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One of the most challenging parts of being human is having emotions and affection for the people close to you. Even if you are not a showy person, you will always have people you love and care about. Sometimes, these emotions and attachments can lead to separation anxiety.
There are moments when separation can be a nasty business. Often times than not, it causes more damage to one’s self than others. And, it can be very unhealthy. It is also a doorway to facing more issues in the future if it is not addressed properly.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Basically put, separation anxiety is when a person is afraid of parting with someone or something, or being separated from someone or something they have grown to become attached to.
Separation anxiety in babies can start as early as 6 to 7 months, or it can occur from a year to two years old for some. When your baby has separation anxiety, they act or react in different ways, depending on the personality of a baby.
For adults, it can be a different case. Adults are more mature and know what is and is not – so, separation anxiety projected can be different from every individual. Sometimes, separation can also be equipped with depression and intense panic attacks.
Who Can Get Affected by Separation Anxiety?
Anyone who is everyone can face separation anxiety. It could happen to a few-months-old baby, it could happen to an adult, or it can happen to anyone who is full of life and happy. It could be unpredictable who it happens to, but you can tell when someone is facing separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety in Babies
Separation anxiety in babies may include panic and loud cries when you put them down to play. They would also be very clingy, and want you carrying them wherever or whatever you do. Sometimes, it could also appear as tantrums or asking for milk or food to keep your attention on them. For babies who do not know how to talk yet, they may just continue crying until they are sure you are not going to put them down or leave them.
In other circumstances, showing hesitance or dislike for people they are not familiar with could mean separation anxiety. At certain times, even their sleeping patterns may show disturbed sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night to check if you are around or not.
The best way to help your child in cases like this is to leave them with people they are close to or very familiar with. It does not only work as a distraction, but if you have work to do or errands to run, it could help your baby get used to other people as well. This will make them comfortable to see you come and go when you are busy, until they fully grasp that when you leave, you will return.
Avoid leaving the child without saying goodbye. If possible, avoid being seen by your child when you are about to leave their side.
As your baby grows up, it is best to help them understand how you need to work and run errands. Always keep their trust by not breaking a promise, or promising them you will get them a treat when you get back.
When a child is young and innocent, it is hard to win their trust. And, it is even harder to gain their trust again.
Do You Have Separation Anxiety, Too?
While it is known that your child has separation anxiety, it could also be possible that you may have it as well.
Now, separation anxiety can really affect adults – and, some people have it worse than others.
Signs of separation anxiety as a mother, a father or an adult in general is harder. You may have anxiety in general, you may get depressed and go through panic attacks. Some people would withdraw from other people entirely, cry out of the blue, sleep all the time, seem rude, or even become overbearing to the people you love.
Another common sign is worrying – for everyone’s safety, for your personal belongings. Sometimes, a simple text from someone or an unreplied message can cause high levels of anxiety and panic.
Separation from your children or your husband, separation from your own parents, separation anxiety can be triggered by a wide variety of things, even objects you look after. And, this differs from each and every individual.
Separation anxiety may result in post-traumatic stress disorders, panic disorders, social anxieties and chronic anxiety in general, and it is not something to take lightly.
If you have separation anxiety, it is best to help yourself as well as helping people you know who have the same situation.
In some situations when you are aware you are having panic attacks, or anxiety is getting overwhelming, take time to stop and just close your eyes. Don’t think of anything at all. Wipe out every idea that pops into your head. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Sometimes, it’s okay to just stop and do what you think is best for you; than stopping and overthinking things you know you can do but the fear gets in the way.
If there are times when it cannot be helped, consult your doctor. Ask for recommendations on what to do. Should you see a psychologist or a psychiatrist? Do not overthink it. It is best to hear your doctor’s opinion on this matter.
A friendly tip;
If you know someone who has anxiety in general, it would be good to be careful with your words and actions. They will tend to overthink and stress over some small things and it could cause friction between your relationship.
Simple comments such as, “you are creating your own problems,” or, “you overthink too much,” can really scar them.
One of the best cures to anxiety, or separation anxiety, is to be kind, and have open communication with people. We are all fighting our own battles.
Were we able to address what you needed to know about separation anxiety? Please, let us know through the comments section.