Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults
Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults is the anxiety disorder in which the adult people feel excessive worry, tension and anxiety regarding the separation from their near and dear ones or from home- feels irrational fears being apart from or losing a person. This disorder first diagnosed in children as children show excessive anxiety, tension or sometimes temper tantrums from being separated from their parents or other family members. But it is a normal part of the growth and development process of children as from 6-7 months to 3 years they generally face separation anxiety disorder and it reduces as they grow older.
But when this type of excessive anxiety and worry is seen in adults regarding separation from the people with whom they have strong emotional bond like parents, siblings, life-partner or other family members- it is known as Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults. This disorder has significant negative impact on mental health of them and also with their social and emotional functioning with the people. The family members of those people also suffers a lot, many issues in relationship with life-partner is due to the separation anxiety disorder in adults.
Signs & Symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults
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The signs and symptoms of this disorder in adults is almost same with the separation anxiety disorder in children, following are the some common symptoms seen in adults-
. Feeling of excessive worry and tension and fear with the thought of being separated from the closed ones.
.Panic Attacks with the feeling of separation from the closed people.
.Physical illness like headache, stomachache, vomiting etc.
. Frequently Mood Swings, Severe Crying.
.Sleeping and Eating Disorder, sometimes fear in sleeping alone.
.Nightmares, often the Fearful nightmares.
.Failure to interact with other people in a healthy manner in extreme cases.
.Loss of Interest in Daily Activities, Hobbies and in professional field also.
Thus, we can easily diagnose the Separation Anxiety Disorder in adults through it’s signs and symptoms.
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Causes and Risk Factors
Several causes and risk factor are associated with SAD i.e. Separation Anxiety in Adults. Among them the major causes are stated below-
.Genetic Factors-If the family members have anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD or any other mental disorders, then a person of that family is more prone to facing from separation anxiety disorder. In a research work published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in2014 by Fox AS, Kolin NH, it was proved that children are more likely to have SAD if one or two parents was diagnosed with a psychological disorder. Untreated SAD in childhood take it’s severe form in adulthood.
. Childhood Trauma– The traumatic experiences of childhood like physical or psychological abuse, domestic violence, losing of any loved ones, accident etc. are also responsible for the formation of Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults.
. Change in Hormonal Level- Change in hormonal level may also can create this disorder in adults, for example, during pregnancy there are a great chance of formation of SAD in pregnant mothers due to rapid change in hormone levels of body.
. Unhealthy Family Environment-Unhealthy family environment like prevalence of quarrels, continuous arguments, problem at family due to addiction of family members, domestic violence etc. often create anxiety disorders in adults like SAD or others.
. Prevalence of other Mental Disorder– if anyone is suffering from any kind of mental disorders like depression, OCD, PTSD etc., he\she may have greater chance of suffering from separation anxiety disorder in adults.
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Useful Ways to Manage Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults
It is essential for the people who are suffering from separation anxiety to manage this in order to lead a normal life. In extreme cases professional help is needed but in mild cases it is possible to handle this disorder by modifying the life-style and thinking process. Some useful tips to manage separation anxiety disorder in adults is stated here-
First Identify it and Accept it
To manage this disorder, it is very important to identify the prevalence of it within us- identify the signs and symptoms and also the triggers and then to accept it. If anyone is not ready to accept this problem, it will be really tough for him\her to handle this disorder. So, first identify it, accept it, avoid the trigger points and train your self to deal with it.
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Talk About it, Never Hide
To manage the Separation Anxiety Disorder in adults, it is essential to talk about it- your feelings and emotions, your sufferings, your problems etc. If you talk about your issue, the other family members will be empathetic and help you to manage this anxiety. Especially, in relationship with life partners- it is good to talk about your problems so that the other person can understand you, otherwise serious problems may be started in relationship.
Keep Yourself Busy in Creative Works
Not only to manage separation anxiety disorder in adults but also to manage any kind of anxiety disorders, it is very beneficial to keep ourselves busy in creative works. To be busy with creative writing or painting or making craftworks or any other work you like to do etc. will keep your mind engaged in the activity and focused and you feel less stress, anxiety and thus you can manage your separation anxiety.
Keep in Contact with your Loved Ones through Online Mode
Now in this era of modern science and technology, we can conquer distance through the use of mobile, laptop, internet etc. Now, we can keep in contact with people through mobile phone- we can call them both audio and video calling, share text messages with them – share photographs and others with them. So, to manage this separation anxiety, people can contact them who are far from them and also can calm the mind with this thought that our loved ones are near to us- we can easily communicate with them.
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Do Regular Physical Exercises
Regular physical exercise are helpful to reduce stress and anxiety level in our body. Physical exercise reduces the stress hormones and stimulates the production of Feel- Good Endorphins and thus reduce our anxiety level and relax our mind. Walking, Jogging, Warm-up activities etc. can be practiced by all to make our body and mind fit. So, to manage separation anxiety disorder in adults regular physical exercises are recommended.
Practice Yoga and Meditation also
Yoga and Meditation are considered the most powerful way to reduce the stress and anxiety level in your body. Meditation can slow the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, reduce the breathing rate and reduce the level of adrenaline. Yoga poses not only give muscle flexibility and strength but also increase the release of mood-boosting hormones Endorphins and enhances your awareness and concentration. So, regular practice of yoga and meditation will be surely helpful to manage the Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults.
Take Foods that Reduce Stress and Anxiety Level
To manage Separation Anxiety Disorder in adults, we can include those foods in his\her diet that helps to reduce anxiety level. For example, citrus fruits and strawberries contain vitamin c which help to fight with stress, food rich in complex carbohydrates like whole-grain cereals, oatmeal etc. help to increase the amount of serotonin in our body. Different studies have proved that dark chocolate, avocado, green tea, salmon, blueberries are so helpful to reduce anxiety level in our body.
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Make a Plan to Face your Anxiety Triggers
If you can make your mind to conquer the separation anxiety, you can think of facing your anxiety triggers in a small scale. For example, you can mentally think that your husband\wife is out of the city for a day and you try to pass your day with this assumption . You can repeat this and increase the duration of days of separation from your loved ones. You can also take a small break for 2-3 days and go in a trip alone in nearby side and thus we can manage the separation anxiety disorder in adults.
Start Journaling about your Feelings
It is the most powerful way to know yourself- to know about your emotions and feelings- to know about your problems and difficulties. So, to manage the Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults, writing in a journal is very beneficial – it will help you to know in detail about your behaviors and feelings and also help you to regulate your mind through self-introspection.
Take Professional Support
If the condition is too serious so that the activities of your daily life is hampered- you can not a lead a normal life, then you should quickly take the help of professional. You can contact a psychologist or psychiatrist or go to a therapist for therapy sessions- cognitive therapy, cognitive -behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, exposure therapy etc. are really beneficial to manage or overcome Separation Anxiety Disorder in Adults. Sometimes, the family members should also behave in a empathetic way and help them to manage their anxiety disorder.
Separation Anxiety Disorder is not only a problem to those who are suffering but also to all the family members of him\her, in many cases the problems in relationship like insecurity complex, feelings of being cheated or severe conflicts is due to the Separation Anxiety Disorder. Sometimes, the young boys or girls are forced to leave their study in a reputed university only due to their separation from home or parents. But, proper care, awareness and empathetic mindset will surely help people to manage their Separation Anxiety.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder can be seen in Teens? — Yes, it is seen in teenagers, that’s why they often refuse to go far away from home to study.
- Is Separation Anxiety seen in Animals? — Yes, it is seen in animals- in pet animals. Especially, the dogs and cats show this when the person with whom they are attached is far away from them.
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