How to tell if you have abandonment issues

Abandonment fear is your fear or anxiety about approaching someone who has left you. This fear can be overwhelming and can arise from experiencing loss, neglect, or rejection early in life. People who struggle with fear of abandonment may have difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy relationships.

Behaviors shaped by parents and caregivers during childhood can influence attachment styles and feelings of security in future relationships. Inconsistent emotional support, attention, and intimacy from key people can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and fear.

This article discusses the types, signs, and causes of abandonment problems.

Types of

Attachment styles describe motivations for forming emotionally and physically significant relationships with caregivers. Attachment styles can also affect adult relationships. The nature of a person’s relationships throughout their life determines their beliefs, expectations, and attitudes toward relationships.

Some attachment styles include:

  • anxious
  • avoid
  • disorganized

anxious attachment

Anxious attachment is characterized by a need for emotional closeness and closeness. People with an anxious attachment style may be hypervigilant, worried about their worth in a relationship and their partner’s desire to be with them. This anxiety can lead to distress and insecurity.

avoidance of attachment

People with an avoidant attachment style may struggle with intimacy and intimacy. It may be important for them to maintain independence as there is a risk of injury in close proximity.

Avoidant people may view connection as unattainable or undesirable. As a result, they may become distant, distrustful of others, or have trouble staying open and vulnerable.

disorganized attachment

When parents or caregivers act in contradictory ways, it creates anxiety, confusion, and conflict. Inconsistent caregiver behavior can lead to fears, difficulties with emotion regulation, identity problems, and social functioning problems. As a result, people with disorganized attachments may display a combination of anxious and avoidant styles.

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A disorganized attachment style is sometimes observed in individuals with personality disorders.

adult abandonment

While the fear of abandonment usually originates in childhood, it can also surface in adulthood. For example, experiences in adult relationships, such as turbulent relationships or loss, can create abandonment issues.


Some signs of fear of abandonment include:

  • anxiety or depression
  • difficulty trusting others
  • fast growing relationship
  • interdependence
  • Difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Avoid people or situations where you may encounter rejection or separation
  • maintain an unhealthy relationship
  • Struggling to regulate emotions and pain
  • Panic related to the potential loss of an important person

destroy relationships

Fear of abandonment can cause someone to sabotage their relationship by constantly responding in anxious or negative ways. Additionally, due to issues of mistrust and a desire for autonomy, a person may have difficulty remaining open or close to a partner, which may lead to the end of a relationship.

separation anxiety

This type of anxiety occurs without a significant other like a parent, caregiver, or partner. People with separation anxiety may constantly seek reassurance from their partner to increase their sense of security.


childhood trauma

Things that can cause psychological and physical trauma in childhood include:

  • abuse
  • ignore
  • give up
  • environmental issues such as poverty

Additionally, dangerous or harmful situations created by a parent or caregiver can affect a child’s attachment style.


Losses associated with the death of a loved one, especially sudden and unexpected losses, can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress and abandonment issues.

divorce or separation

Problems in adult relationships can stem from a fear of abandonment. For example, relationship conflict, marital discord, or infidelity can contribute to anxiety.

unmet emotional needs

It is critical for individuals to feel supported, safe and have their emotional needs met from an early age. Feeling neglected, neglected, and unappreciated play a role in problematic attachment styles and abandonment issues.

stressful or traumatic event

Childhood trauma can shape a person’s attachment style and vulnerability to fear of abandonment. However, stressful or traumatic events experienced throughout the lifespan can also cause or exacerbate fear of abandonment.

how to respond

The first step in managing a problem is acknowledging its existence. Abandonment issues and fears can be ingrained. Being honest with your thoughts, emotions, and fears can help you start changing them.

Other ways to deal with abandonment fears or problems include:

  • Learn and use relaxation techniques
  • A support system for building trusting relationships
  • Self-reflection on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to your fears
  • Engage in self-care strategies, hobbies, or activities
  • Take care of yourself with regular sleep, balanced meals and exercise
  • Seek therapy if fear of abandonment is destroying your mental health and relationships


While some people can address abandonment independently, others may benefit from working with a mental health professional.

Research shows that the fear or trauma of abandonment can have long-term effects on an individual. Therefore, they may encounter the following problems:

  • self-abasement
  • anger problem
  • distrust of others
  • lack of intimacy
  • anxiety
  • Panic Disorder
  • frustrated
  • interdependence

In therapy, individuals can work with a mental health professional to determine the source of the fear of abandonment and how to deal with feelings of anxiety or distress. Therapy can be a useful place to learn effective communication strategies, set expectations, and establish healthy boundaries.

Additionally, therapy can help help people through traumatic events that can lead to abandonment issues.


Abandonment trauma involves experiences that make us feel insecure, insecure, and alone in childhood. This can become overwhelming and lead to symptoms of anxiety and distrust. Therapy and self-care techniques can help people with abandonment problems cope.

VigorTip words

Feeling neglected or abandoned can be traumatic. However, it is important to know that you are not alone and that you are loved. Coping with trauma takes time. If you are experiencing abandonment, seek help from a mental health professional or healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should you deal with trauma?

    Dealing with trauma with a mental health professional can provide a safe environment for addressing distressing thoughts, feelings, or events. A professional may start by building a therapeutic alliance to help you understand the source of your vulnerability and develop coping skills to manage emotional distress. After the skills are developed, you and your healthcare provider may begin to deal with the traumatic event, which may take time.

  • How does trauma affect the brain?

    Trauma can affect the brain by causing long-term changes in brain circuits and neurochemistry. In addition, the amygdala and hippocampus are two regions of the brain involved in regulating stress responses. Thus, trauma-related acute or chronic changes can affect these systems.