Anxiety can manifest in various ways and can be triggered by many different situations and occurrences.
Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety in which you experience stress and worry about being away from your loved ones.
If you have adult separation anxiety, your worries may cause you to think about all the possible dangers that could occur while they are away, and this worry can get in the way of your responsibilities and obligations.
Separation anxiety can sometimes result from losing a loved one, which can cause terror about the possibility of something like that happening again. It may also be connected to PTSD or other phobias and anxieties.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
The Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (5th Edition) has identified eight symptoms of separation anxiety that you may be experiencing if this is an issue for you. These include:
- A pattern of significant distress with real or anticipated separation from home or important attachment figures
- Persistent and excessive concern about losing attachment figures or harm befalling them
- Persistent and excessive concern about experiencing an unfortunate event that results in separation from an attachment figure
- Persistent reluctance or refusal to leave home or go to school work, or other places due to fear of separation
- Persistent and excessive reluctance about or fear of being alone or without attachment figure
- Persistent concern or reluctance of sleeping away from home or while attachment figure is not near
- Repeated nightmares that center on the theme of separation
- Recurrent somatic complaints in the setting of real or anticipated separation from attachment figures
If you experience many of these symptoms for an extended period of time, talk to a therapist or mental health professional so that you can get the help you need to get better.
Management and Treatment Options
There are several different ways that separation anxiety can be managed and treated. Like other anxiety disorders, therapy is an effective way to treat separation anxiety.
Therapy can help you identify, analyze and correct any wrong thinking that may be leading to your anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may provide a safe and supportive environment for confronting your fears and gradually increasing your exposure to the situations that make you anxious. It can also teach you valuable coping strategies and relaxation techniques to ease the stress, worry, and anxiety that you experience in the future.
Other options include support groups, family therapy, and medications.
Regardless of your age or circumstances, you don’t need to suffer in silence. If you are experiencing distress related to separation anxiety, seek help as soon as possible so that you can live your life to the fullest.
You deserve the peace of mind and security that comes with knowing that you are loved and supported, so don’t let your anxiety keep you from enjoying life.