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How To Get Over Separation Anxiety In Adults

Are You At Risk Of Developing Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

As mentioned above, more research is needed before reaching any conclusions regarding separation disorder. However, early evidence suggests women are more likely to develop separation anxiety. Other groups that stand a higher risk of experiencing SAD include people whove been divorced, separated, or are single.

Additionally, adults with a history of various psychological conditions are more vulnerable to developing a separation anxiety disorder. Some of the prevalent psychological disorders to note are:

Take Your Dog With You

I know its not always possible to bring your Weim to work or on your errands. However, if you can do it, its a great option. Not only will you eliminate separation anxiety, you will also spend more time with your dog. If you want to learn how to spend more time with your dog, I wrote an article here.

What Does Extreme Adult Separation Disorder Result In

Separation anxiety disorder can have profoundly adverse effects on the affected person as well as those around them. When suffering from SAD, the accompanying stress and symptoms can make life hard and a harrowing and confusing experience every day.

Moreover, SAD also impacts the people around you and those you care about. Chronic clinginess and attachment can be more than enough to take for spouses, parents, friends, and even children. Therefore, a separation anxiety disorder can affect all spheres of your life, including the social, marital, and personal aspects.

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Tips For Coping With Worrying

Separation anxiety disorder can feel like being stuck in a pit of dread, anxiety, stress, and worry about things and events out of your control. The constant worrying can result in diminished energy and trouble performing everyday tasks due to the obsessive thoughts clouding your mind. It can mentally and physically cripple you. So, it is smart to target the component of separation anxiety disorder that has the ability to leave you most exhausted: worry and anxiety.

Here are some tips for coping with the constant worrying and battling anxiety that stems from separation or thoughts of separation:

What Treatment Options Are Available For Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder

It is quite unfortunate that most cases of adult separation anxiety disorder go untreated. In many instances, the condition may be misdiagnosed, or subsequent conditions get noticed first, like in Sharons case study above.

Moreover, since adult SAD is a relatively new addition to the DSM-V, there are limited treatment options available. More often than not, treatment for other anxiety disorders is used in SAD treatment.

If you suspect youre developing or suffering from a separation anxiety disorder, its vital to seek professional help. Only a qualified professional can help you overcome SAD and lead a normal life.

SAD treatment options can be categorized into two major segments non-medication treatment and medication treatment.

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How Separation Anxiety Impacts Adult Relationships

It is not easy having separation anxiety in relationships.

To be the loved one of someone battling with the disorder can be just as stressful as having the disorder yourself.

Your attention is in constant demand, and it may feel like you can never calm or satisfy the fears of your significant other.

There may be times you feel trapped by the same insecurities and fears that have your loved one feeling like there is no escape. Unfortunately, loving or living with adult separation anxiety can become so taxing that the relationship can quickly crumble under stress.

What to do?

  • It is vitally crucial to the stability of every relationship in which one or both persons have adult separation anxiety. Each person has their support system separate from one another.
  • It is highly recommended that these support systems include a licensed professional that can help both partners develop coping tools to reduce the burden of ASAD on themselves and each other.

The support of friends and family is also essential to feel connected, social and supported within their romantic relationships.

What Happens If Separation Anxiety Is Left Untreated

When it comes to separation anxiety, adults can face even more socially isolating difficulties than children do. A significant percentage of the general population struggles with this condition, so its not unusual. This may be something to consider working out with a professional in a clinical setting. But for now, let us explain the risk of not seeking help for those living with SAD.

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How To Stop Adult Separation Anxiety

Because adult separation anxiety is only recently being recognized as a serious mental health problem, approaches to treatment are lacking. Yet there are some treatments that are thought to be potentially beneficial. If you believe you or someone you know has ASA, finding help is important. Once there is an awareness of the problem, identifying treatment is vital.

  • Countering Other Anxiety Treating your anxiety symptoms can be very helpful. Many people with ASA display obsessive thoughts very similar to OCD, and some experience anxiety attacks when left alone. Recognizing the symptoms of other anxiety disorders can be extremely advantageous. Click here to start my anxiety test and see what you can treat
  • Childhood Separation Procedures The same treatments that help children with separation anxiety may help adults as well. ASA can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as systematic desensitization – learning to be alone in a way that is calming and better for mental health. Some medications may also be recommended, and relaxation strategies can be implemented as well.
  • Support Groups Finding support can also be beneficial. Support groups for ASA may be a big help because it provides the person with additional social support beyond the person they’re connected to. Often one of the fears is losing that support so that a solid support group may be of assistance.

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Barking Howling & Whining

What is Separation Anxiety? Fear of Abandonment?

This is probably one of the most worrisome symptom. If you live in an apartment building , frequent barking and whining could get you in trouble with your neighbors and/or landlord to the point where youd need to move out.

Even if you live in a house, your neighbors wont appreciate your dog barking and howling for 8 or more hours straight. I wrote an article how to deal with Weim barking here. Alternatively, you can use an online training program like Brain Training For Dogs by a certified dog trainer to get rid of some undesirable behaviors.

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Effects Of Separation Anxiety On Mental Health

When left untreated, a separation anxiety disorder can increase the likelihood of developing other mental health disorders. For example, people suffering from separation anxiety are five times more likely to get addicted to drug and substance abuse.

The fear of being separated can also affect your moods and increase the possibility of experiencing mood-related disorders like depression and anxiety. When experiencing a separation anxiety disorder, youre also at a greater risk of developing personality disorders like borderline personality disorder and dependent personality disorder.

Do Something Meaningful For Each Other During Your Time Apart

Missing your boyfriend? Girl, channel that energy and do something sweet for that other person.

Spending time apart not only gives you some extra free time, it also provides you with the chance to gather perspective on your relationship. I can think of no better time to sit down and pen a hand-written letter to your love. This is such a lost art.

Writing is healthy and healing, but youll feel especially grounded as you write about what you love about your partner. Give it to them when they get back and watch their heart well up with gratitude.

Maybe your partner isnt into words. . Thats cool.

Do something that will be special and meaningful to them, that speaks to them in their language. It doesnt even need to be fancy. Has your wife been pestering you to clean out the garage? Why not tackle it while shes gone and give her an awesome surprise when she returns? These simple actions go a long way, I promise.

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Tips For Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Relationships

Do you struggle with in relationships? You are not alone. This is my personal story of my experience with separation anxiety from my partner, and the tools I used to help relieve and reduce my anxiety.

Absence makes the heart growanxious.

If you dont know what Im talking about, youre lucky. Chances are good that you dont experience any sort of adult separation anxiety in relationships. But if that opening phrase is all too clear, jump in and lets talk.

Having separation anxiety from a boyfriend, spouse or partner can be awful. It was for me for a long time. And while I still dont *love* being apart from my husband, Ive developed some ways to help myself better manage it. Im going to share those tips with you.

My Story

Ive always been a sensitive, emotional person, especially as a kid. As I grew into an adult, in many ways, that part of me didnt change.

Related: What I Remind Myself When Anxiety Makes Me Fearful of Losing the Ones I Love

Sure, I grew braver about some things and learned to laugh at myself and be more confident and strong, but anxiety followed me into adulthood. One of the ways it manifested was in separation anxiety in my relationship.

When my now husband Nathan and I were first together, we were long distance for a good year and a half. This was really tough on me, but the toughest part was always the saying of the goodbyes: the departure.

Related: What Living With OCD Is Like, in the Words of My 9-Year-Old Son

A Quick Note

It. Will. End.

How Can A Psychiatrist Help

Separation anxiety disorder: not just for kids

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.

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Doggy Daycare & Dog Walkers

Try to see if there is an available doggy daycare in your area or someone who is able to check up on your dog and/or take them for a walk. Alternatively you can ask if a friend or relative can take your dog for the duration youre going to be away.

If you have no one to take care of your dog while youre away, consider hiring somebody to do it. You can use services such as Trusted Housesitters to connect you with verified sitters.

Impact On Mental Health

Living in a state of fear causes us to be more reactive and make decisions from a place of fear or a place of not wanting to lose someone or something.

We therefore make decisions that aren’t usually from our heart, they’re more from our head, reacting to an imaginary negative outcome of the future. This state of being greatly affects our mental health, because it’s harder for us to experience joy and secure connection and attachment.

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How Do You Manage Separation Anxiety In Adults

With the use of proper techniques, practice, and determination, adults have an easier time managing separation anxiety disorder than kids. There are various practices that can improve your tolerance and help you to cope with detachment.

If youre only experiencing mild SAD symptoms, you should first try practical management techniques to overcome the symptoms and combat the situation. However, if the symptoms worsen, its advised to seek professional help for more assistance. Here are several practical and effective SAD management tips:

Separation From Spouse/ Partner

Do I have separation anxiety?

Being away from family and friendsis not an easy thing. When an individual is away from their spouse or life partner, anxiety and depression can increase. People suffering from separation anxiety spend most of their lives dreading parting from their partner or spouse. Experts believe that separation from a spouse can have drug-withdrawal-like effects on the brain.

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Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Pets

  • 1Spend quality time with your cat, dog, or other pet. Pets often experience separation anxiety because they simply arent getting enough attention when you are around. Spend at least an hour each day actively engaged with your pet, whether by playing, going for a walk, or petting and talking to it while you cuddle up on the sofa.XResearch source
  • Dogs are usually eager for any type of attention you can give, while cats can be more picky and apparently indifferent. Be prepared to follow the cats lead regarding when and how to shower it with attention!
  • 2Give your pet lots to do while youre gone. If your pet keeps busy with enriching activities while youre away, it will be less likely to experience loneliness or anxiety. Depending on your pet, try things like the following:XResearch source
  • Puzzle toys that require them to work for a treat.
  • Chew toys or scratching posts.
  • Music to listen to while youre away.
  • Perches, playhouses, towers, caves, etc.
  • 3Dont make a big deal out of your departures or arrivals. If you feel anxious or sad about leaving your pet, it might pick up on this and experience more anxiety on its end. Instead, treat your departures like theyre no big deal, with a minimum of fussmaybe just a quick pet and a simple GoodbyeIll see you soon.XResearch source
  • You can show enthusiasm when you return, but dont make it seem like it was an impossible ordeal to be away for a few hours. Just take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your pet.
  • Addressing Separation Anxiety In Children

  • 1Observe their behaviors and get a proper medical diagnosis. All children experience at least mild separation anxiety at times. However, if even the very thought of separation causes severe emotional or physical symptoms, allow their doctor to do an evaluation of their condition.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • A child with separation anxiety may do several of the following to avoid separations: throw tantrums describe physical illnesses like stomach pain or a bellyache become excessively clingy when youre around become unable to sleep alone.
  • About 4% of children between ages 7 and 10 have separation anxiety to a degree that warrants a clinical diagnosis.XResearch source
  • 2Prepare them for time apart with books, games, and role playing. Fear of the unknown is one of the major factors behind childhood separation anxiety. Prepare them for the experience of separation in a calm, supportive manner, using techniques such as the following:XResearch source
  • Reading childrens books that describe events like going to school for the first time.
  • Playing games ranging from peek-a-boo to hide-and-seek.
  • Role-playing together what a separation event, like staying at Grandmas house for the weekend, will be like.
  • Doing practice runs of getting ready and going to school.
  • Getting ready for bed and waking up in the morning.
  • Heading off to school and returning home at the end of the day.
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