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Separation Anxiety in Adults

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Upset coupleOften heard is the term “separation anxiety” when used in reference to children and pets, but seldom do we ever hear about adults who suffer from this debilitating psychological condition. In this article we will take a look at what separation anxiety is and just how it can affect adults of all ages.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is most commonly recognized as a juvenile disorder in which children experience signs of anxiety when separated from their primary caregiver. In more recent times however, adults have become increasingly diagnosed with adult separation anxiety. Adult separation anxiety is much the same as the disorder as that faced by children; however, the primary caregiver can be any major attachment figure in the adults life. Most often these attachment figures include spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings and or friends. Children who experience separation anxiety during their juvenile years very often go on to live their adult lives anxiety free. Conversely children who do not experience separation anxiety during their childhood still have the potential to develop this disorder during their adult years.

The Statistics on Separation Anxiety

According to the statistics, it is estimated that around 6.6 percent of the adult American population will experience adult separation anxiety during their lifetime – an amazing 20,207,408 adults. What seems strange when looking at these figures is comparing them to the rates of childhood separation anxiety. It is believed that only 4.1 percent of children within the American population will experience separation anxiety during their lifetime. So in terms of the statistics, separation anxiety seems to be more common among American adults than it is among American children.It is believed that around 77 percent of adults suffering from adult separation anxiety experienced their first symptoms during adulthood.

What are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Children?

Before taking a look at the symptoms of separation anxiety in adults, let us first look at the symptoms that appear in the more commonly studied manifestation of this disorder – children. Children with separation anxiety may exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Extreme distress when separated from their primary caregiver
  • Reluctance to do anything that involves being apart from their primary caregiver
  • Nightmares
  • Constant worry that something will happen to their primary caregiver
  • Inability to go to sleep without the figure of attachment close by
  • Physical complaints that would result in the child not having to separate from their primary caregiver

What are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Adults?

The symptoms listed above that are often studied extensively in children are also commonly seen in adults with separation anxiety. Many times adults may label these feelings as mere generalized anxiety rather than being able to pinpoint them as being related to separation anxiety. Some of the symptoms common in adults with separation anxiety include:

Extreme fear or anxiety when asked to do things alone or be separated from their attachment figure

Avoidance of being alone in any circumstance

Fear that the one they are most attached to will leave them or be harmed in some way

How Are Separation Anxiety in Children and Adults Distinguished?

Separation Anxiety in Children

The symptoms of separation anxiety in children and in adults may appear to be the same; however, there is quite a difference between the two. To begin with, these two manifestations of similar symptoms actually go by different names. Children who experience these symptoms are referred to as undergoing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is seen as a normal stage in the development of a healthy child, almost all children will go through this phase at around eight months old. Separation anxiety in children appears to increase in severity until around fifteen months of age at which point the symptoms begin to dwindle.

This video from the Parent Channel explains more and shows some examples of children with separation anxiety.

Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults

Adults who experience the symptoms of separation anxiety are referred to as being affected by separation anxiety disorder; this is not a healthy phase in the development of the average human adult. Where for the child with separation anxiety, the disorder is something of a preserved behavior that enforces the bond between a child and its primary caregiver as is needed for survival; this is not the case in adults. It is believed however, that the formation of adult separation anxiety disorder is growing in diagnosis as the importance of being in attached relationships during adulthood is increasingly emphasized.

When Does Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults Begin to Show?

Current studies have found that specific age ranges seem to be more prevalent for the onset of adult separation anxiety disorder. Adults that experience this disorder are most often between the ages of thirty and forty-four. The second most common age group for diagnosis of adult separation anxiety disorder is adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine. Adults aged forty-five to fifty-nine years old are less likely than their younger peers to experience this debilitating disorder. Finally, diagnosis of adult separation anxiety disorder in adults aged sixty and over is relatively uncommon in comparison to other adult age groups.

The Demographics of Separation Anxiety in Adults

Men versus Women

Research has found that significantly more women than men suffer from adult separation anxiety disorder. While more women than men suffer from this disorder, it has been found that more men are likely to have their first onset of separation anxiety during adulthood. It has also been found that separation anxiety, whether juvenile or adult in nature tends to run in families. The majority of children who experienced the disorder in childhood had one parent who suffered from the adult variation of the same disorder.

Marital Status and Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

Interesting research has also been conducted to analyze the marital status of those who suffer from separation anxiety. It has been found that those who suffer from any type of separation anxiety disorder are less likely to be married than those who have not experienced this disorder. Researchers believe that this indicates a correlation between childhood separation anxiety and bachelorhood or spinsterhood. For those who have experienced some type of separation anxiety and still go on to marry, research suggests that their marriage will be an unstable one. According to the data discovered so far, individuals who are separated, widowed or divorced are most likely to suffer from adult separation anxiety disorder or ASAD. The second most common relationship status among those who have ASAD IS to never have married. The least common relationship status found in those with ASAD is married or cohabiting with their partner.

Education and Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

Researchers have been analyzing many factors when it comes to how they play in to adult separation anxiety disorder. In addition to sex and marital status, education level has also been shown to play a significant role in the lack of diagnosis of this disorder. Those with the least formal education (measured as 0 to 11 years of education) appear to be the most likely to have this separation disorder. Those with 12 years of education rank as the second most likely to have ASAD. Those with 13 to 15 years of education are significantly less likely to display with this disorder and those with 16+ years of formal education are least likely to have ASAD.

Employment and Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

Because of the very nature of adult separation anxiety disorder, employment is another area of life that intrigues researchers of this disorder. Unfortunately this research is often the case of the chicken before the egg or the egg before the chicken, it is not known whether employment status is caused by the ASAD or whether the ASAD was caused by the employment status. In either case the employment findings are as follows: the majority of individuals diagnosed with ASAD are unemployed or are working in non-traditional employment opportunities. The second most likely employment status for those with ASAD is being employed, the third is working as a homemaker and the least likely employment statuses are retired and working as a student.

Diagnosing Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

A diagnosis of adult separation anxiety disorder can be difficult to make since it is a relatively new category of anxiety disorder. For the purpose of diagnosing this disorder in adults, mental health professionals turn to the . The Diagnostic and Statistical manual utilized by the mental health community does not currently have a specific set of criteria for the adult version of separation anxiety disorder and as a result they turn to the diagnosis criteria for separation anxiety disorder instead. The diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety disorder as per the Diagnostic and Statistical manual IV TR is as follows:

A. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:
(1) recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated
(2) persistent and excessive worry about losing, or about possible harm befalling, major attachment figures
(3) persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from a major attachment figure (e.g., getting lost or being kidnapped)
(4) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation
(5) persistently and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other settings
(6) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near a major attachment figure or to sleep away from home
(7) repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation
(8) repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

B. The duration of the disturbance is at least 4 weeks.

C. The onset is before age 18 years.

D. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.

E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder,Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and, in adolescents and adults, is not better accounted for by Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia

Referenced from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition. Copyright 1994 American Psychiatric Association

What is Life like for an Adult with Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Describing life as an adult with adult separation anxiety disorder can be particularly difficult because of the extent of emotion that these individuals undergo. Not only does this disorder devastate the lives of those who have been diagnosed, but it also tears apart their relationships and takes a toll on the lives of those around them as well. Someone suffering from ASAD lives their life on edge, constantly worrying about being alone and losing the one that they love. As nightmares take over an inability or unwillingness to sleep in combination with general anxiety will lead to exhaustion which in turn leads to a lack of functioning. Individuals with ASAD feel trapped and often feel as though they are unable to do something, anything, until they have reconnected with their figure of attachment. Living with ASAD is exhausting and draining and often these individuals feel helpless as well as overwhelmed with their own level of being needy.

What is Life like Living with an Adult with Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Being the loved one of someone with adult separation anxiety disorder can be just as exhausting as being the individual with the disorder. There is a constant demand on your attentions that cannot be calmed or satisfied and often times it will feel as though there is no escape. Even the shortest respite from the clinginess of a loved one with ASAD will be interrupted by vies for your attention through text messages and phone calls. Unfortunately living with and loving someone with adult separation anxiety can be so taxing that relationships soon begin to break down. It is important for every relationship in which one or both persons have a diagnosis of ASAD that each person have their own support system. Support systems should always include a licensed professional who is able to work with the individual with ASAD to develop coping tools to reduce their burden upon their loved one. It is also important for each person in the relationship to have their own support system of family and friends.

Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder is not always a Solo Diagnosis

Those individuals diagnosed with adult separation anxiety disorder more often than not also present with a second psychological disorder or at least a cluster of symptoms that fit the diagnostic criteria for a second disorder. Most common among those with ASAD are mood disorders and anxiety disorders. It is also believed that individuals with a diagnosis of ASAD are three times more likely than those without the disorder to become addicted to illegal drugs. These individuals are also five times more likely than those without ASAD to have an anxiety disorder and four times more likely to have a mood disorder. One of the biggest questions to date in the psychiatric community in regards to the diagnosis of ASAD is whether or not the varying other psychological disorders often seen with ASAD precede or follow the ASAD diagnosis.

How is Adult Separation Anxiety Treated?

Unfortunately for those who have been diagnosed with adult separation anxiety and for those living with those diagnosed, there have been no treatments targeted towards ASAD. Since adult separation anxiety is a relatively new diagnosis in the psychological community, not enough research has been conducted in reference to treating the adult variety of this anxiety disorder. Simply because there is not a specific “cure” for those with ASAD however, does not mean that there are not options. It is imperative for those with a diagnosis of ASAD to first get themselves a psychologist in addition to psychiatrist in order to help themselves find a way of coping with this disorder.

How Can a Psychologist Help with Adult Separation Anxiety Treatment?

Where psychologists do not focus their attention on the prescription of medications to treat symptoms, they do focus on teaching coping skills. Coping skills are one of the biggest components in being able to build a functional life with healthy relationships despite an ASAD diagnosis. Therapy with a psychologist will allow those with ASAD to learn how to cope with their feelings and how to break free from unhealthy habits that make others feel overwhelmed.

How Can a Psychiatrist Help with Adult Separation Anxiety Treatment?

Where psychologists are unable to prescribe medications to help those with ASAD to manage their symptoms, psychiatrists do have that ability. While there are no drugs at the moment designed to target separation anxiety in adults, there are many generalized anxiety medications that are designed to help individuals cope with their high anxiety levels.

What is the Future of Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder?

With more people in the medical community recognizing adult separation anxiety disorder the future of treatment for this disorder looks bright. It is the hope of the ASAD community that as research in to this disabling condition continues a better understanding will lead to the development of more targeted treatment plans. Until such a day comes however, the best that the psychological community can offer is combination treatment plans. The current “best treatment” offered to those diagnosed with ASAD is the same treatment plan being offered to those with generalized anxiety disorders. A combination of talk therapy and medication therapy is the most utilized answer to ASAD at the moment. Talk therapy gives those diagnosed the ability to discover why they have such difficulty with attachment and how they can correct their behavioral and thought patterns. Medication therapy gives those diagnosed with ASAD the ability to overcome some of their most crippling symptoms to try and make those bigger changes suggested through talk therapy. All in all the future of ASAD therapy looks bright, but for now, patients must make do with a generalized treatment.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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73 Comments on "Separation Anxiety in Adults"

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Sadman
Sadman
Hi Everyone, I am a 61 year old male and after reading all the great info and posts on this site I am wondering if I am suffering from separation anxiety? My fiancé (20 yrs together) moved 700 miles away to pursue a job opportunity. I must remain at my current location for 19 months, to which 8 have past. We now typically see each other after approximately 2 weeks. I’ve been feeling sad, depressed, anxious from the beginning and am about the same now. I even feel the same when we are together with the anticipation that she will… Read more »
Sandy D
Sandy D
Separation Anxioty in Adults I believe from personal experience stemming from loosing all my elders I knew and finding myself standing now being the elder for the younger ones in my family. I myself grew up with large family. Parents, 4 grandparents, 24 Aunts and Uncles etc. Not to mention Fur babies dying too, mine and family pets I was as close to as my own. I found myself emotionally spinning and couldn’t figure out why. I lost my dad 19 months ago, grandparents gone, and down to 8 aunts and uncles. Now my mom has cancer. While meditating I… Read more »
Kay McHenry
Kay McHenry

I have had this disorder since I was five years old and just found out I am not alone. I found a doctor who diagnosed me with a general anxiety disorder that is focused on social interaction and she prescribed me an antidepressant. Luckily for me, seeing a doctor along with the help from a few loving friends and family members gave me the strength to develop coping skills so I don’t panic constantly. I still have some trouble when separated from my husband for more than a few hours, but I can confirm that it is treatable.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Kay, sorry to hear but glad to know it’s treatable and that you have found a way to cope with your anxiety! Thanks for sharing and hope you continue to find strength and comfort in your life!

Duha Almoamen
Duha Almoamen
When I was a kid I was always afraid that I’ll lose my mom. I grew so close to her since my father started traveling for studies. I remember that at night I’ll watch her breathing, and I’ll sleep at her feet worrying about her. And now I’m grown up in my 20s and every time I travel or someone I’m attached to travels away I tend to cry a lot. I had friends leave me which flipped my personality around. I became less trusting with people and there is a part in my mind that is always doubting. I… Read more »
Jane
Jane
I am 57 and have just realized I have this disorder. I lost my father at 11 and even before that I would not sleep away from home. My mom even had to sleep in the bed with me. It has only gotten worse as an adult. My son and his family moved away almost two years ago and each time I am visiting them I struggle dreading the pain I suffer when I leave them. My husband and I spent a month with them and I was miserable. I believe it has to do with this separation anxiety. I… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Jane, so sorry to hear you are miserable! We recommend you speak to a professional who can help you find ways to cope with (and hopefully overcome) this disorder. You should also look for local support groups in your area that can be a healthy healing place to talk to other people who are experiencing similar feelings. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

Sasha
Sasha

Is it normal to have separation anxiety from a child?

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Sasha, absolutely normal, especially if it’s your own child!

Amanda Carden
Amanda Carden
After reading this …seems to be true, me and my fiance have been together for a year and half and just recently he switch jobs from a day job to other job which is overnights. I’m used to having that comfort of sleeping next to him. I never went out a day with out it until now. I can cat nap during the day with out a issue but when it comes to night time by myself it’s unbearable. It’s a lot easier said then done getting over my Separation Anxiety and night time anxiety. I used to listen to… Read more »
Juan Y
Juan Y
I’m reaching out… I’m really going through a really really rough time now and I’m feeling extreme loneliness. I have had seperation anxiety for a long time but never sought any treatment or help. NO one around me knows except for my wife. In a few days, my wife will be leaving for a one week work trip to a country 20 hours flight away. An entirely different timezone on the other side of the globe. The thought of her being so far, and the thought that we can barely keep in contact (she’s asleep when I’m up, and up… Read more »
cyrel ocampo
cyrel ocampo
Hi, I’m Cy 25 years old from Philippines and I have been observing myself before I read this article and after reading this I finally figured out why I’m having nightmares when I am sleeping alone. I was in a 3 year relationship and we just broke few months ago and before we broke up I was scared of being alone so what I did was I dated the girl that I am dating right now because my nightmares are getting worst, I cant sleep at night or the maximum hours of sleep that I get is less than 4… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Cyrel, so sorry to hear you are experiencing trouble sleeping due to your break up! I would see if you can find a doctor or physiologist in your area in the Philippines who can help diagnosis your sleeping problem and prescribe some solutions for you. There are other natural remedies to help you sleep at night including taking non-addictive melatonin and putting lavender scented spray or oils on your pillow at night also helps. Good luck and best wishes to you in your path to happiness!

Shelly
Shelly

I am a stay at home mother of 4, the 3 older ones have moved out and it’s just the youngest at home. I have found myself wanting to spend every minute I can with him. So afraid of the empty nest syndrome. I turned down good job because I wouldn’t be home with my son after school. I also find myself latching onto my husband when my son is not home. The anxiety when either leaves is overwhelming. I did not have any of these feeling with my other 3…What can I do to relieve the anxiety?

Kaleb
Kaleb
As a kid going to school was hard for me. i would cry and go see the nurse so I could go home every day… then it was because I wanted to be close to my mother. I remember feeling my heart race and my stomach turn…loss of appetite, and a foggy mind set. All the same feelings I feel today (I’m 26) when my fiance fight or when I leave home on vacation… I can barely handle three days gone. When I was 22 My parents disowned me for being Gay. I was a mess…I found a love that… Read more »
Rajen Krishna
Rajen Krishna

I think I still suffer from this, it must have been somewhere in my childhood, it’s very heartbreaking on my end to see people leave, but I’ve dealt with impermanence my whole life, so the topic of marriage or love is something I can’t really handle and evade most of the time. I really hope someday I will get past my fears.

Andrew Laidlaw
Andrew Laidlaw

I wonder if a couple each with ASAD are more helpful and able to help meet each other’s needs?

Toni
Toni

For me, it’s extremely helpful having the 2 of us suffer ASAD together!! I feel blessed to have met someone so similar to myself.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Andrew, so glad to hear you have someone who can help you with the grieving process! Best wishes to you both!

Juan Y
Juan Y

Chances of that are really low. And I think it might make things worse. Meanwhile, it’s tough enough to even know anyone who understands who it feels like and won’t say things like “can’t you just stop feeling this way?”

It’s funny how when my wife is a way, the entire week feels like eternity… And I have no idea on how to find a cooing mechanism. I’m.literally going nuts and she hasn’t even boarded her flight yet…

jan
I’m 58 and have had this disorder for many many years, recently I have noticed a sheer panic at the thought of my partner not coming home or going out with friends I have no idea why but it festers and I stay awake all night long. I try very hard not to let him know how I’m feeling but omg is very hard not to scream at times. I have all the trust in the world for him I know he is not cheating or anything like that so have no reason whatsoever to feel this way. Several times… Read more »
Amanda Danielle
Amanda Danielle
I have had separation anxiety my whole life. I had it as a child and still suffer from it as an adult. I was not given a diagnosis until a few years ago. My separation anxiety has gotten better over the years. It used to be if a loved one so much as did something without me, I would be sad and hurt. My parents divorced when I was very young. I had alternating weekends with my dad. It was my mom who raised me. If she did anything without me, I would have a meltdown and be inconsolable. I… Read more »
Hollie Bonham
Hollie Bonham

This really resonates with me. My father left my family when I was 5 and ever since have had ongoing anxiety or depression in one form or another. Now I am with my partner of three years and have constant fear that one of us will leave the other. I am happy to know that this isn’t just general anxiety.

Andrew
Andrew
I was battered by my mother and taken off her by social services when I was 5 weeks old. I went to a couple of foster homes but settled in one long term when I was 9 months old. I used to stay with my paternal grandfather every weekend to give the foster parents a break and I had such a lovely bond with him, I really loved him. Unfortunately, he died just before my fourth birthday and I did not really understand where he had gone. After a few months of not seeing him I began sucking my thumb… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I’m 26 and my partner is 35. He has had issues in the past with his fiancée cheating on him, being thrown out of his parents house for being with her before it then broke down, and was recently divorced from a 9 year relationship. Although I am doing all I can to be supportive and reassuring and I love him with all my soul it never seems to be enough. The UK seems to have no recognition of this as a disorder and I’m so glad it is actually “a thing” I thought perhaps there was something wrong with… Read more »
Peter Kimpton
Peter Kimpton
I’m in a similar situation to your husband – I have separation anxiety, just working it out at the moment but I think it stems from 2 previous partners cheating on me then ending our relationship, and my wife of now 8 years cheated on me 2 years into our relationship, 3 before we got married. Anyway – the point is – I know how your partner feels. The approach I would appreciate would be this: say something to him like: “I really like (or love) you. I’m not going anywhere. But I’m recognizing that the experience you’ve had with… Read more »
Juan Y
Juan Y
HI Peter. I’m reaching out to a support group as I’m really going through a really really rough time now and I’m feeling extreme loneliness. In a few days, my wife will be leaving for a one week work trip to a country 20 hours flight away. An entirely different timezone on the other side of the globe. I know it’s irrational. It’s only 7 days and she’ll be back. But all those thoughts of harm and safety issues, not being there beside her to protect her, and me being alone in the house and not being able to tell… Read more »
Ann
I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety with panic attacks and OCD. I used to have night terrors as a teenager, sometimes as an adult. My mom passed away when I was ten years old, I am 30 now. I realized after searching for some kind of solution to my anxiety problems and fears that I know I have this disorder. It is linked to my father, sister and husband; I constantly worry about them and have severe anxiety when separated from them. I know how irrational the thought process can be but once something terrible has happened in your… Read more »
Nemo
Nemo

I was an only-child. My father had a job that required moving every 3-4 years. My mother and I stayed with “others” while father found new living accommodations. (Mother suffered from separation anxiety, as well…and self-medicated) I, very purposefully and successfully, created a career which insured my independence from relying on anyone. My coping mechanism to Separation Anxiety has always been to isolate myself from anyone that could “abandon” me. I am now understanding why I am still a true loner in my senior years. Anyone else with this experience?

j

I have had this since I was 7 or 8 with my sister and to this day have it. I have been on medication and have seen people. Nothing ever helped. I mean it’s not as severe as it used to be but it’s still bad. I am now 23.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

J, so sorry to hear you have been suffering with separation anxiety for so long but glad to hear it’s getting better. May you continue to see improvements and have a speedy recovery! Thanks for sharing.

John Brooks
John Brooks
It is awful. I remember my mom leaving me at daycare at 2 or 3 years old so vividly and my out of control behavior. Freaking out then running away from the daycare back to my mother (I won). Also they didn’t let me stay, instead I went to work with my mom apparently and watched her cut hair, that I don’t remember was told though. That first separation it is still so clear in my mind, that first memory. Second memory in life was kindergarten years later and again clearly a problem. As a adult every emotional connection that… Read more »
tom
Thanks for sharing John. I too have the same memories of being left at daycare and then lost in the mall. I was in panic then and it never got better. My parents were very religious and my dad told me about the rapture in revelation at a young age and I wouldn’t let my parents leave me alone for several years because I was afraid that god would take them and leave me behind. the times i was alone were unbearable panic that only subsided when I worked myself to exhaustion. it was totally irrational but it was very… Read more »
Nemo
Nemo

John. Sometimes we teach ourselves that we must have deserved to be “abandoned.” After all we trusted our parents to do the right things. Try listening to this meditation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8e4sATalz8

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

John, thanks for sharing your story with us! Hope you find happiness and get to feeling less anxious soon!

Beanie
Beanie
I saw this was written a while ago, but I am so glad that I found this article. My husband of 11 years, whom I have been with for 16 years, has just gone to rehab. A 30 day stay has turned into a 41 day stay. I have been trying to have him get help for his alcoholism for 8 years. We have 3 beautiful children and his drinking was tearing our family apart. We have never been apart for more than 5 days in 16 years. I am so embarrassed. I am crying constantly. Nightmares all night. I… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Beanie, I’m so sorry to hear you are feeling this way but glad to know your husband is seeking help. You should definitely talk to your doctor about your separation anxiety and don’t worry about being embarrassed, it’s completely normal to feel that way! I can only imagine how difficult it must be but stay strong and know there are better days ahead. Hope this article was able to help you and we hope your family is on the path to recovery soon!

Joseph Watson
Joseph Watson
I have have been with my fiancee for well over a year now and every time she makes plans to do things without me I get sick to my stomach, dizzy, and it puts me generally in crummy mood even though I know she isn’t doing anything wrong. I have even thrown up a few times when she has left. I thought the feeling would get better as time goes on but so far it hasn’t. I love her more than I ever thought I could love someone. Every time other than work when we a separated I just don’t… Read more »
Gaylynn Sherrie Bergeron
Gaylynn Sherrie Bergeron

Thank you for posting this. This is exactly how I feel when my fiance leaves or does anything without me. I don’t feel so alone anymore. It is a constant struggle for me to try and push through the anxiety so that I don’t hold him back from life, and trying to cope with feeling selfish for wanting him to stay with me all the time so that I don’t have to cope with the pains and fears and anxiety. I often wonder “Why can’t I just be normal?” It hurts.

Riya
Riya

I am currently living in this kind of situation right now. It’s true, why can’t I be just normal? Why should I need to always think that my boyfriend will soon leave me. I got this disorder when he needs to study miles away from me. I think our long distance relationship triggered this disorder.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Joseph, so sorry to hear you are feeling this way! Perhaps you could seek out a counselor or a support group in your area? Having a professional help or others who are also going through what you are might be something worthwhile to improve your separation anxiety. There are also lots of books on the topic perhaps you can check one out from your local library too with some tips on how to cope. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

Jay

I haven’t been diagnosed. I’m embarrassed to say I have separation anxiety for my little sister. She’s 19, I’m 23. I get extremely depressed whenever she leaves for school, or for the night to stay at her boyfriends house. She’s lived with me ever since she was 14. From my parents’ house, to my first apartment, to where we live now with my fiancé & son. I’ve never really experienced this sadness until just recently. I don’t know how to fix it. & I don’t want anyone to know. :/

Shayne
Shayne
I’ve felt horrible for a while thinking I’m being clingy, attached and a pansy. I love the woman I’m with. So much. I adore her. But I can’t be without her. I was alone before her and OK. But now I’m crippled with the fear of it. I’m scared, terrified and can’t function without her. It’s horrible. I’ve lost everyone I’ve ever cared for besides my 2 older children. At 35, I’ve lost both parents, grandparents and little sister. It’s left me alone and scared to death. I need help. I can’t lose this woman. I want to die when… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Shayne, so sorry to hear you are feeling this way! Please seek professional help if need be and reach out to resources in your community in addition to online that can help. Be strong and know that you are loved! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck in your path to recovery!

Hoplsromanic
Hoplsromanic
Lol and I just thought I was obsessed. It does feel kinda nice that at least I see I’m not the only one who acts like this. I met my husband when I was 15 in school and have been leached to him ever since. Lots of separation in between. As a kid I was obsessed I couldn’t spend enough time with him I used to ask him why he doesn’t want to spend 24/7 with me. I drove him nuts he pushed away I’d push closer. He was a cheater big time then so when he’d leave me for… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Thank you for sharing your story!

SAD sack
SAD sack
Thanks for this article and the comments. It turned on a light for me. I think I started having adult SAD sometime after when my ex of 28 years left me someone else. Thus I seem to need the constant reassurance from my new partner. My new partner’s works schedule means for a few months I only get to see her once a week or less. I found it hard to go from full time to part time, and then had an anxiety attack (fight or flight feeling), and walked out on her. I feel awful, so I am trying… Read more »
Nemo
Nemo

Hello. I’ve learned that meditation is another great form of therapy. This YouTube channel has helped me a lot. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHonestGuys/videos

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Thanks for sharing Nemo, glad you have found this channel and meditation to be a great solution for your separation anxiety.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

So glad to hear you are feeling better and seeking help! Best wishes to you in the continued path to recovery.

Emmaline
Emmaline

I just miss a friend so much, they live on the other side of the country. I am always thinking of them. Sometimes it interferes with life day to day. Could this be separation anxiety?

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Emmaline, yes that could be a minor form of separation anxiety, it’s natural to feel lonely having a loved one far away from you. Perhaps you could try Skyping with them or emailing your friend? If your daily thoughts start to become more intense or interfere with your work or life please seek an experienced professional like a doctor. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

Notahappychappy
Notahappychappy
Great to read this and not feel so alone, my wife went through therapy two years ago, since then she has grown immensely. The thing was I was always her rock, and I never appreciated that she was as much mine. Last weekend we reached a crisis point as she has sought freedom to explore herself and I have tried to control her more and more. I have reached out for help and am waiting on a consultation. However even though I think that ASAD is one of my issues, I am still struggling to cope with the symptoms. Even… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Sorry to hear you are so sad but glad this article could help you feel less alone and that you are taking advantage of the many resources available to treat your symptoms. Coping with anxiety of any kind is never easy but there are ways to overcome it and we hope you and your wife can get through this together.

akshida
akshida

I’m going through a really rough time. My anxiety has been constant for 3 days and I feel helpless regarding some things in my life that are caused by separation anxiety. I experienced my first loss of my father when I was 3. I have tried contacting help yesterday. I live in Toronto and don’t know where to go, who to ask. It’s around Christmas time and I can’t find anyone available to speak to like therapists.

Andrew
Andrew
Hi Akshida, I hope you got through this awful episode ok and I’m sorry I did not see your post sooner. I am currently receiving email support from a lady called Paige Bartholomew which helps me to feel connected and safe. She has experience in helping people with anxiety issues and I can highly recommend you visit her website. You may have to open up a bit to her for a good connection but it’s well worth it to feel secure. In the meantime don’t let the anxiety go on for too long before getting help to get calm. Best… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius
Akshida, so sorry to hear you are experiencing pain and suffering at this time in your life. Especially around the holidays. Have you tried contacting the mental health crisis line at 1-888-893-8333 or the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch at (416) 789-9079? Maybe start there and if anything please reach out to friends and loved ones who can be there for you in times of need. Communities like this are also a good place to go to find more information and communities of others. We wish you the best of luck in your healing process and hope you get… Read more »
Andrew
Andrew
My dad passed away when I was 3 years old, I’m 22 now and only recently found out that I had been diagnosed with separation anxiety as a toddler. Reading this article and being told that I once had SAD explains a lot of things from my early teen years to this very day. I now know what it is that I’m experiencing and I know what I need to fix. I’ve been seeing a professional over the last few weeks but haven’t known what to say or do. But after reading this article I have a much better understanding… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Andrew, sorry to hear about your father but glad to hear this article helped you find clarity about your situation. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience with us! Best wishes to you.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Erian, so sorry to hear about your husband’s infidelity. That is not an easy situation to be in so we feel for you. But, glad to hear you found someone who can help you repair your relationship and hopefully your family is well on its way to a better place than it was before! Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story with us.

taylor
taylor
I’m 21 years old and I was just diagnosed. I am happy to see it’s been touched on because when I realized what it meant I realized that I have seen it in many people, including my closest friend. I wish mental disorders did not have the stigma they do. It’s so sad to see so many people struggle to open up, let go and just be happy. But it was seen as “insane” or “crazy” at 16. I was sent away from my home to receive treatment. For someone with separation anxiety, this just reinforced how much nobody loved… Read more »
jake
jake

My thoughts mirror yours exactly, to the tee, wish you the best I know where your coming from.

Sherries
Sherries

Thank you so much for being brave and talking about this. It helps to know others go through this too. What do you mean by come to peace with the wounds? I’ve retraced my steps realized why I have separation anxiety but it’s worse now that I’ve opened the wounds. I’ve fallen into a deep depression knowing I used people for comfort from my anxiety. And food. Does anybody else feel their anxiety in their chest and stomach?

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Sherries, so sorry to hear you are experiencing separation anxiety and feeling anxiety. Please see a doctor and seek a professional’s help if you need some additional support overcoming your depression. Thanks for reading and hopefully you will get to feeling better soon!

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Hi Taylor,
Thank you for your honesty – it can help others who are suffering too. You are a brave person and we wish you every happiness you deserve.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I’m really struggling and feel that this best describes what I am going through. I’m worried about speaking to a doctor as they just seem to give me more pills and send me on my way but I need to talk and need ways to help me not be so reliant on my friend.

Lorry Sanchez
Lorry Sanchez

I feel the same way I’m tired of reaching out to friends and family. It’s like they listen but they don’t understand. It’s like I’m drowning screaming for help but everyone just watching. I want professional help but I’m afraid of depending on medication as well but it’s a risk we need to take if we want to get better. I was diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety in late 2009 after reading this it makes more sense of how I really feel. Truth is I didn’t stay on my medication like i should of and it’s only gotten worse.

Juan Y
Juan Y
Likewise, I cannot help but feel completely depressed when my wife leaves the country for work. I become a total wreck. No one understands and she’s leaving in just a couple days for a week. I have no idea how to cope and the feeling of extreme loneliness has already set in and she hasn’t even left. What’s worse is that she’ll be on a long 20 hour flight. The fear of losing her to harm or safety issues is so overwhelming. And the feeling that she’s in a whole opposite timezone is debilitating…And I have no support group, family… Read more »
anonymous
anonymous

I hope you are feeling better, and if you are, please share your tips! The same thing is happening to me when my husband leaves. I don’t know what to do.

Notjustme?
Notjustme?
I have to chime in here from the other end! I am so grateful I found this post. I’m an actor who started traveling more for work this past year. I was fine on a four day gig where I worked 3 of the 4 days, but then booked a project a four hour flight away from home (which is nothing compared to half way around the world!) but I had A LOT of downtime in between shooting days. Leading up to that trip I was crippled by anxiety, so severe I had the shakes, nausea, felt like I was… Read more »
anonymous
anonymous
How are you feeling now? The SAME thing has happened to me! I have been with my husband 20 years (also high school sweethearts) and I am normally a very independent person. My husband was going to travel for a few days to see his family and I completely broke down and he could not leave. It’s not like he hasn’t left before, but I am starting to get increasingly anxious about it now for some strange reason. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t eat anything at all, and I am still very anxious and he is here. I know he… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Lorry, so sorry to hear you feel sad and/or alone. There are definitely others out there who can empathize with you and support you. Group therapy is a solution in addition to seeking spiritual guidance or a medical professional for help. Hope you get to feeling better and are on the path to recovery soon!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Just been diagnosed…and after reading the article on this subject it finally now all makes sense to me …I’m 44 years old and felt like this since my mother left my sister and I at the age of 4 and 2.

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