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How to Identify Abandonment Issues as an Adult

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Have you ever lost someone close to you and felt like you never recovered? Do you feel as if they left you? Or maybe you experience anxiety and obsession when in an intimate relationship. If so, then you may be exemplifying signs of abandonment issues.

Abandonment issues stem from a fear of loneliness or being left behind, which can present itself in many ways. These issues can affect your relationships and how you interact with the people closest to you. Fear of abandonment is not a distinct mental health condition, but instead, a type of anxiety that can come about in different ways. Here are the signs of abandonment issues as an adult.


What Are Abandonment Issues?

By definition, abandonment issues are considered a type of anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, the condition is not recognized as a mental health disorder, which is why it is placed under the threads of anxiety.

Early childhood experiences are the biggest contributor to forming abandonment issues. Events like the loss of a parent due to divorce or death, or not getting enough physical and emotional support can contribute to this type of anxiety disorder. These childhood experiences manifest in adults, which is why we see abandonment issues more prevalent in grown men and women.


Signs of Abandonment Issues in Adults

Tendency to Attach too Quickly

Whether that be a friend or a romantic partner, getting easily attached is a common sign of abandonment issues. People with abandonment issues are often “clingy” in hopes of keeping this person in their life as long as they can. They can also express their feelings or emotions very early on, sometimes before they have been formed, which can scare some people away.

People Pleasing

People pleasing is another sign of abandonment issues in adults. This is when a person says okay to everything, even if it is not in their best interest, because they want to keep the other party happy with them. A people-pleaser will often go out of their way to make others happy so that they continue to stay in that relationship with them.

Entering into Unhealthy Relationships with Others

Abandonment issues are closely related to feelings of loss. Depending on the event that triggered the condition, this can resemble the feeling of never being loved again, and sometimes even being unworthy of love. This can lead to someone entering into an unhealthy relationship, knowing that it is unhealthy, because their fear of being alone is stronger than their desire to leave and be unloved.

Difficulty Trusting Others

People with abandonment issues often carry a constant worry that the people closest to them will do them wrong. This is not normal and stems front the core belief that everyone they love is going to leave them.

Treating Abandonment Issues

Those who suffer from abandonment issues can benefit from professional help. The first step is recognizing what triggers your anxiety, and how often you experience those triggers. Like anything involving self-help, this may be difficult at first but will get easier with time.

Source: WebMD (2020) Abandonment Issues: Symptoms and Signs, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/abandonment-issues-symptoms-signs

Source: Medical News Today (2022) What to Know About Abandonment Issues, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/abandonment-issues

Source: Sarah Kristenson (2021) 15 Signs of Abandonment Issues in Adults, https://www.happierhuman.com/abandonment-issues-adults/

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