Can You Have Separation Anxiety From Your Boyfriend

It’s common knowledge that being separated from your significant other is unpleasant. Long-term separation from a love partner has been linked to increased anxiety and despair, as well as issues like sleep disruptions, according to studies based on anecdotal evidence. Researchers are now trying to figure out what neurochemical pathways are causing these behavioral and physiological changes.

Researchers found that male prairie voles who were separated from their female spouses for four days exhibited depression-like behavior and had elevated levels of corticosterone, the rodent analogue of the human stress hormone cortisol, in a study published last October. Males that had been separated from their male siblings showed none of these symptoms, showing that the reaction was specific to mate separation rather than social isolation. When the rats were given a medication that stopped corticosterone release, they no longer displayed depressive-like behavior after companion separation, proving that stress hormones were to blame.

Separation looks to be similar to drug withdrawal in many respects. Cohabiting and mating enhance levels of oxytocin and vasopressin—hormones that build emotional attachments—and activate reward-related brain areas in monogamous animals, according to studies. As a result, when prairie voles are removed from their spouses, even for a short period, they exhibit withdrawal-like symptoms, according to Larry Young, a behavioral neuroscientist at Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center and research co-author. “I believe it causes an unpleasant state in the short term,” Young adds, “such that the animals desire to seek out their mate to keep that link together.”

After four to seven days apart, social psychologist Lisa Diamond of the University of Utah noted modest withdrawal-like symptoms, such as irritation and sleep disruptions, as well as an increase in cortisol in individuals in a recent research of human couples. Cortisol levels spiked the most in participants who expressed high concern about their relationships, but even those who reported low levels of stress and anxiety during the separation had some degree of heightened cortisol and physical pain. These findings, like those of Young’s study, show a direct correlation between separation and elevated cortisol, hinting that cortisol-blocking medicines could help persons dealing with partner separation as well.

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Can you have separation anxiety in a relationship?

A sensation of intense or intolerable distress at the prospect of being separated from your loving partner is a common symptom of relationship separation anxiety.

“According to Vicki Botnick, a marriage and family therapist in Tarzana, California, “this unease goes beyond merely missing a partner.” “It could be a deeper dread that you won’t be able to exist without them, or that they’ll be wounded and you’ll lose them forever.”

This sort of separation anxiety will manifest itself in some of the following ways:

  • Worries about your companion suffering an injury, accident, death, or anything else that could lead to separation are frequent and persistent.
  • Worries that you will be harmed in some way keep you from them on a regular basis.
  • You’re having trouble concentrating at work or school because you can’t stop wondering if they’re safe.
  • Fears that they will forsake you or end the relationship are constant or overwhelming.

During your time apart or when worried about an approaching separation, you may also feel physical anxiety symptoms such as stomach discomfort, headaches, or sleep problems.

Why do I get anxiety when I leave my boyfriend?

Because there isn’t a single apparent cause for anxiety, it can take time and devoted self-exploration to figure out what’s causing it. You can even have trouble figuring out what’s causing the problem on your own.

“There’s a chance you’re not aware of what’s causing your worry,” Robertson explains. “But, regardless of how it appears, the fundamental causes all reflect a desire for connection.”

Previous relationship experiences

Even if you think you’ve mostly moved on from the events of the past, they can still have an impact on you.

After been harmed, it’s not uncommon to find it difficult to trust someone again, even if your current partner shows no evidence of manipulation or dishonesty.


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Certain triggers, whether you’re aware of them or not, might nevertheless bring up memories and feelings of uneasiness and doubt.

Low self-esteem

Relationship anxiety and insecurity can be exacerbated by low self-esteem.

When people have poor self-esteem, they are more prone to doubt their partner’s feelings, according to some older study. This is a sort of projection that can occur.

To put it another way, feeling dissatisfied with yourself can make it easier to believe that your partner feels the same way.

When those with greater levels of self-esteem encountered self-doubt, they tended to affirm themselves through their relationships.

Attachment style

The attachment pattern you adopt as a child can have a significant impact on our adult relationships.

You probably formed a secure attachment style if your parent or caregiver responded swiftly to your needs and supplied love and support.


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Your attachment style may be less secure if they did not regularly meet your needs or allow you to develop independently.

Relationship anxiety can be exacerbated by insecure attachment types in a variety of ways:

  • Avoidant attachment might cause concern about the level of commitment you’re making or the depth of closeness you’re experiencing.
  • Anxious attachment, on the other hand, might lead to concerns of your partner abandoning you at any point.

Keep in mind that just because you have an insecure attachment type doesn’t guarantee you’ll always have relationship anxiety.

“You can’t entirely change your attachment style, just like you can’t change your personality,” explains Jason Wheeler, PhD. “However, you may make enough changes to ensure that an insecure attachment style does not hold you back in life.”

A tendency to question

Before choosing a path, you might want to consider all of the various consequences of a situation. Maybe you’re just someone who thinks about everything before making a decision.

If you have a habit of asking yourself a lot of questions about your decisions, even after you’ve made them, you’ll probably have some doubts about your relationship as well. This isn’t always an issue, though. In reality, taking time to consider your decisions, especially big ones, is usually beneficial (like romantic commitment).

However, if you find yourself engaged in a never-ending cycle of self-doubt and questioning that isn’t productive, it could become a problem.

What are 3 signs of separation anxiety?


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When a youngster is isolated from his or her parents or caretakers, SAD symptoms appear. Separation anxiety can also lead to anxiety-related behaviour. The following are some of the most common behaviors:

What are signs of separation anxiety in humans?

Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety. Agoraphobia and panic disorder are two other types of anxiety disorders.

The DSM-5, the diagnostic manual for mental health problems published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines separation anxiety as having several of the following symptoms:

  • When they are aware that they will be separated from another person soon, they experience physical symptoms.

Adults may experience these symptoms for up to 6 months. Their symptoms might give them a lot of pain and interfere with their social, occupational, and academic performance.

What causes separation anxiety in adults?

A parent, lover, or kid who moves away might cause separation anxiety in an adult. Their anxiousness could also be a symptom of another mental health problem. Delusions caused by psychotic diseases or a fear of change caused by an autism spectrum disorder are examples of this.

People may label an adult with separation anxiety disorder as controlling or overprotective on occasion. Their acts, on the other hand, are frequently an adult’s way of communicating their concerns of separation.

Is it normal to have doubts in a relationship?


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Doubt is an inevitable component of any relationship. It becomes an issue, though, when we refuse to resolve it. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Almost everything in a relationship boils down to communication, according to Batshaw.

It’s critical that we keep our partners informed about our thoughts so that they can adjust – and vice versa. When your partner tells you you’ve crossed a line, you’re just as accountable for listening and changing your behavior.

Breaking up with someone because they said something wrong or didn’t meet your expectations is naive, as is being dissatisfied when your spouse disagrees with you, according to Bahar.

If you’re considering ending a relationship because your partner respectfully expresses a viewpoint that differs from yours, you might want to explore your defensiveness.

Knowing if you should continue with your spouse, unless you’re in a dangerous scenario, takes seeing how they act toward you over time and monitoring how you constantly feel as their partner, especially after you express concerns or emotions of hurt, according to Batshaw.

A relationship in which one person consistently fails to meet the requirements and boundaries of the other is unlikely to continue.


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Couples are probably doing OK as long as they can communicate through difficult situations, keep each other feeling safe and pleased, and continue to share pleasant times.

How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship?

Tell your partner how you’re feeling and how tough it is for you to deal with separation or even the prospect of being apart. This manner, your partner will be able to tolerate your dread and worry and will undoubtedly work with you to make you feel better.

What is a stranger anxiety?

When an unexpected person approaches, stranger fear manifests itself in tears. It is common when it begins around the age of 8 to 9 months and normally stops by the age of two years. Stranger anxiety is linked to the infant’s developmental process of differentiating between familiar and unfamiliar objects.

What is separation anxiety caused by?

Life stresses or losses that result in separation, such as the illness or death of a loved one, the loss of a cherished pet, parent divorce, or moving or going away to school, are all potential risk factors. There are certain temperaments that are more susceptible to anxiety problems than others.

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