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Thread: Separation Anxiety?

  1. #1

    Default Separation Anxiety?

    I have a very severe kind of separation anxiety with my girlfriend, I didn't want to put this in Adult Baby because it isn't exclusive to that. I just wonder if I'm putting too much of myself into her, I love her more than anything but it seems like I really can't have any sort of happiness without her and she's always really busy so I really need to sort this out soon.

    I always feel a heavy cloud of depression/anxiety during the evening and through the night after a certain time and she's the only one who can really ease it. But sometimes I won't see her for hours and I'm wondering how I can learn to be happy on my own.

    I'd really love some advice. Does anyone else relate this?

  2. #2

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    How often do you go between visits? I have a measure of anxiety due to separation from my fiancee but we deal with visits spaced anywhere from 2-6 months apart and spend a total of about 2 months per year together. Our coping methods may not be applicable if you're dealing with short periods of separation (1-2 weeks or less).

  3. #3

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    Whilst I can not relate, I can suggest the following:

    talk with her about this...
    Try to find out what exactly it is you're afraid of (loosing her - maybe?, love-insecurity?, previous experiences?...)
    I think whilst it is clearly an emotional issue, you can try to approach the situation with reasoning.
    Try to comprehend your own situation, what it is that makes you being afraid, anxious, etc...
    Analyze those fears, see if there's any "reality" to them or if it's "merely" a construct you can actively de-construct.
    Step by step.
    also if you've got any friends around, like trying to get a social life going when she's not around - that can greatly ease those issues.
    Find means to stay in touch when you're apart. But don't do stuff like calling every 30 seconds.
    Talk openly about those issues with her, maybe with some GOOD friends.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany View Post
    I have a very severe kind of separation anxiety with my girlfriend"..."..." I'm wondering how I can learn to be happy on my own.

    I'd really love some advice. Does anyone else relate this?
    Hi Bethany,

    My recollection of separation anxiety with a significant other didn't seem to be as much about what I worried about myself...but, what I worried about that might be going on out of my sight (or ability to control things). I had pretty good reasons to question that too, but I also had a significant degree of insecurity, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence issues all on my own too...

    In a haphazard sort of way... I think it all boiled down to control issues for me... I had my self believing that it was care, and concern, and deep love...and those things were quite true too...but that wasn't the whole story...I would later found out...

    According to www.healthcentral.com Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder...



    Are there any treatments for Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder?



    In the example given about “Stacey” who was in treatment under Dr. Katherine Shear, the patient was said to be successfully treated for her ASAD. In an MSN Health article about ASAD, it was reported that Dr. Shear used an antidepressant similar to Prozac to help reduce Stacy’s obsessive thoughts. In addition to medication the doctor also used a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called exposure therapy. This type of therapy exposes the patient to what they fear the most in short increments of time and then gradually increasing the length of time the person is exposed to their source of anxiety. In the case of Stacey, the doctor would separate her from her husband and help her to work through her fear to see that nothing disastrous was going to happen. Eventually Stacey was able to tolerate her husband leaving without her feeling of dread and anxiety.



    Aside from this case example there is not much in the literature to suggest any viable treatments for ASAD. There is a lack of research on this disorder in general and so information about how to effectively treat ASAD is also noticeably absent.
    - See more at: Adult Separation Anxiety - Understanding My Diagnosis - Anxiety
    Excerpts from www.calmclinic.com



    some forms of deep jealousy may also be due to separation anxiety, where the individual becomes far less trusting because they're subconsciously worried that someone will leave them. This is especially true if the jealousy is accompanied by anxious thoughts, such as a fear of being alone or irrational concerns about infidelity.
    Jealousy doesn't necessarily keep to attachment of a person...I was jealous of people being able to have fun, and seem so care free...of all the things I felt I had missed in life due to my upbringing... of all the flaws I was certain and convinced that I had... Oh, I do have flaws...many of them...as apparently I am inherently human...



    Those that are in relationships that are otherwise "bad" for their physical or mental health may be suffering from some form of adult separation anxiety, which is why they become afraid to leave the relationship.
    Which is something it did eventually become...I couldn't let go...



    Because there are no diagnostic criteria for ASA yet, it's difficult to say whether or not any of the above behaviors would be included, and research into adult separation anxiety is currently very slim. But there are reasons to believe that ASA is a very real problem, and affect the lives of countless adults.
    Symptoms of Adult Separation Anxiety

    Because there has yet to be a clear diagnostic tool set forth to better understand separation anxiety in adults, it becomes difficult to tell what is a symptom of ASA and what may simply be an adults personality. The best way to understand what ASA is, is to view the symptoms of separation anxiety in children and see how they can manifest as adults. In children, symptoms of separation anxiety include:

    Distress when attached from a specific figure or figures.
    Excessive worry about losing these figures.
    Anxious, "worst case scenario" thinking about separation.
    Trouble sleeping when away from a specific person.
    Physical complaints when separation appears eminent.

    One might also add the belief that the person cannot live without another person, or that their quality of life will suffer dramatically.

    Adult brains are much more advanced that the brains of children, so it's likely that adult separation anxiety will reveal itself in different ways. Nevertheless, severe distress at the thought of being without someone is very likely to be a problem of ASA, and some variation of the above list would likely fit into any diagnostic criteria.


    How to Stop Adult Separation Anxiety

    Because adult separation disorder is only recently being recognized as a serious mental health problem, there aren't many treatments that have been developed specifically to address the disorder. But there are some treatments that may be beneficial. If you believe you or someone else has ASA, finding help is important. The first step is admitting that there is a problem, because combatting ASA takes a conscious awareness of your separation anxiety symptoms. Then you can try some of the following:

    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 a solid support group may be of assistance.

    Research into ASA needs to continue before it's easy to recommend treatment, but the above list has been effective for those with ASA in the past. You should also make sure that you're treating any other anxiety and stress issues as well, since these tend to exacerbate ASA symptoms.

    I've helped many people with adult separation anxiety overcome their fears, but you have to start with my free anxiety test. Only by addressing the symptoms can a treatment really be advised.

    So if you haven't yet, click here to begin.
    I had good results with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and a relatively short term treatment with medication to dull the excessive stimulation so I could function rationally and thoughtfully...

    It could be you...it could be her...or as in my case...it turned out to be both of us who were dysfunctional... Start with you, and see where to go from there...

    It's all in the perspectives...

    In the words of the otherwise fictional Dr. Frasier Crane...
    "I'm listening..."
    -Marka

    --------------added-----------
    I'd like to point you to this blog post which talks about anger and other feelings which may result in anxiety...

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny;bt31978
    "..."..."
    http://www.adisc.org/forum/blogs/fro...l#comment31978 See tiny's response...
    Last edited by Marka; 19-Feb-2014 at 02:30.

  5. #5

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    Do you have unreasonable temper outbursts to your gf when she tells you, or you realize she's not going to be with you? Do you suffer from depression, and do you self harm. Have you hurt yourself? I ask these questions because I suffered from these symptoms through high school and college. It's a symptom of Borderline Personality disorder, and it's more common in girls than boys.

    That said, some of us attach strongly to others. I always had that one, very good friend who I had to be with. If I couldn't, I was mad at them, mad at myself, depressed and hurt myself out of frustration. I needed help, but didn't get it. Eventually, I walked away from it and lived by myself for a while. Over time I dated and married, now tied to that "one person" for a lifetime. Problem solved.

    You said your gf would go out on dates. and that raises some questions. If she's your gf, why isn't she out with you. I'd be depressed too. I hope this works out for you.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany View Post
    I have a very severe kind of separation anxiety with my girlfriend, I didn't want to put this in Adult Baby because it isn't exclusive to that. I just wonder if I'm putting too much of myself into her, I love her more than anything but it seems like I really can't have any sort of happiness without her and she's always really busy so I really need to sort this out soon.

    I always feel a heavy cloud of depression/anxiety during the evening and through the night after a certain time and she's the only one who can really ease it. But sometimes I won't see her for hours and I'm wondering how I can learn to be happy on my own.

    I'd really love some advice. Does anyone else relate this?
    This isn't separation anxiety. It's more closely related to codependency. It is loosely defined as the persuit of self-identity or personal justification through an external means. This seems like neither. It could be (simply) perhaps a critical time in your life and she is someone who embraces your thoughts and feelings.

    I can relate to this.

    I went through similar thought, feelings, and contemplations when I was younger. All is not lost. Make the most you can out of it. I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Enjoy what is there. Those feelings are golden and are what fuel who we ultimately are.

    Quote: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -unknown

  7. #7

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    I'm wondering how I can learn to be happy on my own.
    What you've described has some elements of co-dependency, but sounds to me more like being inexperienced with relationships and dealing with such emotions in general. It's a lesson learned for many after break-ups usually that they finally find themselves.

    My main concern is that if your partner leaves, so goes your self worth and happiness. Not so good. At least you can admit you have an issue with that. Ultimately I can provide a slew of advice, but this is often something people have to learn on their own.

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany View Post
    I have a very severe kind of separation anxiety with my girlfriend, I didn't want to put this in Adult Baby because it isn't exclusive to that. I just wonder if I'm putting too much of myself into her, I love her more than anything but it seems like I really can't have any sort of happiness without her and she's always really busy so I really need to sort this out soon.

    I always feel a heavy cloud of depression/anxiety during the evening and through the night after a certain time and she's the only one who can really ease it. But sometimes I won't see her for hours and I'm wondering how I can learn to be happy on my own.

    I'd really love some advice. Does anyone else relate this?

    Wow. I was there just 4-5 years ago my friend. I was year in school and it was all about me. Please do not take this the wrong way and please do not be offended by anything I post as I am trying to offer some suggestive ideas to help you through this developmental stage in your relationship with your girlfriend.

    When I was dating and just as I joined this site. I had really rough separation anxiety. At this point you are a huge step ahead of me and understanding what you are experiencing.

    I would worry about my girlfriend nonstop. I would get sick to my stomach. I would go to bed stressing. Of course all of this was not good for my overall health and well-being and it is not good for yours nor the health of your relationship. Now it took me a while to find some steps to recover from this problem and with the help of our Church, family and friends (and some members from this site - thank you) I was able to build a better solid foundation that was both healthy and productive.

    First, you need to realize that biggest thing is that you and your girlfriend have needs.

    Second, you will need to take some time to really interview your girlfriend and find out what those needs are and at the same time find out when she needs extra support. (for me I wrote this stuff down during our counseling sessions)

    Third, work on a goal orientated approach on meeting her needs.

    *** At this point you are wondering what about my needs ... well you are entering a relationship that you expect to last the next 80 to 90 years, right? If you answered no then you really have to work on what it means to be in a relationship.

    At this point I think I might have hit it home a relationship is about service to others.

    For example, you go to work to serve your Company. Yes you get a paycheck. Guess what that pays bills, savings and yes taxes. If you plan it right you might have 3-6% to spend on yourself and your girlfriend. Really? Yes; really! So it is not about what you can buy her it comes down your service to her.

    Now how does this help with your separation anxiety?

    For me, when I took my focus off what SHE could do for me and helping me with dealing with my issues of stressing and fear when she was gone and started forward thinking on how I can prepare to serve her WHEN she returned it became so much easier.

    This is what I mean. Let's say I leave for work at 4:30 and catch the train at 5:15 and at work by 6:00. During that time I generally set up two things from phone a text reminder to my wife about dinner and what I am planning so she is prepared. I am serving her. I am taking care of her. The second thing I do is send a text to our nanny with a list of things that I will need from the store for dinner. Again serving my wife. Now somethings I do get a little worried so I might order flowers (not every week but sometimes).

    At lunch I will call her and instead of a bs conservation it is agenda driven at first with how I can serve her. First, what time do you need me home (not do you want me home early as that is a passive statement)? Second, what do you need me to bring home (not do you need anything - again avoid being passive)? Third, I fill her in on any bills I have paid, things I have recorded for us, and then lead into open plans. Remember, to find ways to serve.

    When I get home I begin with starting dinner (believe it or not it is 60/40 in the kitchen as my wife is an awesome cook) and taking care of our son. At this point is where my wife serves me (kind of our work in progress ) and she fixes a very nice tea and coffee (depending on the night)

    Remember when you are serving your girlfriend you will notice that you are not separated from her but forward thinking on taking care of her and not worrying about your needs of just wanting to have her company.

    Good luck - trust me this did not happen overnight and is still a work in progress but always find ways to offer your services proactively and not just look for her company. Relationship is about service. In return if the relationship is right she will find ways to serve you, too. But do not look for rewards in what you do for others as it will fail.

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