The Fear of Abandonment
Updated: Mar 11
The fear of losing a loved one or a close friend is a natural human reaction. However, when the fear is so persistent and overwhelming that it consumes your mind most of the time, you might be struggling with the excessive fear of abandonment.
The fear of abandonment is a complex psychological condition that often develops from experiences like trauma, past attachment issues or personality disorders. It includes both the fear of physical abandonment (e.g. a significant person leaves your life) and emotional abandonment (e.g. being neglected by family, friends or partners).
People with a fear of abandonment usually try to cope by getting their loved ones to act in a certain way that assures them that they are loved. Some of them may become too demanding, controlling or clingy to protect the relationship, which eventually ends and causes their fears to come true. Some people who fear abandonment may become so afraid of experiencing abandonment that they decide to leave their partner before their partner can leave.
Some symptoms of extreme fear of abandonment include:
Being overly self-critical or sensitive to rejection
Blaming oneself when things don’t work out
Fear of intimacy or closeness and difficulty trusting others
Working very hard to please the other person or doing extreme things to avoid rejection or separation
Staying in a relationship that is abusive and manipulative
Tendency to become attached very quickly but also to pull away fast when criticized
History of unsupportive relationships
While the fear of abandonment is intense, it is not impossible to overcome. Having a supportive partner who is reassuring or communicative is helpful but might not be enough to calm the fear. People with the fear of abandonment often need to process their concerns with a mental health professional. Therapy may include:
Identifying the underlying cause that contributes to the extreme fears.
Learning effective ways to regulate emotions.
Practicing self-compassion to increase self-worth and confidence.
Restoring Peace Counselling & Consultancy offers counselling and psychotherapy for people struggling with a fear of abandonment. Find out more about us at www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
Keywords: Singapore, mental health clinic, psychotherapy services, trauma therapy, personality disorder counselling, mental health therapist, private counselling service, fear of abandonment