Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Abandonment Trauma

Abandonment trauma is a type of psychological distress caused by feeling abandoned or rejected. It can occur in both adults and children, although it is more common in those who have experienced abandonment in the past. While it can be difficult to identify and diagnose, understanding abandonment trauma is important for recognizing and managing its effects. Let’s take a closer look at what causes abandonment trauma, its symptoms, and how to treat it.

The Causes of Abandonment Trauma

There are many causes of abandonment trauma. It could be due to a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one or the breakup of a romantic relationship. It could also be due to neglectful parenting or long-term illness or disability, which prevents an individual from forming strong attachments with others. Whatever the cause may be, it’s important to recognize that abandonment trauma is real and can have serious implications for mental health.

What is Abandonment Trauma?

Abandonment trauma is an emotional response to being abandoned by someone who was once close to you. This can be caused by various circumstances, such as death, divorce, or infidelity in a relationship. When faced with abandonment, feelings of rejection, loneliness, and despair are common responses. It is important to note that these feelings are valid and should be addressed in order to get proper treatment.

What Causes Abandonment Trauma?

Abandonment trauma occurs when someone feels that they are not being cared for or supported by someone they depend on, such as a parent or partner. This could be due to physical abandonment (e.g., being left alone) or emotional abandonment (e.g., feeling like your feelings are invalidated). This can lead to feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, and fear of rejection. It can also cause people to feel helpless and unable to control their own lives.

Symptoms of Abandonment Trauma

The symptoms of abandonment trauma vary from person to person but generally include feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, guilt, shame, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, avoidance behaviors (such as avoiding relationships), poor self-esteem, and low self-confidence. In extreme cases, it may even lead to suicide attempts or substance abuse issues.

Treatment for Abandonment Trauma

The best way to treat abandonment trauma is through psychotherapy with a trained professional specializing in treating this issue. Therapy can help individuals understand their triggers and learn how to cope with them effectively, so they don’t become overwhelmed by their emotions.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that has been proven effective in treating abandonment trauma as well as other related issues like depression and anxiety. Through CBT, individuals can learn how to manage their thoughts and behavior in order to better cope with difficult situations caused by their abandonment issues. Additionally, counseling support groups provide a safe space for individuals dealing with similar issues to share stories and experiences with others who understand what they’re going through, which helps them feel less alone in their struggles.


Abandonment trauma is an often overlooked but serious mental health issue that affects many people worldwide—both adults and children alike—and can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s sense of well-being if not properly treated. If you think you might be suffering from abandonment trauma, it’s important that you seek help from a trained professional who specializes in this issue so you can begin the journey toward healing yourself emotionally and mentally from the effects of this condition. With the right treatment plan, you will be able to cope better with your emotions so you can live a healthier life without fear of being abandoned again in the future.

Photo by Jessica Favaro on Unsplash

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