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What is Separation Anxiety Disorder and what it does?

06 Oct 2016

Zara was insecure, unhappy in her life. To her, it seemed that happy things are momentary, while the sadness lingers on. Her friendships were messy. In her relationship with her husband, she found crazy love. Her husband was passionate and she first time got someone to lean on and hold...

She just wanted to be with him, in love with him, physically present with him. She would do all sorts of things to keep him glued and around. 

She constantly strived to keep her husband close to her. If he got late at work, she would get worried, often cry... Her husband was initially impressed and her love evoked passion in him.

But soon it became an ordeal for him. Any business trip and she would call in sick at her work and go with him. She just wanted him around all the time. 

Sohail started getting angry and once bluntly asked her not to come along with him. This made her really panicky. She thought he would divorce her.

It made her lose all hope, and the will to survive. After a few fights, she contemplated suicide and felt majorly depressed. It was then, her husband brought Zara to us.

During the course of counseling, we found that Zara was the only child of her parents. As a child, she hated the mornings as her mother and father would go out to office leaving her at home. She hated coming back to the empty house after school. Even when here parents came, the only interaction she had with them was of work and school. She did not find the love, she needed.

With age, the reality set in, but she always remained apprehensive about letting go of people. It is not that working parents will have kids develop this anxiety but the flawed patterns of communication and care were the main reason.

Zara suffered from Separation Anxiety Disorder.

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.

Symptoms for Adult Separation Anxiety

• 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

Research Findings:

Research has found that significantly more women than men suffer from adult separation anxiety disorder. 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 Twenty Five 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-four. Adults aged forty-five to fifty-nine years old are less likely than their younger peers to experience this debilitating disorder.

Marital relations also get impacted with Separation Anxiety. Any business trip or temporary separation or fights take a toll on the person. 

Here are tips for adults coping with separation anxiety when away from a loved one.

•Get busy. Plan to be with friends, read a good book or enjoy a favorite hobby. If you can keep yourself from thinking about what is scaring you, your anxiety will go down and you won't behave in a way that will make you feel worse.

•Recognize that your emotional barometer is overly sensitized and may pick up false positives. Your partner hasn't forgotten you—he or she might simply be busy or taking some time off.

•Stop asking for reassurance. It may illicit the very response you fear the most—rejection. Over attention does create suffocation and people seem to drift away.

•Reframe your thoughts as positive. Don’t think: "My husband is going on a business trip and I will be alone." Think: "I have a wonderful husband. I will have time to catch up on things and plan a lovely reunion."

• Keep a journal. It is a good way to express your feelings without damaging your relationship. You can vent out without being judged.

If your anxiety is interfering with your daily life, seek professional therapy. 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.

Just Click the green chat button and Type "Counseling" to instantly get connected to a Guidance Psychologist Tm and know more about process and charges.

Tags: #Separation Anxiety Disorder #Anxiety