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Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) pertains to when an individual feels excessive anxiety at the prospect of being separated from people or places that they feel a strong emotional attachment to.

People can display the same level of anxiety at the prospect of being separated from someone they are close to, or a place they feel a strong attachment to, they are likely to be suffering from Separation Anxiety Disorder. 

Separation Anxiety and Third Culture Kids

Not only is there an anxiety about being separated from relatives in the home country such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, but there is also an anxiety about being separated from friends in the country in which one is residing. There is a possibility that one’s close friends are forced to move because their parents are being deployed to another country or that you yourself have to move because your parents have found work elsewhere. Growing up as a Third Culture Kid there is an anxiety related to temporary separation and permanent separation. Often, summer and winter vacations will be spent in the passport country and autumn and spring semester will be spent in the country of residence and each time one travels to the other one leaves friends and relatives behind. From a child’s perspective even a short amount of time can be long enough for bonds of friendship to weaken and for people to change. Therefore, when one is faced with the prospect of leaving a place albeit temporarily, one is met with anxiety at the thought of people changing whilst one is away.

How Separation Anxiety Can Lead To Depression

Untreated Separation Anxiety can lead to depression in the same way all other forms of anxiety lead to depression. People suffering from anxiety often feel ashamed at not being able to control their feelings and try to overcome this by looking for weaknesses in their personality and trying to change them. This type of controlling behaviour only serves to emphasise the anxiety’s power over the person and this in turn becomes a vicious circle of self-hate and anxiety leading to depression.


What to do?

If you feel like you are suffering from anxiety or depression. Reach out to us. We will try to help you get in touch with someone suitable to help you.

If you wish to share your story with the community – we will help you to do that.

If you are seeking to give advice or help with anxiety or depression – we will help you to do that too.

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