Separation Anxiety in Adults: 5 Methods to Combat It


Separation anxiety is not just a children’s problem. Many adults suffer at certain times in their lives. Some high experience distress when they imagine that the couple or that loved one (family, friends, etc.) distances themselves. These ideas can become obsessive, creating relationships marked by fear and constant anguish. It is an insane and highly destructive attachment.

In these situations, the most appropriate step of all must be taken: request expert help. There are very effective psychological therapies to manage separation anxiety in adults. Next, let’s look at more data on this psychological condition.

What is separation anxiety in adults?

Separation anxiety disorder (ASD) is a psychological condition where a person suffers an exaggerated fear of losing to those close figures they love or who are significant.

There is a sense of anguish in them that does not allow them to continue with their usual routine. Bewilderment, sadness and unusual behaviours are relevant.

Thus, within the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it is classified as a condition that enters anxiety disorders.

Among the most frequent symptoms to detect separation anxiety disorder are:

  • Insomnia. It is the difficulty of falling asleep because negative thoughts keep the person upset.
  • Mood changes. Mood modifications are extremist and involuntary. They can go from a feeling of happiness to depression or a nervous breakdown in minutes.
  • Headaches. The pressure caused by this feeling translates into strong migraines that seem unable to control.
  • Eating disorders. Sometimes, patients lose their appetite or resist feeding. In other cases, separation anxiety leads them to focus on food.

5 methods to combat separation anxiety in adults

Depending on the level you are at, there are several methods to address this problem. Therefore, it is necessary to identify what is happening in time and prevent it from progressing.

When someone does not dominate on time, the consequences can give way to very exhausting situations, both for the person himself and for his environment.

1. Talk to the couple and make a plan

In milder cases, the couple can be very helpful. It is necessary to be very patient and try to understand the reality of this psychological picture.

We must listen to all the fears that arise from the partner and draw together a plan to keep calm.
We must maintain fluid, sincere, close communication.

It is necessary to rationalise fears and that constant anguish to be abandoned. The person should know these fears are not real. This distrust marks the distance in the relationship.
couple trying to overcome separation anxiety.

2. Perform activities that keep your mind busy

Find activities away from home to do during that time alone. Although it seems that nothing matters, some hobbies or sports keep negative thoughts away. It is a matter of trying to get out of that situation and dare to new practices.

Practices such as meditation and yoga are a great help to reconnect with oneself, calm down, relieve oneself, and regain balance to think.

Place a carpet on the floor, sit comfortably on it, with your back straight and try to focus your attention only on your breathing. Inhale, hold the air for a few seconds, count slowly and exhale. Repeat this procedure several times, and you will see how, little by little, you can relax.

3. Conversion of negative thoughts

Reflecting, identifying fears and writing them on paper is a technique that can be very beneficial with tidying ideas and relaxing. Once you capture your concerns on paper, the next thing you should try to do is turn each concern into something positive. The idea is to turn the negative around.

If the couple goes on a trip for work reasons, the thought that causes concern and discomfort, maybe something like “leaves and will never return home.” Once written on the paper, it would have to be turned into a positive. Such as “He goes away, he will miss me, and on his return, we will have a nice reunion.”

4. Display method

In those moments when everything collapses and separation anxiety gains ground, it helps to learn to visualise. To do this, get a quiet place. Control breathing and evoke those pleasant and reassuring images. Places, happy memories, gardens, nature or those things that are common to surround us with harmony. As we gain practice the thoughts will be rationalised.

5. Professional therapy

Many times it is not possible to combat separation anxiety alone. Do not hesitate to ask for help from a professional. They may provide the tools to treat the disorder. Various therapies are used for these problems and that have good results. The important thing is to have the will to face the disease.


Separation anxiety in adults causes fears that are not real is the first phase. Also, leaving aside doubts and shame to talk about these negative thoughts with other people always does well. Thus, they will receive an accompaniment necessary to face the situation and not lose their partner. Informing and maintaining good communication is essential to address the situation and, as far as possible, help the person.


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