In one of today’s training sessions, we covered mental health awareness and the most common forms of mental health problems seen in school students. One that was briefly covered was Separation Anxiety, which can be defined as worrying about not being with regular care-giver or separating from home or from the people one has become attached to. It is most commonly found in young children, and used to be a term only used with those under the age of 18, but now has become something that has been noted to being present at any and all stages in life.
I was diagnosed with GAD last summer, which felt like a very late diagnosis, but have made many efforts to try and fight through specific triggers and issues I have had to face as a result of my anxiety. One thing I didn’t consider what the negative impact on my mood distance from those I am attached to has. I never considered it to be separation anxiety; I brushed it off as being homesick. But after talking about it in the session today, I immediately thought back to a couple of days ago, when I had a breakdown in my room, far away from my closest friends and family.
I was already crying a lot and my breathing was starting to get erratic and panicked, and, sort of like a natural reaction, I thought of my best friend and how I just need to go to him and I would be fine. It was at that instance that I realised he wasn’t around; it was like being hit with a brick wall and my panicking worsened – my safety switch wasn’t around. This just made my emotions escalate even more; I started crying harder, struggling to control myself when suddenly I grabbed my phone and dialed his number, in a desperate attempt to try to reach out to him so that he can help me calm down, even if just over the phone.
This has happened many times before; sometimes I’ve been lucky that he was around, sometimes it’s not about him but about my mum. So it made me think, would this be classed as slight separation anxiety?