Separation Anxiety in Adults with Depression

As someone who has experienced both depression and severe separation anxiety, I know firsthand how challenging these conditions can be to live with. For me, my separation anxiety is rooted in a traumatic event from my childhood. When I was 10 years old, my mother left our home to be with another man for just one night. The night she left, she physically pushed me aside as she ran out the back door, leaving me feeling rejected and abandoned. I remember feeling like I was in shock, unable to fully process what had just happened.

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As a child, on that night, I was fully aware of my mother’s absence when she left our home. While she was gone, I felt a deep sense of loss and fear, and I struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Although my parents eventually reconciled and my mother returned home, the memory of that traumatic event continues to haunt me. The fallout is that I have been left with this mental scar and a fear of being abandoned ever since.

As I grew older, I began to notice how my anxiety and fear affected my relationships with others. I would often struggle to form close connections, and when I did, I would hold on tightly, afraid that I might lose the person I cared about. These feelings have only intensified over time.

Living with depression and severe separation anxiety can be a constant battle, but it’s important to know that there is hope for recovery. With the right support and tools, it is possible to manage symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.

What is Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a condition that involves excessive fear and distress when separated from someone you are attached to. This can include parents, partners, or close friends. While it is often associated with children, it can also affect adults, particularly those who have experienced trauma or loss in the past. For me, my fear of being separated from loved ones has become a major source of anxiety and has even led to difficulties in my daily life.

What many people don’t realize is that there is often a strong link between separation anxiety and depression. When you are constantly worried about losing someone, it can be difficult to experience joy or feel motivated to engage in activities you once enjoyed. This can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness – which are all common symptoms of depression.

There is Hope

If you are struggling with separation anxiety and depression, it’s important to know that there is help available. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Talk to a mental health professional: Talking to a mental health professional is an essential step in managing separation anxiety and depression. A therapist or counselor can help you explore the underlying causes of your symptoms. They can also help to develop effective strategies for coping. One approach that may be helpful is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety and depression. Through CBT, you can learn new coping skills and develop a better understanding of your feelings and behaviors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and shop around until you find the right fit. Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, and it can be an important step toward improving your mental health and overall well-being.
  2. Join a support group: Talking to others who have experienced similar struggles can be a great source of comfort and validation. Look for support groups in your community or online. As a matter of fact, if you are reading this now, you have found a support group.
  3. Practice self-care: One important aspect of managing separation anxiety and depression is practicing self-care. For me, I draw as a coping mechanism when I’m feeling down. If you see me nose-deep in my iPad, it’s likely because I’m struggling with my mental health. While drawing may not work for everyone, there are many other self-care activities that can help. Spending time with loved ones is my favorite way to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, while exercise is something I find less enjoyable. However, regular exercise has been shown to be an effective way to manage mental health symptoms, so it’s important to find a form of exercise that works for you. Whatever self-care activities you choose, remember that taking care of yourself is essential to managing your mental health.
  4. Consider medication: In some cases, medication may be helpful in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression. I take 150mg of Sertraline every morning. Talk to your doctor or a psychiatrist about whether this is a good option for you.

Closing

Separation anxiety and depression can be difficult conditions to live with, but they are also highly treatable. By seeking support and developing coping strategies, it is possible to manage these symptoms and lead a fulfilling life. Remember, you are not alone, and there is always hope for recovery.

Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation. Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me. 

- Psalm 27:9-10 (HCSB)

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If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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