CONTENT WARNING: This post mentions self-harm and suicide.
There’s a sense of shame when it comes to codependency. Nobody wants to admit that they have dependency challenges. Nobody wants to admit that they are so dependent on one person and without them being there, they completely shatter.
The more I learn about my separation anxiety, the more I realize how much it affects so many areas of my life. Actually, it pretty much takes over my entire mind and body. Nothing is off limits.
Here are 5 unknown symptoms of adult separation anxiety that you might not have realized:
1. EXTREME DREAD
Separation anxiety causes extreme dread as soon as we find out the person we’re attached to has to leave. The second we get the news, we get a knot in our stomach, dizziness through our brain, and a heart that won’t stop breaking.
I’ve cried and broke down so many times because of the separation anxiety I have from my boyfriend. I can wake up next to him and still dread the minute he has to go to work, even if it’s 8 hours away. Heck, I can know he’s leaving a year from now, and I will dread every single moment leading up to it.
The fact of the matter is separation anxiety is completely terrifying. All-encompassing. It’s completely debilitating, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.
2. EXTREME JEALOUSY
Obviously, you can’t be with someone every single second of every day. Not only is it not possible, it’s not healthy. Everyone needs time for themselves.
People with separation anxiety understand this, but it’s still something very hard to accept. We easily get jealous when our attachment spends time with other people, such as friends or even family members. We can even feel jealous when they spend time doing activities without us.
Don’t get it twisted. We’re not needy. We didn’t choose to be like this.
As with basically every other type of anxiety, anger likes to show its ugly face. A lot of the time, our initial reaction is anger. Let’s face it. It’s really hard to control your emotions when you feel under intense stress.
Why would you do this to me? Why did you choose them over me? How come you don’t love me enough? Why couldn’t you have just stayed with me?
Don’t be surprised when we get into an argument or two. We’re not really surprised when the person we’re attached to starts the argument. Either way, it hurts tremendously.
Giving us advance notice can help us better cope versus when we’re blindsided at a moment’s notice. When we are separated, we expect our attachment figure to have their phone permanently glued in their hand. They better text back right away. And they better damn well call when we need to hear their voice.
4. SELF-HARM URGES
When my boyfriend spends his time with other people, I pace my room. I cry on the floor. I feel like he abandons me and doesn’t love me anymore. It’s like he doesn’t care that we’re apart at all.
I understand that these thoughts seem irrational. But when we’re in the moment, it’s really hard to cope when the person you need the most isn’t there. Our entire world falls apart in an instant, so we turn to the thing that seems to help us the most…Which definitely isn’t the healthiest coping mechanism
Whether it’s someone’s first experience, or they’ve been fighting a self-harm addiction, self-harm urges are a common thing seen with those with separation anxiety. Without doubt, my urges are the strongest when I’m away from my boyfriend.
5. SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
I get it. This sounds absolutely irrational. But that’s what anxiety is: Irrational.
Separation anxiety rarely infects lives by itself. It’s very common that it is seen with other mental illnesses, such as other anxiety disorders and depression. This makes coping with separation anxiety that much more difficult.
When nothing else seems to make the pain stop, thoughts of suicide often enter the brain. But suicide is a permanent fix for a temporary problem.
If you are suicidal, please get the help you deserve. We need you here.
- I Struggle with Extreme Separation Anxiety From My Boyfriend
- 5 Ways to Distract Yourself From Your Adult Separation Anxiety
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