Abandonment Issues: Types And Symptoms, Coping Tips And Therapies


Abandonment issues can be hard to deal with. Not only do they cause emotional pain and anxiety. But the unresolved feelings from abandonment often lead to physical and mental health problems as well.

If you’re trying to figure out what your abandonment issue is or if you know someone who is dealing with this complex trauma, then read on!

In this article, we’ll cover everything from how it feels like-to specific types of abandonment issues and coping strategies for each type.

What Are Abandonment Issues?

abandonment issues2

Abandonment issues take many forms, but the common theme is that a person feels abandoned. In some cases, this feeling of abandonment might be triggered by something occurring in the present moment or it could have been caused by an event from the past. This latter form of abandonment issue is usually linked to childhood and can occur because parents were not emotionally available or physically present.

How Do Abandonment Issues Feel Like?

abandonment issues1

People who struggle with abandonment issues often feel a sense of emptiness and loneliness. They may also feel insecure and anxious as if they are constantly on the lookout for potential threats to their safety or well-being.

In some cases, people with abandonment issues might become clingy and dependent on others, while in other instances they may withdraw from social interaction and appear aloof and uninterested in connection with others.

NOTE: Abandonment issues can also lead to avoidance behaviors or complete shut down of emotions and feelings.

What Are the Types of Abandonment Issues?

There are many different types of abandonment issues. Some common ones include:


This is when you feel that your parents or caregivers rejected you emotionally, spiritually, or physically. You may feel like they never wanted you around and that you were a mistake.


This is when your parents or caregivers neglected you emotionally, spiritually, or physically. You may feel like they never wanted to spend time with you and that their parenting skills were lacking in some way.

Emotional Abandonment

abandonment issues child

This is when your parents or caregivers failed to meet what you believed was their role as a parent/caregiver. This can include:

  • Not meeting your basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter
  • Failure to recognize the emotions that you were feeling
  • Not listening or paying attention when you wanted them to listen
  • Being there physically but not emotionally
  • Ignoring your thoughts and feelings
  • Allowing others in their family/social circle (i.e., grandparents) to take care of you instead
  • Being overly critical or judgmental as a caregiver

Physical Abandonment

This is when your parents/caregivers physically abandoned you. For example, they may have left to go back home after visiting for the weekend and never came back. Or perhaps one parent moved out of the family home but still maintained contact with their child.

Spiritual Abandonment

This is when your parents/caregivers failed to provide you with any spiritual guidance or support during important milestones in their life such as getting baptized, going to church, etc. You may have been encouraged not to attend certain churches or participate in religious activities and it made you feel ostracized from the rest of your family.

Psychological Abandonment

abandonment issues3

This type of abandonment occurs when someone close to you stops making an effort in your relationship and fails to invest time and energy into the connection. Instead, they may choose to be emotionally uninvolved with their partner’s life.

What Are the Symptoms of Abandonment Issues?

Some common symptoms associated with unresolved abandonment issues include:


People who struggle with abandonment issues often experience depression. This can be due to feelings of loss from the initial abandonment as well as a sense that they are unworthy or undeserving.


Those who have been abandoned may also struggle with fear and anxiety, especially when it comes to future relationships. Abandonment issues can make people feel unsure about trusting others which often leads them to create stories in their head about why people will leave them.

Low Self-Esteem

People who struggle with abandonment issues often have low self-esteem as a result of the many negative messages they may have internalized about themselves. This can manifest itself in feeling unworthy or that you are not good enough.

Relationship Issues

Abandonment issues can also impact future relationships and intimacy. These feelings of fear about being abandoned again may lead you to push away people that care for you or drive them away before they get the chance to leave on their terms.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Unresolved Abandonment Issues?


Abandonment issues can have long-term effects on a person’s mental health. Some of these effects may include:

Depression and/or Anxiety Disorders

This occurs when a person becomes depressed or anxious due to the underlying feelings of loneliness, sadness, guilt, inferiority, etc. The depression and anxiety may be so severe that it becomes difficult for the person to hold down a job, maintain relationships, or live a normal life.

Binge-Eating Disorder

People with abandonment issues are often drawn to food as a source of comfort and solace. This can lead to binge-eating disorder, which is characterized by eating large quantities of food in a very short period.

Suicide Ideation, Attempts, or Plans

People with abandonment issues are often drawn to alcohol and drugs as a way to ease the pain they feel inside. This may lead them down the road towards addiction which can eventually end up leading to suicide attempts if not properly treated.

Borderline Personality Disorder

A person with abandonment issues is often drawn to unstable relationships which may lead them down the path towards developing a borderline personality disorder.

Note: People with abandonment issues are at a greater risk of developing these long-term effects because they have difficulty dealing with the underlying feelings that cause them to act out in such negative ways as outlined above. If you think someone may be suffering from one or more of these conditions, encourage him/her to seek treatment immediately before it is too late.

How Can I Cope with Abandonment Issues?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to cope with abandonment issues will vary from person to person. However, some general coping strategies that may be helpful include:

Talk About Your Feelings

abandonment issues talk

One of the best ways to cope with abandonment issues is by talking about your feelings and experiences with others. Although it may feel difficult at first, opening up will help you process these emotions and reduce their impact on your life. You can also use this time as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.


Another great way to work through abandonment issues is by journaling. This can provide a space for you to express your feelings and thoughts in a safe and confidential setting. It can also help you track your progress over time.


It is a great tool to find inner peace and calmness by focusing on your breathing rather than whatever is causing negative thoughts at that moment. If someone has abandonment issues, it is important to understand that they may never go away. However, there are ways for them to cope and deal with these issues in a way that allows them to live fulfilling and happy lives despite the challenges they face daily.

Exercise and Physical Health

The way you feel physically can affect the way that you think, which is why it is important to take care of your body by looking after your physical health. This could be something as simple as going for a walk or working out.

Other Strategies:

Avoiding Self-Isolation

Connecting with others, no matter how small the connection may be, is a great way to fight feelings of isolation and abandonment.

Finding Positive Relationships

Your current relationships can have an impact on how you feel in day-to-day life. It is important to fill your life with positive relationships so that you can focus on the good in your life.

Reach Out For Professional Help

If you are struggling to cope with abandonment issues on your own, it may be helpful to reach out for professional help. This is especially true if the issue has been negatively affecting your life for a long time.

Therapy is very helpful in dealing with abandonment issues and many therapists specialize in working with people who have experienced different types of loss or trauma. There are also online therapy options.

Talking To a Professional

abandonment issues psychotherapy

Abandonment issues can be tough to overcome. If you are struggling with abandonment issues, it is important to speak with a therapist or find other coping strategies that work for you such as those listed above.

Many coping strategies can be used to deal specifically with different types of abandonment, while some may work better than others depending on your circumstances. For example, someone might find it easier to talk about their feelings in person while another person might prefer journaling.

Understanding the types of feelings associated with specific forms of abandonment can help your process and move forward in life so that you feel better about yourself and live a happier life. Speaking with a professional is helpful for many people who are struggling with abandonment issues.

Therapy Options For Abandonment Issues

If you are struggling with abandonment issues, there are a few different therapy options that might be a good fit for you.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy can be beneficial for those struggling with abandonment issues because it helps to identify the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to these feelings. CBT also teaches different coping skills helpful to deal with abandonment-related triggers.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

In DBT, you learn how to balance your emotions and control them better. In addition, you learn skills that help improve interpersonal relationships as well as coping strategies for difficult situations.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

It focuses on the relationships in your life and how you interact with others. It can help you better understand your abandonment issues and how they are impacting your current relationships.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

This type of therapy focuses on the root causes of your abandonment issues as well as how they have been impacting your life. This approach also helps you understand why unresolved feelings from childhood may be driving some of these more current concerns.

Group Therapy

Joining a group therapy session can be helpful for those who feel like they need more support than what individual therapy can offer. In group therapy, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with others who are also struggling with abandonment issues. This type of setting often provides a sense of comfort and belonging that is often difficult to find in one-on-one therapy sessions.

Individual counseling sessions

They are also available for those struggling but who do not wish to participate in group therapy sessions. Therapy can be quite helpful when it comes to improving your quality of life through the use of coping skills that work best for you as well as uncovering memories or experiences from your past that may have contributed to your feelings of abandonment.


Talk therapy with a therapist who understands abandonment issues and has experience in helping people deal with them.

Art therapy or creative expression, which can help explore your feelings and emotions in a safe and non-threatening environment.

Note: If you are struggling with unresolved issues related to being abandoned, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in this area so you can get the guidance and support you need. If possible, try finding someone whose style fits best with how you learn and process information.


Abandonment issues are common and can be overcome. However, it is important to understand the experiences associated with abandonment issues to move forward and feel better about yourself. If you or someone you know is struggling with these types of feelings, seek out professional help today. With time and support from a therapist who specializes in this area, you can overcome your abandonment issues and live a happier life.

If you are looking for affordable Online Counseling MantraCare can help: Book a trial therapy session

Try MantraCare Wellness Program free

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.