experience borderline personality disorder, anti-social traits with decreased ability to regulate and control emotions.
Difficulty in forming close relationships or friendships.
Intense anxiety about commitment.
Facing difficulty in being open and trusting others.
Intense and violent emotional responses during conflicts and disagreements.
Perceiving any argument or critical feedback as a sign that the relationship will end or the partner is about to leave.
Patterns of choosing partners who are abusive, controlling, and emotionally unstable.
Totally losing one’s identity to be accepted in a relationship.
A psychotherapy treatment that facilitates accessing and processing traumatic memories, relieving affective distress and reformulating negative beliefs.
In DBT, people are taught to accept their experiences and behaviours as valid, and bring positive changes to manage their emotions and move forward. It includes practising mindfulness, coping distress, making effective interpersonal relations while maintaining self-respect and regulating emotions
A talking therapy that lets you connect with your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions, thereby helping you to manage your problems by changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. It deals with improving the present state of mind with more structured, objective and realistic thoughts.
Understanding your partners’ emotions and behaviours can help in developing a better avenue for interactions and communication. Couples and Relationship Therapy is focused on healing emotional abandonment problems, solving emotional intimacy issues and reinforcing the positive connection to develop a closer bond.
Age-appropriate child therapy can help in reducing the effects of trauma while enabling a child in coping negative emotions through play therapy, art therapy and sand tray therapy.
Psychologists as mental health care providers play a major role in understanding biological, behavioural and social factors that influence mental health and physical wellbeing. Dr. (Prof) R K Suri, the Senior Clinical Psychologist at Psychowellness Center, is a trained professional clinical psychologist, having more than 36 years of experience in all kinds of mental health issues and related therapeutic interventions.
Furthermore, TalkToAngel online mental health services under him put your needs first. They can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.
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