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Often, we think about separation anxiety affecting children only and it can but it also can be a struggle for adults too. Separation anxiety is when you feel nervous or anxious when you are separated from a loved one. This loved one may be your spouse, significant other, parents, children, or another close relationship in your life.

The thoughts, emotions and actions that arise from the separation anxiety can bring many struggles in your daily life and your relationships.  This can be a lifelong struggle but there is help!  Separation anxiety can be better understood and you can learn tools to help you manage the anxiety.  What does separation anxiety possibly look like in adults?

Have you experienced some of these thoughts and emotions?

  • fear that something bad will happen to a loved one or family member when you are apart
  • fear of being abducted
  • fear of being left alone in your home
  • fear that your loved one will get hurt when you are apart
  • excessive worry


You may struggle with:
  • a need to follow your loved one around in the house
  • having a panic attack when you cannot reach your loved one
  • withdrawing from social opportunities if they do not include your loved one
  • trouble having your thoughts settle down so you can go to sleep
  • frequent waking up worried about your loved one
  • having nightmares about what could happen


Have you noticed any physical changes or symptoms:
  • stomach aches
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If you are experiencing these physical symptoms, one of the first steps should be scheduling an appointment with your doctor to make sure there is nothing else going on that could have these symptoms.

What are some factors that can make a person at a greater risk to struggle with separation anxiety.

There are many reasons that can make a person struggle such as:

  • loss of a loved one
  • a big change in their life such as a move
  • they may have struggled with general anxiety as a child or as a n adult
  • they could have struggled with childhood adversity such as a loss of a close loved one
  • there could have been traumatic childhood events in their life
  • some people are more prone to excessive worry
  • living with unmanaged stress

There is Help!

What kind of help is available for me if I am struggling?  Working with a team of professionals such as your family doctor and a therapist together, they can work along with you to help you manage your separation anxiety.

Family Doctor.

Your doctor can evaluate your general health and make sure there are no health concerns that can be contributing to your symptoms and how you are feeling. If needed, they may be able to prescribe a medicine that would be helpful in managing the anxiety.

Your therapist will be able to help you:
  • understanding what you are feeling
  • help you determine what triggers your anxiety
  • help you evaluate why you are feeling this way
  • provides different therapies and tools that will help you to learn to manage your separation anxiety
  • provide insight and tools to help you manage the stress in your life
  • encourage and share self-care practices that will be needed in managing your anxiety.


Some of the tools and techniques that a therapist can use are CBT, DBT, individual therapy sessions, family sessions, group therapy, and to provide many different types of tools that will help you to manage daily your separation anxiety.

There is help available and our therapists would love to help you in learning how to manage your separation anxiety so you can enjoy the life you desire. For more information, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/anxiety/