What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) or (SepAnx), is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g. a parent, caregiver, significant other or siblings). It is most common in infants and small children, typically between the ages of 6–7 months to 3 years, although it may pathologically manifest itself in older children, adolescents and adults. (Source:Wikipedia)
Having Separation Anxiety is no joke. It is like any other Anxiety and if you think that is a mild type, it’s not. Have you ever felt the feeling of being alone when so many people surrounds you just because you are not in the presence of something you are comfortable with? Like a child without its teddy bear, like a new-born baby without the presence of its biological mother. You feel cold, you feel helpless. You feel lost.
Even aged people can feel this and it starts at a young age, it develops. Some get better and some get worse. In my case, I got worse. When I was young, my brother and I were always left in the care of our caretakers. When I wake up my mom would not be there and when she comes home I would be dead asleep. My separation anxiety worsened every year. Here are the signs that you might have got it as well:
1. You Freak Out A Lot
When one of your friends would leave the group, you would ask them immediately where they would go. When a loved one is holding your hand and they let go of it just for a split second, you would completely freak out. When standing in a crowd, you constantly look all over the place for someone or somewhere you knew you are comfortable in. You freak out in large spaces thinking that nobody is there to guide or protect you.
2. You Feel Lonely
Even in a crowded place, you feel lonely just because you are not anywhere near the person or the place you are strongly attached with. You feel alone. You feel so cold.
3. Very Difficult To Detach
This is the major problem of those who are experiencing SepAnx, this happens when a loved one left for good. It is very difficult to divert attention or thoughts to different things. Especially the feeling, you would automatically fall apart and wait for something or someone to be attached with again.
4. No Will to Live
You shut down. You no longer know how to feel or function. You cannot leave the boundaries of your home or the arms of your loved ones. Your life is the bicycle and they are your training wheels, you cannot move without them beside you.
5. Feeling VERY Agitated or Angry
You become angry when they just went to the store to buy something or they left without saying good-bye. You are feeling troubled that they won’t come back but you would not show it on the outside, instead you would be angry.
6. Cannot Sleep Alone
You cannot sleep alone thinking that a monster would come and take you away from them. Also, you experience having nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling of hopelessness.
7. Excessive Jealousy
You see them with someone else, you freak out. You have this fear that they will leave you soon for someone good enough. You become jealous and have this poison inside you that’s trying to get out. You feel insecure, you feel worthless and you feel like nothing.
8. Uncontrollable Tears
You become emotional. You cry over the smallest things like when their skin is not touching yours. You have this burden inside, a heavy feeling as if you are not important.
9. Too Clingy
You are too clingy. You cling too much, you are too sweet, too near, too close. You always want to be in a situation where you are touching. Where they would not be able to get some space to breathe.
10. Always Worrying or Overthinking
OVER THINKING. Always. Always thinking what if I do this and that. What if I did something wrong, what if they leave me because of it. You constantly torture your mind of the things you did and the things you didn’t do. The words you said or your attitude, and the way you behaved. Everything is a big deal to you, because there are things you didn’t want to lose.
So, there they go. It is always different for everyone but these are mainly all the things people with SepAnx are experiencing mostly every day. If you think that you have them, try to tell someone because in this world you cannot depend on anyone else. You only have yourself. And know that you are not alone. I’m with you.