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OpryLeigh's avatar

Do you have a problem with seperation anxiety? If so, how do you deal with it?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25265points) July 5th, 2009

I know to other (slightly saner) people it is irrational but I really struggle when I have to (temporarily) be parted from certain people. I become overwelmed with fear that I will never see them again and I imagine every possible reason that they may not return. My loved ones are aware of this but they don’t know how bad it is, I think they see it more as a quirk of mine rather than a genuine problem but it eats me up and I am tearful and scared all the time. Any advice or reassurance that I’m not alone would be much appreciated.

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21 Answers

tadpole's avatar

you poor thing…you are not alone…Everyone suffers this to just deal with it better as you get older….sounds a bit trite maybe…but it’s true…you gain life experience and problems that were once overwhelming become easier to deal with, to put in place….i would say nearly everyone in a relationship, for a start, gets this problem…otherwise why would need to be with someone if you didn’t miss them when they were away from you…it shows you care, and that often means pain….you’ll get there!!

marinelife's avatar

This is something that if it is impacting you this much, you should seek treatment for. It is crippling your life and more importantly could cripple the lives of those you love.

YARNLADY's avatar

I suggest counseling. It did wonders for me after the loss of my first two husbands.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I agree, get treatment. I have medication to deal with mine.

Darwin's avatar

I don’t have it really, other than a slight sadness whenever I part from someone I care about, but boy, does my son have it. I can’t even leave the room without him becoming perturbed about where I am going and when I will come back. He seems constantly convinced that I will abandon him, even if I go downstairs while he is in his bedroom.

He has been in counseling for this and other issues for almost ten years now. He seems to be getting slightly better but has a long way to go.

I, too, suggest finding a counselor who can help you develop personal tools to lessen your anxiety.

loser's avatar

I just bark.

Bri_L's avatar

I have not really found a way yet. When I am away from my kids or vise versa it is very difficult. Sometimes I call to say hi. Other times I just really concentrate on what I am doing to make the time go fast. It is an unfortunate thing for me because I have OCD and depression so it isn’t easy.

susanc's avatar

Little panic attacks. You can get help from desensitization (behavioral) therapy. You’re habituated to feeling as scared as you do; habits can be changed. You’ll still love and treasure your people just as much. You somehow didn’t learn to believe they’ll come back after an absence. They always have, right? But you need to practice knowing this till you believe it.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I have that problem too. For me it’s not actual thoughts or fears of anything specific. I just feel like my chest is going to explode and extremely anxious and unhappy. I won’t be able to think about anything else except how much I need that person. I will usually cry, and I might not be able to stop for hours. I’ve been that way since I was a child. I’ve gotten better at hiding the exterior symptoms now that I’m an adult, but I still feel the internal ones just as strongly. Sometimes I can bottle them up and hold them in, but usually it’s too overwhelming. I can’t give you any advice, but I can say, you’re certainly not alone in it. Best of luck!

sccrowell's avatar

Oh my gosh… There really is a name for this condition… I consider it my second greatest fear in my life. When my youngest daughter moved to Maui almost two and a half years ago, it almost became crippling. I would have panic attacks, I couldn’t breathe, I’d constantly think in what if’s. Oh my, the scenario’s that would play through my mind. And cry? All the time. I couldn’t sleep. And when I did, it was just as bad as I would dream the events. I finally broke down and told my then boyfriend and now husband. I woke up terrified and crying. I remember finding him in his office and telling him every part of my dream. He must have known just how frighten I was, because he said, let’s go to bed and just held me, he ever so gently rubbed my back shoulders. Eventually, I fell asleep only to wake and tell him that he could stop that needed his sleep too. But no… He just kept rubbing my back even though his hand(s) were beyond cramped. Those of you who know him, know what I am talking about. How hard it is for him to do that… WTF(my wonderful husband) is helping me through this disorder or helping me to deal with it. God and I both know how blessed I am.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@sccrowell: What is the name of the condition?

graynett's avatar

You must tell yourself “feelings are not facts” I will go by what I ‘Know’ not how I feel and the thing that I fear the most will control me and then take control of your life ((LOL easy said then done!!!))

Blondesjon's avatar

Why?!? Where are you going?!? When are you coming back?!?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Darwin I know that feeling, even if someone I love just leaves the room I am worried because I can’t SEE that they are safe and I am not truly relaxed until I can see them again. Of course I don’t let them know this (other than the odd jokey comment) because it would seem very strange to someone who didn’t understand these feelings.

If someone doesn’t answer their phone when I call I also feel panicky.

sccrowell's avatar

@La_chica_gomela, the exact name I don’t know, but, at least I can now better describe how I’m feeling. By saying it’s like, Separation Anxiety Disorder, I thought that was the name…. I’ll have to ask m Dr.

timothykinney's avatar

There was a spiritual leader who used to say “Practice the wound of love.”

Although it’s difficult, being more sensitive can be construed as a good thing because it opens you up to greater compassion.

Said another one, it’s difficult to be motivated to change anything until you experience the suffering that is in the world. Mother Teresa used to spend time with the sick and dying in order to replace her ego with compassion.

Good luck.

tadpole's avatar

the wound of love…sounds like a useful euphemism to remember :)

augustlan's avatar

This is but one of many types of anxiety. Counseling and drugs can be extremely effective, and I highly recommend you seek treatment. When you are better able to deal with these issues, you’ll wonder why on Earth you ever waited! It has changed my life.

tadpole's avatar

i would avoid drugs if you can, simply because you might find it difficult to come off them later….try therapy definitely….

graynett's avatar

As luck would have it I don’t. But I make up for it with lots of other disorder. My main one is a fear of nibs you know the one we used at school 50 yrs ago when they “CLICK” or cross over Silly is’nt it. The TV has a program call Castle about a writer and a policewoman and use a pen with a nib in the title and my hairs stand up just thinking about it YUCK

Bri_L's avatar

@graynett – welcome to Fluther! That is wild! Did you have something happen?

I have stuff like that to but of course now when I go to tell you I can’t think of any.

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