Attachment theory posits that as children, the bonds that we form (or don’t form) with our caregivers contributes directly with the way we relate to others when we get older. Consider the way you were raised – were your caregivers more distanced from you, or did they provide constant nurture and affection? How has this impacted the way you behave in your romantic relationships? Do you view others as more trusting, or do you approach people with more caution? Although it’s a theory, a lot of reasoning has been derived from it. As one can guess, the attachment styles we learned as a child likely contribute to the way we view ourselves and the world around us – including our development of mental illnesses, such as those relating to anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are often characterized by excessive worry about many aspects of life, such as work endeavors, social relationships, and financial matters. Causes of these disorders may include a family history of anxiety, recent or prolonged exposure to stressful situations, and excessive use of tobacco or caffeine – could attachment styles also play a role in this? A 2013 study published in the journal Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health sought to explore how adults with anxiety disorders experienced attachment-related anxiety. There are general types of attachment styles for adults:
- This category involves individuals who feel comfortable depending on others and having others depend on them. They tend to have positive views on their relationships and were raised by a caregiver who was emotionally available and responsive to them.
- Anxious-preoccupied – people in this group often want to be close with others but find that others are reluctant to get close to them.
Dismissive-avoidant – these individuals often do not want close relationships and feel they would rather be independent and self-sufficient.
Fearful-avoidant – people in this category often fear getting close to others, but they want emotionally close relationships.
The study involved 32 patients diagnosed with an anxiety disorder compared with 32 individuals who did not have an anxiety disorder and 32 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Results from the study found that individuals with anxiety disorders experienced much higher reports of anxious-preoccupied and fearful-avoidant attachment styles than the others, suggesting that there is a connection between the two. What does this mean for you?
Speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn about the options you have to overcome symptoms of your anxiety. Therapy is a great tool that can help you uncover your personal history and how it has contributed to your disorder, while also learning tools towards overcoming symptoms that are causing you distress.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.