The fear of abandonment can be defined as anxiety that a person experiences when faced with losing someone. Losing people is typical in life. But people with a fear of abandonment live in constant fear of losing someone. They even go to the extent of pushing away people they love not to be hurt should they decide to leave.
The fear of abandonment is not considered a mental health condition and can be treated by a professional.
Symptoms can be seen in both childhoods as well as adulthood and can develop from childhood. It is usual for a child to cry, exhibit shy behavior and react when the parents or caregivers leave the room. When this natural reaction transforms into panic, fear of being alone, and separation anxiety, this could indicate underlying mental health complications.
As an adult who is afraid of being abandoned, you might cycle through relationships, sabotage relationships, cling to unhealthy relationships, or need constant reassurance.
When cycling through relationships, you might get into many relationships, fear intimacy, and find causes to end the relationship before your partner does.
A person who fears abandonment will sabotage relationships by pushing away another person, for example, by starting arguments.
You may cling to an unhealthy relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. People with the fear of abandonment need constant reassurance from friends and partners in the form of emotional guarantees. The causes of this fear are neglect, abuse, and abandonment experienced in childhood. Even a parent’s divorce could cause the fear of abandonment.
Increased levels of stress can lead to anxiety-based abandonment, and traumatic events can also create this fear.
Losing a loved one is an example. Having a history of poverty can cause fear of abandonment because people who suffer from poverty have a scarcity mindset.
The signs and symptoms of abandonment issues in adults:
- Being a people pleaser.
- Always giving too much in your relationships.
- An inability to trust.
- Pushing people away to avoid rejection.
- Feeling insecure.
- You are clingy even when the other person asks for space.
- You are frequently jealous, suspicious, or critical of your partner.
How to get rid of the fear of abandonment:
- Recognize that you have a fear of abandonment is the first step.
- Stop being hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack.
- Remind yourself of the positive qualities that make you a good partner/friend.
- Open up to the person about your fear, but don’t have unrealistic expectations from them.
If you are still struggling and find it unmanageable, consider talking to a qualified therapist.