How To Deal With Fear Of Abandonment

A lot of people suffer from abandonment issues, and these usually start from experiencing loss during childhood, like the loss of a parent through death or divorce. They can also stem from insufficient love and care (physical or emotional) in early childhood. These experiences can often lead to the fear of being abandoned by the people who matter in one’s life when they are grown up.

Although a degree of that fear may be a normal human reaction, when that abandonment fear becomes frequent, extreme, and hard to allay, it can lead to serious impairment, especially with regard to developing healthy relationships with other people.

It’s important to get the help of a skilled therapist to help with those abandonment issues in order to live a healthy and productive life.

Understanding the Fear of Abandonment

In order for an individual to experience healthy physical, mental, and emotional development, they need to have sufficient care, and when some people’s needs are not met, this can lead to abandonment issues later on in that person’s life. There are instances where an experience of abandonment constitutes a traumatic event in an individual’s life, If a child loses a parent this can be a traumatic experience for them, or if they are unable to feel safe due to threatening situations such as sexual or physical abuse or even lack of food and shelter.

Something else that can qualify as a form of abandonment is if the child goes through a pattern of emotional neglect which can be traumatic, as well. Examples of this are when children grow up with parents who ridicule them, hold them to standards that are unattainably high, or even parents who rely on their children too heavily and treat them like peers.

Even some adults who never experienced these abandonment issues as children may experience feelings that are usually associated with abandonment if they’re traumatized by the loss of their partner through death or divorce. The impact of abandonment is great whether it happens during childhood or in adulthood. It can significantly affect all aspects of a person’s life by having a negative impact on social, professional and intimate relationships.

Fear of Abandonment – Effects on Psychology

People who have experienced abandonment are usually more likely to develop long-term psychological issues that are typically focused on their fear that the abandonment will happen again.

For example, if a child has been abandoned by one of their parents, they may struggle with anger or mood swings their whole life, and their behavior may repel friends and potential partners. Children who don’t get enough emotional support from their parents (maybe because of the parents’ own issues) tend to have a hard time developing healthy a self-esteem and this has a negative impact on their lives.

These are just some of the effects of abandonment issues:

  • Impairing a person’s ability to trust others
  • Increasing feelings of unworthiness
  • Inability to experience intimacy
  • Can lead to depression, anxiety, or codependency
  • Low self-esteem may lead to relationships with people who reinforce those negative beliefs

Therapy to Address Abandonment Feelings

A therapist can help a person who has fear of abandonment by teaching them how to separate their past fears from the current reality. This could result in them developing more realistic expectations and positive responses in their lives. Recognizing that their fears are rooted in the past often brings the people being treated to start minimizing the way the fear controls their emotions with regards to current events and relationships.