Types of abandonment issues

3 Types of Attachment Styles

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 20, 2020

In this Article

  • What Are Abandonment Issues?
  • Types of Abandonment Issues
  • Signs of Abandonment Issues
  • Treating Abandonment Issues
  • Support and Resources

What Are Abandonment Issues?

Abandonment issues stem from a fear of loneliness, which can be a phobia or a form of anxiety. These issues can affect your relationships and often stem from a childhood loss. Other factors that turn loss into abandonment issues include environmental and medical factors, genetics, and brain chemistry. 

Early childhood experiences are the biggest contributor to developing abandonment issues when you become an adult. The traumatic event might include the loss of a parent by divorce or death or not getting enough physical or emotional care as a child. Emotional abandonment occurs when parents:

  • Do not let their children express themselves emotionally
  • Ridicule their children
  • Put too much pressure on their children to be “perfect”
  • Treat their children like their peers

Abandonment issues happen when a parent or caregiver does not provide the child with consistent warm or attentive interactions, leaving them feeling chronic stress and fear. The experiences that happen during a child’s development will often continue into adulthood. This is why abandonment issues become more prevalent as you get older and can affect your relationships.

Types of Abandonment Issues

Abandonment issues can present themselves in three insecure attachment styles. These are: 

Avoidant Attachment Style

People who follow this style don’t allow anyone to get close to them. You may feel like you can’t open up or trust others, making you appear distant, private, or withdrawn. 

Anxious Attachment Style

People with this type of attachment style cope by developing intensely close and dependent relationships with others. You may feel anxious about separating yourself from your partner and tend to be emotionally reactive. It may be easy to see conflicts as a concern that your partner may leave, which makes you act out of fear. 

Disorganized Attachment Style

People with this attachment style have difficulty remaining intimate and close but can also be inconsistent. You may feel anxious about being in a relationship or want to avoid the closeness. This attachment style may come with other potential disorders. 

Signs of Abandonment Issues

Abandonment issues don’t always come from childhood trauma. They can also develop after losing an intimate partner to divorce or death. Either through adult or childhood abandonment, these issues can negatively impact healthy relationships.

A fear of abandonment presents itself in people who seem like “people pleasers” or need continuous reassurance that they are loved. There is also a consistent anxiety that occurs with abandonment issues. 

Common signs of abandonment issues include:

  • Giving too much or being overly eager to please
  • Jealousy in your relationship or of others
  • Trouble trusting your partner’s intentions
  • Feeling insecure about your relationship
  • Having difficulty in feeling intimate emotionally
  • Needing to control or be controlled by your partner
  • Settling in unsatisfactory relationships

It is not uncommon for you to want your partners to treat you the same way as you were treated as a child.  

Treating Abandonment Issues

When treating abandonment issues, the first step is understanding what triggers you and learning to withdraw when these triggers come up. You should also try to get more comfortable with having conversations about your fears in a calm and respectful manner. It may help to do this with a partner, family member, or close friend. It may be difficult at first, but you will find it gets easier with time.

There are two primary treatments for abandonment issues: 


In therapy, you will be able to explore the root cause of your fears and identify negative thought patterns. Your therapist will help you replace them with healthy, more realistic thoughts. Your relationship with your therapist can also give you the sense of having a secure relationship. Working with them, you can learn to establish healthy boundaries in your relationships and help avoid behaviors that hinder healthy relationships. 


Practicing self-care can help you make sure your emotional needs are met. This can improve friendships and relationships. Doing self-care like journaling, taking walks, and other things you enjoy can help fulfill you and improve your contributions to your partner, friends, or children.

Support and Resources

Abandonment issues can develop because of many emotional and environmental factors. If you are experiencing fear of abandonment in your relationships, it may be helpful to see a counselor. A counselor will be able to talk to you about how you’re feeling and develop a treatment plan. 

Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More

Fear of abandonment is a type of anxiety that some people experience when faced with the idea of losing someone they care about. Everyone deals with death or the end of relationships in their lifetime. Loss is a natural part of life.

However, people with abandonment issues live in fear of these losses. They may also exhibit behaviors that push people to leave so they’re never surprised by the loss.

A fear of abandonment isn’t a recognized condition or mental health disorder, per se. Instead, it’s considered a type of anxiety and is treated as such.

Initial behaviors of abandonment fear are often not purposeful.

Over time, however, the reaction these behaviors get — plus the attention that comes with it — can become self-reinforcing. That can cause someone to repeat the behaviors in order to get the response again.

This behavior can have unhealthy consequences. Over time, it can ruin relationships. It can also prevent the development of healthy bonds.

The key to treating abandonment issues is to find psychological treatment or therapy.

Continue reading to find out how these fears develop and how they can be stopped.

People with abandonment fears exhibit many of the same behaviors, though some may be more prominent than others. These symptoms include:

  • Cycling through relationships. Some may engage in numerous shallow relationships. They may fear intimacy and find a reason to leave a relationship before the other person can.
  • Sabotaging relationships. Some may act irrationally to get out of relationships. For example, you may knowingly push away a partner so you won’t feel hurt if they leave.
  • Clinging to unhealthy relationships. Some people with abandonment issues may stay in relationships despite a desire to leave. The fear of being alone is more powerful.
  • Needing constant reassurance. Some may constantly seek out a friend or partner and demand emotional guarantees. They may regularly urge friends or partners to make broad statements, such as “I’ll always be here,” and then say they’re lying.

Kids with healthy emotional attachments to their parents often become upset when they’re left, even if only for a short time.

Some level of this reaction is natural. However, it may be a sign of an underlying mental health condition when it leads to:

  • Separation anxiety. If a child becomes anxious about their parents going somewhere in advance, the child may be expressing abandonment fears.
  • Panic. If a child begins to panic when they don’t see their parents, their overreaction may be a sign of an issue.
  • A fear of being alone. Some children won’t sleep without their parents or even let them step out of the room.

Some abandonment issues and fears become invasive. They can prevent someone from leading a normal, healthy life.

A history of any of the following may increase the risk of a type of abandonment fear:

  • Neglect. People who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, especially during childhood, are more likely to develop this issue. Likewise, adults who were neglected as a child are more likely to repeat the behaviors with their own children.
  • Stress. High levels of stress may make naturally occurring anxiety worse. This can worsen fears and lead to new anxieties.
  • Traumatic events. Those who have experienced an injury or death or been a victim of a crime may be more likely to develop these issues.

Healthy human development requires knowing that physical and emotional needs are met. During childhood, this reassurance comes from parents. During adulthood, it can come from personal and romantic relationships.

Events can interrupt this assurance at any age. When this happens, abandonment fears may develop. These events may include:

  • Death. Death is natural, but that doesn’t make it less traumatic. Losing a loved one unexpectedly can create an emotional void that can be filled by fear.
  • Abuse. Physical and sexual abuse, along with other types of abuse, can create lingering mental health issues, including a fear of abandonment.
  • Poverty. If basic needs aren’t met, this can lead to a scarcity mindset. This may lead to fears that emotional resources, such as love, attention, and friendship, are likewise limited.
  • Relationship loss. Divorce, death, infidelity — they all happen. For some individuals, the end of a relationship can be too painful. It may lead to lingering fears.

Treatment for abandonment issues focuses on establishing healthy emotional boundaries. You need to build an arsenal of responses to deploy when you feel old thought patterns emerging again.

Primary treatments for abandonment issues include:

  • Therapy. Seek out the help of a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor. They can help you overcome fears of being abandoned. They’ll also work with you to understand where the fear originates and what you can do when you sense the fear rising.
  • Self-care. People with abandonment issues may benefit from self-care. Making sure emotional needs are met is important for friendships and relationships. This way, you’re able to better provide for your partner, friend, or child.

Helping a loved one living with abandonment issues can be difficult. After all, if you bring up your concerns, their instinct may be to challenge you and your loyalty to them.

While people with abandonment fears differ, these techniques may help you care for someone who has a fear of abandonment:

Pause the conversation

Highly emotional conversations will inevitably become unproductive. When this happens, pause the conversation. Let them know you care but step away for a few hours.

Be supportive of both yourself and the person with abandonment fears. People with abandonment issues may struggle more with this, particularly if their conversation partner leaves without telling them where they’re going.

Let them know:

  • where you’re going
  • how long you’ll be away
  • when you’ll return

When you return, begin the conversation from a less emotional place.

Support and validate their fears

Validation is an important part of trust in a relationship. When supporting a loved one with a fear of abandonment, validation means that you acknowledge their feelings without judgment. Such understanding of their fears is a key to maintaining communication.

Validating a loved one’s fears doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them. Instead, you’re supporting their feelings to further build on trust and compassion.

Consider this six-level approach Psychology Today identified to help you get started:

  1. Be present. Actively listen to your loved one’s concerns without multitasking.
  2. Reflect. Summarize your loved one’s feelings verbally in an authentic way so you can reach an understanding without judgment.
  3. Mind-reading. Sometimes it can be difficult for loved ones to describe their emotional states as fear. By listening to them, you can help them identify their emotions for deeper understanding. This level takes a lot of practice with being present and reflecting.
  4. Understand their history. This is an even deeper form of acknowledgment. You know your loved one’s fears and openly state that you understand how a certain situation might be triggering due to their past history of abandonment.
  5. “Normalize” their fears. Such normalization is done by acknowledging the fact that others with your loved one’s history could have fears of abandonment, so what they’re feeling is completely understandable.
  6. Radical genuineness. As the deepest level of validation, radical genuineness involves sharing your loved one’s fears as your own.

It’s just as important to prevent saying things that might invalidate your loved one’s fears. Avoid unhelpful phrases, such as:

  • “It’s OK, just let it go.”
  • “Everything happens for a reason.”
  • “That didn’t really happen to you.”
  • “Why are you making such a big deal out of nothing?”
  • “Things could be a lot worse; you’re lucky.”

Don’t take the emotional bait

A person with a fear of abandonment may use facial expressions, ambiguous statements, or vague body language to draw attention. Don’t bite.

When they tell you nothing is wrong, or they don’t want to talk about it, take them at their word. Requesting that they open up can turn into a way to test you.

Tell them how these behaviors make you feel

There’s no harm in honesty. When you’re upset, clearly express what you mean and how their actions are making you feel. The honesty may be disarming enough that you can make progress.

Helping a child with abandonment issues

If you suspect your child has abandonment anxiety, it’s important to get them help as early as possible so they can develop secure relationships. Talk with your child’s doctor about your options.

These strategies may be helpful with children:

  • Seek professional help. For some children, talking to a parent or teacher may be uncomfortable. A professional may be less threatening.
  • Encourage kids to express their feelings. Children sometimes fear their emotions may upset their parents. Be a blank slate to your child’s feelings. Let them bring up everything they feel while you acknowledge it all.
  • Offer validation. Instead of seeking a solution for their worries or fears, offer confirmation of their feelings. Tell them simply that it’s OK to feel how they do.

Treatment for this type of anxiety can be very successful. It requires commitment and self-care to feel more confident in relationships — but it can be done.

For many people with these issues, worries may linger. A therapist can teach you how to cope with these thoughts when they pop up.

They may also encourage you to return to therapy if the thoughts and anxieties become problematic again.

Many individuals with abandonment issues may not recognize how destructive their behaviors are. They may purposefully endanger relationships as a way of avoiding hurt.

These behaviors can lead to long-term relationship problems in personal and professional settings.

Treatment for abandonment issues focuses on helping people understand the underlying factors that lead to the behavior.

Treatment can also teach coping mechanisms to help manage these anxieties in the future. This can lead to normal, healthy relationships.


From: Nornniveb

What are bounce problems?

Problems with rejection problems in your relationships and trust in others.

They come from life experiences that have left you feeling that you cannot rely on others to take care of you and be there for you.

chronic fatigue and depression

Experiences of abandonment leave us feeling disconnected from others and also misunderstood, no matter how hard we try to develop strong and lasting bonds.

Signs that you are being abandoned

Giving up on life leaves a child with the message of being unappreciated, unloved and unloved.

This has far-reaching psychological consequences if left unrecognized and treated, and an adult may develop the following symptoms: and shame

  • fear of emotional intimacy
  • 'Pushing and pulling' or clinging in relationships
  • tend to choose partners who leave (reconstruction)
  • repressed anger or
  • loneliness even when with others
  • feeling like you don't fit in 9033 feeling deeply unloved and 'flawed'
  • often feel that everyone is to blame for something
  • unexplained physical symptoms
  • Associated psychological problems may include:

    • anxiety, social anxiety
    • and disorders
    • including drugs, alcohol, overeating 90

      From: Nagesh Jayaraman

      Do you have all the symptoms of withdrawal but are you sure you can't have a problem because you can't remember anything serious enough in your past to cause them?

      It is important to remember that our minds and brains as children may perceive things differently than the brain of an adult. What might seem frivolous to us now could be quite serious for the child we were, settling in our unconscious as a trauma.

      So you don't need to be left on the doorstep or come from a dysfunctional home to have rejection problems.

      Rejection is a feeling of being cut off from others, so it can be any experience that makes you feel rejected and like others just weren't the way you wanted them to be.

      While things like parental absence, divorce, adoption, or bereavement can and often cause abandonment problems, there are also other, less obvious forms of abandonment that can profoundly affect a child. These may include:

      • a parent who is too depressed to give attention to a child
      • a parent with an addiction that takes all their energy
      • an emotionally cold and unavailable parent
      • a parent who neglects your needs and doesn't take care of you properly
      • a key child (the parent is never at home) who is often alone or bribed by an older sibling
      • parents who leave and/or move away
      • sexual or physical abuse

      Why is childhood abandonment such a problem?

      As children, we perceive our experience as truth, unable to understand that this is only our limited point of view. This leads to what is called our 'core beliefs' As an adult - our set of unconscious beliefs about how the world works that guide our lives and make all decisions based on them. If we don't take the time to question our core beliefs, we may be able to live our lives based on "facts" that aren't true at all.

      From: Steven Brace

      how to find a good therapist

      If you felt abandoned as a child, you would develop negative beliefs such as , "I don't deserve to feel safe", "the world is a dangerous place "," you can not rely on anyone to always be there for you "or" I do not deserve to be loved and cared for. ".

      You can imagine, if these are your secret beliefs, how you can make choices that do not lead to feelings of love and happiness.

      Child abandonment and borderline personality disorder

      Speaking of abandonment problems, it's hard not to talk about borderline personality disorder (BPD).

      Borderline personality disorder is based on a deep fear of being abandoned. People with BPD seem to lack that emotional "skin" that other people have, which means they are incredibly sensitive. This combination of a deep fear of being abandoned, coupled with over-sensitivity, leads them to overreact to taking the smallest things as a sign of abandonment.

      People with borderline personality disorder often have a large supply of love and want love more than anything. But, unfortunately, they often have dramatic relationships that require a lot of effort, and it is very difficult for them to stay in the same relationship for too long.

      What should I do if I think it's me?

      The good news about withdrawal problems is that, unless they are part of a larger personality disorder, they are usually reversible (and even if you have BPD, they are treatable).

      However, this requires a strong commitment to oneself in order to cope with rejection problems, as well as a willingness to confront one's own ways of being and behaving, and how those behaviors have evolved.

      While self-help is a great starting point, the problems associated with rejection are deeply meaningful, including feeling unloved and unworthy, which usually requires support to heal and overcome.

      be friends with an ex

      Counseling and psychotherapy are great for dealing with rejection because the nature of therapy is really relationship. You build a relationship with your therapist and this can serve as a tool to understand what it means to fully trust someone.

      All sorts of therapies will help you develop a relationship, but some even specialize only in relationships and problems such as rejection. Consider Schema Therapy, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), or Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT).

      For who can help with rejection issues, you can visit our sister site for professional help online worldwide, by phone or in person in the UK.

      Want to know how rejection problems affect your relationship? Subscribe to be notified when the next article in this series is published.

      Have a comment or want to share your rejection experience? Do it below.

      10 reasons for job denial — Work.ua

      Often, to get a successful job, you have to explore many options and attend more than one interview. Rejection is always unpleasant. Why does this happen and how can it be avoided?

      Often, refusal of employment sounds rather vague: "You are not suitable for us." There are many reasons behind this phrase. Work.ua has compiled a list of the most likely and common of them.


      Wages are a very sensitive issue. Too large requests with a low level of professionalism will inevitably lead to a refusal. But the reverse situation is also possible. If a good specialist is satisfied with a low salary, the employer may be wary, as they will suspect that the applicant is hiding some facts.

      Lack of qualifications or its excess

      Often a candidate who does not have enough experience and skills for this position seeks to get a prestigious and well-paid job. Overqualification can also be a problem in finding employment. This is due to the likelihood of professional burnout, loss of interest in work due to lack of opportunities for self-realization.


      Being late will surely hurt your reputation in advance. And your interview may end before it even starts. There is a chance that the employer will simply refuse to interview you, or accept another candidate who, even with more modest skills and experience, will look more professional.

      Lack of necessary qualities

      In addition to professional qualities - knowledge and experience, there are also non-professional - personal qualities of a person. For example, the lack of leadership qualities will interfere with employment in certain positions. Therefore, it is necessary to determine in advance which non-professional skills and qualities are necessary for a potential job in order to focus on them.


      The best thing to do is to be humble, confident, and soberly assess your abilities. Extremes will not please the employer.

      Lies and bad references

      Sometimes applicants misrepresent themselves in order to present themselves in a better light. Lying on a resume and in an interview is not the best way to make a positive impression. Especially if the truth comes out. If this happens before the decision is made by the employer, then the chances of a job will become equal to zero. If your lie is revealed in the process of work, then you risk not only losing it, but also receiving a negative recommendation, which will complicate your future career.

      Poor CV

      An illiterate or poorly written CV may result in a job attempt being completed before the interview.

      Frequent job changes

      This may alert a potential employer. The candidate may be considered conflicting, unreliable, unable to cope with duties. If your work book is full of entries, then you should reasonably explain the reasons, focus on your strengths. It is much more important that the company has benefited from the activities of a specialist than the amount of time that he worked there.

      Learn more