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Not unlike what is more common known as Clinical Depression, Abandonment Depression is based onaAn emotional state which brings on a catastrophic set of feelings. Based on John Bowlby's attachment theory which suggests that children come into the world biologically preprogrammed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive.
Stages of Abandonment Depression
When we anticipate that our needs may not be met or that someone is again turning away, we can do three basic things—sometimes all in rapid sequence like the baby above: We work harder to connect. We reach, we talk, and we try to find the other person. “Come back to me,” we say!
We protest the other person’s absence. This can look like anger or sulking… or often comes out in “passive-aggressive” ways because part of us is giving up while part of us continues to protest. We give up. Maybe we turn to food or sleep or exercise or achievements… or we fold in on ourselves and lose our interest in relationships. All of this is the manifestation of the memory of “nobody there.”Is there help for this? Yes!
Part of the fear and anguish around abandonment lies in not believing that help is possible, of course. So from these feelings, you might not believe me.
And that’s okay. There really is help, though. This really can change. But it’s hard to change this all by yourself. The antidote to abandonment isn’t self-help. The antidote to abandonment isn’t to do something in lonely isolation.
The antidote to abandonment is connection. Connecting… When Connecting Is the Problem. Finding a counselor who can map your emotions to unmet young needs can be a big help. Together, we’ll focus on moment-by-moment connection.
Together, we’ll empathically put words to your struggles and help you to stop abandoning yourself. Together, we’ll connect you to others who can be there for you.
In time, connection begins to feel like a delightful choice rather than a terrible need that leads to more abandonment.
This work always involves grief for the experience of solid connection that somehow got disrupted when you were young…
… but it also involves a sense of freedom, of connection, and also of you. The last thing needed when working with these feelings of aloneness is to feel all alone.