Abandonment Child Syndrome in Adults
An issue more common then we think! Here are some things everyone should be aware of!
Abandonment syndrome is an anxiety disorder. The people suffering from abandonment syndrome get anxious when they think of losing someone or getting left behind. They are afraid to lose people they are close to.
People suffering from abandonment disorder tend to stay secluded and alone. They believe that if they are not close to others, they won’t get hurt or anxious when someone leaves. They tend to push away people around them by deliberately being anti-social.
Once they get into the habit of pushing others away, this, in turn, reinforces the belief that it is better to be alone. Although mild at the beginning, abandonment issues can quickly escalate and can have unhealthy consequences on the person. The syndrome can come in the way of a person physical and emotional development.
Abandonment syndrome causes:Traumatic events:
Traumatic events like death, someone close can create a void in a person. They believe that ultimately everyone is going to die and it is better to be alone and get close to someone.
Abuse whether physical or mental can cause irrational fear in a person’s mind. Some tend to suffer the abuse silently as a validation of being wanted.
Neglect due to poverty, unhealthy relations in the family, abuse or emotionless relationship can be a contributing factor to abandonment syndrome. A child, being neglected, tends to avoid seeking love, friendship or care, for the fear of being left behind. Similarly, they tend to be distant as adults and often behave similarly with their children.
Stress of losing relationship:
Individuals, who have gone through infidelity, divorce, harsh breakup or witnessed the separation of parents, can become fearful of future relationships and going through abandonment a second time.
Abandonment syndrome symptoms:Unstable Relationships:
Those suffering from abandonment syndrome cannot be in a stable relationship or find it difficult to do so. They are afraid of commitment and intimacies. Normally, they may be a part of short term relationships which are usually shallow.
This symptom is often seen in kids. Kids, when away from their parents or siblings, tend to panic and throw tantrums. For adults, the panic sets even before the commencement of the relationship. They believe that they will be left alone even if they put an effort to make the relationship work.
This is a rather common symptom among those who suffer from abandonment issues. The person tends to get in a relationship with someone who is abusive. They cling to this relationship even though they know that it is harmful.
A constant need for reassurance:
Children tend to turn to their parents or siblings for assurance for every step they take. They are mindful of what their parents want from them and can have trouble being independent. Adults tend to rely on their friends or partners for assurance. They have difficulty making firm decisions.
For both adults and children, being away from a loved one for even a minute makes them anxious. It also causes loss of sleep, as the sufferer would rather stay awake and assure themselves that their loved ones are nearby. Children especially are known to have difficulty sleeping without their parents in the same room.
Abandonment syndrome treatment:Counseling:
Seeking out professional help can help the individual deal with their fear of being left alone. The counselor or therapist can help them find the cause of their fear and help work through coming out of it.
Although difficult, it is better to open up about their feelings to their loved ones. They can start with their parents or siblings. Getting stable emotionally can help them with their future relationships. Those who have someone close suffering from abandonment issues can also help them by being honest. They can tell the individual how they feel with respect to their behavior.
Reassure the feeling:
Parents whose child suffers from abandonment issues can offer reassurance by not validating their fear, but the feeling behind the fear. It is ok to be anxious, but it is more important to not let the anxiety make someone paranoid. Parents should encourage their children to talk about their anxieties.
This may seem weird, but sympathizing with someone who has a lot of emotional baggage can make them regress. Instead, it is better to listen to them objectively. If they ask for space, give them space. Do not force them to open up, make some ambiguous statement or push your own emotions on them.
Treating abandonment syndrome is time-consuming and requires great efforts from the individual and their family and friends. However, this syndrome is treatable and if faced correctly, can lead to a healthy and normal lifestyle.
Click here to learn about broken heart syndrome