If I’m honest with you this symptom is much worse than you might think. You might think a simple fear of abandonment wouldn’t interrupt your life much, but I can promise you it does. On this page, we will talk about how bad this symptom can be, what causes it and how you might be able to recognise it and even stop it from interfering with your life.
What is the BPD Symptom of Fear of Abandonment?
‘Fear of Abandonment’ is pretty much what its name suggests it is. It is a fear of being abandoned or left alone. It doesn’t matter how much someone loves you, how they are acting, how long they have been your lover or your friend your ‘Fear of Abandonment’ will still kick in. But it’s not like this is simply a wrong thought process and it can go from one extreme to another and happen with anyone, not just your partner. It could be a shop worker, a therapist, heck! It can even be a neighbour who helps you out once in a while, it really can be triggered by anyone at any time which is what makes this such a troublesome symptom.
What Can Cause Fear of Abandonment?
While ‘Fear of Abandonment’ is one of the most common symptoms of BPD, others don’t suffer from it at all but get much worse symptoms of something else. Sadly not getting Fear of Abandonment doesn’t mean you don’t have BPD and it doesn’t mean you definitely have BPD if you do. As always with any mental health condition, you should seek professional help and advice if you are unsure about your diagnoses or indeed getting a diagnosis in the first place.
How Bad Can Fear of Abandonment be?
OK, here it goes (be warned this could be triggering)…remember I said at the start of this page “this symptom is much worse than you might think.”? Well, it really can be. Those of us with BPD will often destroy relationships, push away family and loved ones and even turn ourselves into social hermits. But sadly that, in turn, will also trigger depression to the point of suicide, it’s like a never-ending spiral of hurt that far too often ends with things getting so bad only professional help will do. This symptom always reminds me of the classic Doctor Dolittle character The Pushmi-Pullyu. We push away when we want to pull those around us closer and we pull those around us who we really should be pushing away! I know that is an odd analogy, but it works for me.
Does Everyone With BPD Suffer From Fear of Abandonment?
As with any symptom of BPD you might not suffer from this at all. While many of us will describe this as one of the main symptoms of BPD, others don’t get it at all but get much worse symptoms of something else. Sadly not getting Cognitive Distortions doesn’t mean you don’t have BPD and it doesn’t mean you definitely have BPD if you do. As always with any mental health condition, you should seek professional help and advice if you are unsure about your diagnoses or indeed getting a diagnosis in the first place.
How Can I Stop Fear of Abandonment?
One of the best ways to slow down this thinking and fully understand it is with Talking Therapy. Just to be able to get a 3rd person perspective on things can be a great way to reprogramming your brain to think correctly, or just stop you from saying rash things that might cause abandonment. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) can also help with this but has not proven as effective. If you can’t afford therapy you should research “interpersonal effectiveness skills” can try and learn those as this is the key to dealing with all those negative thoughts.
Well, I hope this has answered your question. As always with any posts/pages on this site, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Is this a question you wanted answering? Are there any questions you have relating to BPD that we have not covered? If so please leave a comment to if you want more privacy do please to get in touch with us via the Contact page.