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How can I separate myself from this separation anxiety

  • Thread starter whatseemstobetheprob
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whatseemstobetheprob

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
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8
Location
England
Hi all,

I stumbled across this whilst serchinf on by inflexible “am I losing my mind”
It may seem a little extreme but let me explain a little better.
I am a middle aged mum of two,
I have a wonderful relationship (not with their dad he left during the pandemic)
But ever since I can remember I have had this real issue with anxiety. It’s been very bad lately and after extensive googling (as my own GP won’t take me seriously) it seems I am suffering separation anxiety. Whenever my partner goes anywhere I feel like I’m going to throw up. Along with other things. Sweats. Anger. Headaches. Bad tummy.
I am terrified he won’t come back. Is he going to die? Am I? Will he realise I’m not worth it? Will he find someone else?
The list of worries is endless. I didn’t realise how bad it was and looking back I realise I have been the same in every single relationship. I’m also the same with my children. It’s relentless. When they are with their dad I constantly call, if he doesn’t answer I’m convinced something terrible has happened. They have died in a crash, his gas boiler exploded, he has ran away with them.
I thought I was crazy but then… I googled it and found I’m not alone after all (which is ironic as that’s my worry).
so can anyone tell me how to combat this? Has anyone overcome it? Can it be “fixed”.
I can’t continue this way. It is ruining my relationship and my life.
any advice or even a friendly “hey I have this too” would be appreciated, thanks in advance x
 
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Amyjane8812341

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Oct 29, 2018
Messages
225
Hey

Your not alone in this. I have often felt the same about my husband and child. I cant say that I have ever truly fixed it but I can say when my anxiety generally is under control I feel this a lot less. Then when I am unwell with my anxiety I feel this more so. Have you ever spoken spoken a professional about it ?
 
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whatseemstobetheprob

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
8
Location
England
Hey

Your not alone in this. I have often felt the same about my husband and child. I cant say that I have ever truly fixed it but I can say when my anxiety generally is under control I feel this a lot less. Then when I am unwell with my anxiety I feel this more so. Have you ever spoken spoken a professional about it ?
Thank you for replying!
I have had cbt for anxiety for three years and I’m waiting to be referred again for some help but in the meantime at least I have some idea of what’s wrong with me.
can I ask how your partner copes? I know how tough it must be on people in our lives but support is so important
 
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Amyjane8812341

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That good you have some helped lined up. I have had treatment on and off for most my life with not much success that was untill my last lot of cbt I really felt the man got me and he did really help . That was nearly two years ago now and unfortunately I'm not feeling well again so most likely will need more. As for my partner he generally copes well with it but I know he must get a little fed up from time to time with me being in a constant state of anxiety. I do try here and there to say I'm sorry if I am causing him any grief and that I appreciate his patience and all he does to support me xx
 
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whatseemstobetheprob

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
8
Location
England
That good you have some helped lined up. I have had treatment on and off for most my life with not much success that was untill my last lot of cbt I really felt the man got me and he did really help . That was nearly two years ago now and unfortunately I'm not feeling well again so most likely will need more. As for my partner he generally copes well with it but I know he must get a little fed up from time to time with me being in a constant state of anxiety. I do try here and there to say I'm sorry if I am causing him any grief and that I appreciate his patience and all he does to support me xx

I am sorry you are more feeling great again.
move had general cbt on and off for years but it’s not helped. Maybe I have a better idea of what the type of anxiety is I can get some tailored help? I just want to live a fairly normal life where I don’t go crazy every time he has to go out. My ex husband didn’t even go to the shop alone for six years because he thought by giving in and being around me all the time he was helping. I think it possibly made it worse because now in my new relationship I can’t cope that my new partner goes out and about and leaves me at home.
I guess we will see how well the therapy goes my first appt is 10th January. Are you on a waiting list for help too? It must get tiresome for them but I guess it’s what they signed up for so patience is a must. As for my children they know I smother them with love, I have no idea how I will cope when they move out. Maybe I’ll just convince them to stay forever rent free and fed!
 
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Amyjane8812341

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It took me to meet the right cbt therapist to find the root of my problems. Hopefully at your upcoming appointment you manage to find a root causes and you can get some help. I was discharged from my mental health team at the begging of covid after being with them for 9 years so tomorrow I am going back to the gp to ask for help again. With regards to how your ex husband was , I think your right although he thought he was helping at the time in the long run it makes things worse. For example when my mum was alive she would always make all my phone calls for me because she knew i found it hard then when she died I was at a loss. my husband will be there and support me to make calls but will not do it for me. Although its hard I know he is doing the right thing as the only way I find of getting better at things like this is to face it.
 
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whatseemstobetheprob

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Messages
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Location
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It took me to meet the right cbt therapist to find the root of my problems. Hopefully at your upcoming appointment you manage to find a root causes and you can get some help. I was discharged from my mental health team at the begging of covid after being with them for 9 years so tomorrow I am going back to the gp to ask for help again. With regards to how your ex husband was , I think your right although he thought he was helping at the time in the long run it makes things worse. For example when my mum was alive she would always make all my phone calls for me because she knew i found it hard then when she died I was at a loss. my husband will be there and support me to make calls but will not do it for me. Although its hard I know he is doing the right thing as the only way I find of getting better at things like this is to face it.
It seems you have a great husband.
It is so difficult when you are with someone who doesn’t help or makes it worse, or worse punishes you for having the condition in the first place. I moved out at 14/15 and in with an older man who did everything for me. For ten years I didn’t ever once even know how to put electric on the meter so when we split up I was completely lost. Then I married someone who was there every single day for 8 years. Although he didn’t do everything for me he never left me alone and never went out without me. Then when he left it was hard to cope. I was making good progress with my new partner but it seems old habits crept back and I am anxious all the time. Continually worried I will lose him.
do you know if there are support groups for this kind of thing and if so have you ever attended any? I’m sure speaking with likeminded people will help. I mean tonight I feel relief that I am not barking mad and alone in these feelings although I don’t wish it on you or anyone. x
 
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Amyjane8812341

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How odd I also left home at 15 with an older man I lived with him for 8 years. Then we split up and I met my husband.
I have not been to any support groups that deal with this in particular but my last cbt therapist was brilliant at talking through it and getting me to a place I could let go off some of the anxiety I had. Admittedly this has crept back of late thus why I am looking for help again. But I do belive if you find the right person to talk to they can help you. I'm glad talking is helping this place is great for that xxxx
 
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Aurelius

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Aug 14, 2018
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Many adults suffer from some form of separation anxiety. Often it is medically unrecognised because until very recently it was seen as a 'childhood disorder'. The most recent international diagnostic classification of disorders is ICD-11 (World Health Organisation - WHO). Unlike its predecessors ' ICD-11 does not separate childhood from adult disorders, rather recognizing that the same disorders occur across the life span, with developmentally distinct presentations'.

ln ICD-11, Separation Anxiety Disorder:

  • Can be diagnosed in adults as well as in children.
  • The focus of apprehension is separation from attachment figures with whom the individual has a deep emotional bond. In your case the attachment figures are your partner and your children.
  • Specific manifestations of fear or anxiety related to separation vary according to the individual’s developmental level. Although you are an adult, you seem to experience many of the same symptoms as those often associated in the past with childhood separation anxiety:
  1. Distress when separated from a specific person or persons you are attached to.
  2. Excessive worry about losing these people.
  3. Anxious, "worst case scenario" thinking about separations.
  4. Physical complaints/symptoms during separation, including those frequently experienced in panic attacks.
Do you also have trouble sleeping when your partner and/or children are away? If so, you should add this as number 5 on the list.

The ICD-11 guidelines require that the apprehension, which includes worry, be excessive and out of proportion to the circumstances, which yours arguably is.

This may all be new to your GP, as it is to many health professionals. Because it is a new area of diagnosis knowledge of what may or may not help may not be readily at hand. Up until now many adults presenting with separation anxiety symptoms showed the same signs as those generally associated with OCD and OCD based panic attacks. The obsession is about separation, the compulsion is about the behaviours to try to manage the anxieties, and the panic attack is about the physiological symptoms. CBT has been found to be effective in treating both Separation Anxiety Disorder and OCD.

Maybe you could talk further with your GP about this?

.
 
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Amyjane8812341

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
225
Many adults suffer from some form of separation anxiety. Often it is medically unrecognised because until very recently it was seen as a 'childhood disorder'. The most recent international diagnostic classification of disorders is ICD-11 (World Health Organisation - WHO). Unlike its predecessors ' ICD-11 does not separate childhood from adult disorders, rather recognizing that the same disorders occur across the life span, with developmentally distinct presentations'.

ln ICD-11, Separation Anxiety Disorder:

  • Can be diagnosed in adults as well as in children.
  • The focus of apprehension is separation from attachment figures with whom the individual has a deep emotional bond. In your case the attachment figures are your partner and your children.
  • Specific manifestations of fear or anxiety related to separation vary according to the individual’s developmental level. Although you are an adult, you seem to experience many of the same symptoms as those often associated in the past with childhood separation anxiety:
  1. Distress when separated from a specific person or persons you are attached to.
  2. Excessive worry about losing these people.
  3. Anxious, "worst case scenario" thinking about separations.
  4. Physical complaints/symptoms during separation, including those frequently experienced in panic attacks.
Do you also have trouble sleeping when your partner and/or children are away? If so, you should add this as number 5 on the list.

The ICD-11 guidelines require that the apprehension, which includes worry, be excessive and out of proportion to the circumstances, which yours arguably is.

This may all be new to your GP, as it is to many health professionals. Because it is a new area of diagnosis knowledge of what may or may not help may not be readily at hand. Up until now many adults presenting with separation anxiety symptoms showed the same signs as those generally associated with OCD and OCD based panic attacks. The obsession is about separation, the compulsion is about the behaviours to try to manage the anxieties, and the panic attack is about the physiological symptoms. CBT has been found to be effective in treating both Separation Anxiety Disorder and OCD.


.
What a brilliant message with brilliant information. Thank you
 
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whatseemstobetheprob

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
8
Location
England
How odd I also left home at 15 with an older man I lived with him for 8 years. Then we split up and I met my husband.
I have not been to any support groups that deal with this in particular but my last cbt therapist was brilliant at talking through it and getting me to a place I could let go off some of the anxiety I had. Admittedly this has crept back of late thus why I am looking for help again. But I do belive if you find the right person to talk to they can help you. I'm glad talking is helping this place is great for that xxxx
Snap!! I think most of my issues stem from them although some childhood trauma didn’t help: I think I’ll call tomorrow to see if they can speed the appointment time up, I can’t be dealing with this all over Christmas.
let me know how you get on if you are calling yours too. We got this. If we have both improved before we can fight it again!xx
 
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Aurelius

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Aug 14, 2018
Messages
848
Apologies whatseemstobetheprob for not starting off by welcoming you to the forum. I do hope that you will find it a supportive and friendly place to come to.
 
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Amyjane8812341

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Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
225
Snap!! I think most of my issues stem from them although some childhood trauma didn’t help: I think I’ll call tomorrow to see if they can speed the appointment time up, I can’t be dealing with this all over Christmas.
let me know how you get on if you are calling yours too. We got this. If we have both improved before we can fight it again!xx
Yes do call them tomorrow if you feel up to it and I will also do the same . Feel free to get me on here or private message me at any time good luck xxx
 
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whatseemstobetheprob

Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
England
Morning,
So an update….. sadly my gp can’t see me till January which sucks because I have to cope through December with very little support. I guess I will see how it goes. I hope you have had more luck than me today xx
 
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Amyjane8812341

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
225
Morning,
So an update….. sadly my gp can’t see me till January which sucks because I have to cope through December with very little support. I guess I will see how it goes. I hope you have had more luck than me today xx
Hi

What can't see you till January that's nuts! Is there anither gp there you feel comfortable in talking to. So my daughter is still off school with a cold she is doing better thus afternoon so I am hoping she is back at a hool tomorrow and I can get on with it xxx
 
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