Abandonment issues can affect a person’s ability to trust other people, causing strain on their life and relationships. Examples include:
- Giving too much and then getting disappointed when feelings are not reciprocated
- Feeling jealous of others
- Lack of trust in others
- Constant feeling of insecurity in romantic relationships
- Always on the edge of controlling a partner
- Relying on a partner for all emotional needs
- Tendency to overreact when upset with a partner
While anyone can suffer from abandonment issues, the most vulnerable population includes people who constantly try to please people or who want constant reassurance that they are loved.
What is the long-term impact of abandonment issues on a child?
Childhood experiences play a vital role in developing your psyche when you become an adult. A traumatic experience, such as parental separation or divorce or parental neglect, can put a child at a greater risk of certain conditions in adult life:
- Mental health issues
- Personality disorders
- Narcissistic traits
- Antisocial traits
- Delayed development
- Decreased ability to focus
- Impaired memory and learning skills
- Chronic health conditions
Such children are more likely to become overly sensitive to the ups and downs in their interpersonal relationships. Their ability to regulate and control their emotions and pacify themselves in emotionally challenging situations may be greatly diminished.
What causes abandonment issues in children?
A child is most likely to suffer from emotional abandonment when their parents:
- Do not allow them to express themselves emotionally
- Keep making fun of their child instead of encouraging them
- Pressure the child to be perfect or excel in everything
- Do not provide the child with consistent affection and warmth, leaving them vulnerable to feelings of fear and loneliness
How to manage abandonment issues
People suffering from abandonment issues should first try to understand what is fueling their feelings of fear, insecurity, or loneliness. They can then take steps to avoid triggers.
Opening up to parents, partners, or close ones is a great way to release pent-up feelings and help them understand your perspective. Such discussions can help eliminate unnecessary fear and clear up misunderstandings.
Experts recommend two ways of treating abandonment issues:
- Therapy or counseling: Therapy sessions can help the person identify the root cause of their fears. The therapist can help them replace negative thought patterns with positive ones, as well as establish healthy behaviors and relationships with their parents or partners. If the person is going through marital issues, a marriage counselor may be able to help.
- Self-care: Self-care includes doing things that make you feel happier and at peace. These include activities such as journaling, taking walks, and pursuing hobbies (such as gardening, singing, or dancing).
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