Attachment anxieties in early years can strain relationships

Human beings are social animals; seeking companionship and forming societies are what defines us as a race. Since the dawn of time, humans have been able to attune themselves to those whom they feel connected to and in the process, become dependent upon the relationship.

This need for companionship or for attachment start right from childhood. It is natural that the moment a baby is born, its survival instinct creates a biological need to attach to someone who can provide it with care and comfort. How this need is met has a decisive impact on the interpersonal character of the child as an adult. Lack of attachment during childhood can lead to anxiety that might have detrimental effects on a child, the effects of which can significantly be prevalent during adulthood as well.

Types of attachment anxieties

Different schools of psychotherapy and attachment-related scientific literature have debated that our childhood experiences have a strong foundation for adult functioning but few psychologists have differed in their opinion and done a comprehensive research on how relational environment shapes up human consciousness.

In one of his articles, Dr. Daniel Siegel, a clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, talked about four types of attachment anxieties that can impact the quality of life:

  • Secure attachment: It usually begins to take form in the initial six months to two years of age. The child feels emotionally and physically safe and secure in the presence of his/her caregiver who is sensitive to the child’s needs and demands. Such children are less prone to experiencing stress and can adapt to new conditions in a better way.
  • Avoidant attachment: Sometimes parents cannot give emotional support to their children nor have the time to understand and attend to their needs. They respond less when the child is distressed. The children become independent and learn to cope with circumstances on their own. The sense of independence works like a protective shield they seem to shut down emotionally, portraying an attitude of indifference towards everyone else around. But avoidant attachment increases the chances of conduct problems.
  • Disorganized attachment: This is a fearful form of attachment when a parent or a caregiver is abusive or frightening for a child. It becomes a terrifying experience for the child to undergo physical, mental and emotional cruelty. The dire want to get attached to a caregiver yet flee from the source of fear becomes traumatic and the thoughts become disorganized leading to disassociation.
  • Anxious attachment: This results out of an unpredictable behavior and conduct of parents, which often creates confusion in a child’s mind feeling unsure about what to expect and what not. If the parents are at times insensitive and at other times show love and affection, a child generates a feeling of mistrust on the parents and hence find ways to attract attention from the parents by becoming clingy or over demanding. Response from overanxious or suspicious parents make the children run away from them even though they want to remain close.

Children experiencing from any of these forms of anxiety can have a troubled adulthood where the act of expressing love and affection becomes more routine rather than being felt naturally. It strains the social relationships and increases the possibility of infidelity-related behavior.

Path to recovery

Little bit of anxiety in daily life about an impending exam or a loved one’s well-being is normal. But excessive and unreasonable fear about everything is an indication of an anxiety disorder that needs medical intervention. If you or your loved one displays signs of excessive anxiety, it is advisable to seek professional help. Such a disorder, if untreated, may have severe effects on the personal health and interpersonal relationships of the individual and those around him or her.

Contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California representatives to get information on the best anxiety treatment centers in California that offer a holistic approach to treatment. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 972 – 9459 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about evidence-based anxiety disorders treatment in California.

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