attachment related anxiety

What Is Attachment Related Anxiety? Everything You Need to Know

Are you secure in your relationships? Or are you the type of person who calls your partner to check on them every ten minutes? Perhaps you have difficulty making your own decisions or you have this nagging feeling of worry, fear, or panic and do not know why. Read this guide to attachment related anxiety to find out what it is, what are the symptoms, and what treatment options you have!

What Is Attachment Related Anxiety?

Do you feel lonely from time to time? Or maybe you have difficulty keeping a relationship? On the outside, this may seem like a part of life, but deep down you know that there is something not right.

Worrying too much because you haven’t heard from your partner or obsessing that you will be left could be attachment anxiety. That feeling of worry may be coming from not trusting yourself.

Attachment related anxiety usually develops in early childhood. Inconsistent parenting or negative experiences, such as trauma, neglect, or lack of attention, can all play a role here.

Your parents might have been attending to your needs one moment. In the next moment, they might have forgotten all about you. If your basic needs of love, security, or belonging were not cared for as a child, you might have formed thoughts and beliefs that you weren’t worthy of love.

The lack of consistent attention would have left you feeling uncertain. Now as an adult you may have difficulty trusting others because you can’t be sure if you can depend on them.

Symptoms of Attachment Related Anxiety

Feeling fear for no clear reason, always checking on your partner, or overreacting to situations could all be signs of attachment related anxiety. If you experience attachment related anxiety you may seem as needy and clingy in your relationships with others.

You might often lead with fear as your primary emotion. This could be a fear of rejection or abandonment by your partner and fear of being rejected by others. You may also have an urge to gain approval by pleasing and putting their needs before yours.

This constant need for attention, seeking approval, worrying or fear of making the wrong decision can bring tension and sabotage many areas in your life.

In addition, attachment related anxiety influences the perception of yourself and how you view the world. You may doubt yourself, lack self-confidence, and feel unworthy of love. It may be hard to trust yourself and your abilities that you can manage any challenging situations in your life.

One of the ways that attachment related anxiety can manifest in your life is through seeking external validation.

External validation means that you look for feedback from others about your own worth. Seeking validation itself is not bad, it is part of our human condition and a healthy way of expressing your basic needs of acceptance.

However, if you experience attachment related anxiety, the need for external validation can be very prominent. And it can add an additional layer of emotional instability.

How Anxiety Affects Your Body

Attachment related anxiety can bring a rollercoaster of emotions. You may feel insecure and constantly seek validation from your partner or others. You may fear that your partner will reject you because you are not worthy of their love.

Feeling that way can leave you not only mentally exhausted but physically too.

Some of the symptoms you may experience in your body while feeling anxious are:

  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains in muscles
  • Tiredness
  • Increased heart rate or even chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty breathing, often holding your breath
  • Digestive issues

In addition, you may suffer from hormonal imbalances. Your stress hormones, especially adrenaline, can be elevated. Living in a constant fight or flight response can weaken your immune system.

Managing Attachment Related Anxiety

If you suspect that you may have attachment related anxiety, know that you are not alone. It is possible for you to understand what triggers your emotions, and why you behave the way you do. You can develop healthy strategies for coping with attachment related anxiety.

You can start by keeping a journal.

Journaling helps with recording your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This writing exercise will help to bring more awareness to your actions. It will be easier for you to see if there is a behavioral pattern and possibly identify any triggers.

Journaling can help you with expressing your emotions in a healthy way. It can also lead to managing your anxiety in a short term.

But to truly get to the root of your attachment related anxiety you may want to consider therapy. A trained mental health professional can help you to unpack your childhood wounds.

There are many types of therapy you can try, including AF-EMDR (Attachment Focus Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). An AF-EMDR therapist will help you to recognize your attachment patterns and process any emotions and thoughts associated with your anxiety.

Therapy could also be a part of a long-term plan to manage your attachment related anxiety.

Treatment for Attachment Related Anxiety

Attachment related anxiety starts in early childhood. If your basic needs of love, safety, and belonging are not met, you may develop feelings of unworthiness.

You may fear that your loved ones will reject or leave you. You may also be constantly seeking validation, pleasing others, and attending to your partner’s or others’ needs rather than yours.

You may currently experience attachment related anxiety, but it doesn’t mean you have to always feel that way. There are ways to manage your anxiety. You can start by having a journal to become aware of some of the common patterns.

And if you are ready to get to the core of your anxiety, book a consultation today.

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