Separation Anxiety
Psychology Case Studies, Separation Anxiety Oct 26, 2023

In an older adult’s serene years, an unspoken sorrow often lingers – separation anxiety. This emotion surpasses conception for our senior neighbors, friends, and family. It becomes a personal, sometimes overwhelming, experience. Aging transforms the world around us and leaves a subtle ache. The ache of yearning for the days that have slipped away.

Consider the story of Mrs. Johnson. She is an 80-year-old widow who recently relocated to a retirement community. Amidst her grief, she wrestles with separation anxiety. One reason for her intensified situation is her children living far away. Besides to it the recent loss of her beloved pet cat, Fluffy.

Challenges Faced by Mrs. Johnson:

  1. Spousal Loss: Mrs. Johnson deals with a profound emptiness after her husband’s passing. She feels lonely without the 50 years of companionship they shared.
  2. Empty Nest Syndrome: Her adult children live in different states with their families. This leaves Mrs. Johnson with her solitude of an ’empty nest.’ She misses her children’s daily interactions and support.
  3. Relocation Stress: Moving to a new place is hard. It’s even more challenging because Mrs. Johnson lost her cat, Fluffy. These things make her feel out of place and more anxious about being away from her loved ones.
  4. Loss of Pet: Mrs. Johnson misses her beloved pet cat, Fluffy. Fluffy was always by her side, comforting her, especially when her husband was not around. Now that Fluffy is gone, she feels the emptiness even more.

Mrs. Johnson faces difficulties like social withdrawal and losing interest in hobbies. Additionally, she is having trouble sleeping and feeling mentally down. The absence of her pet cat makes her isolation and sadness even worse.

The retirement community staff creates a plan to help Mrs. Johnson. They arrange group activities for socializing and provide emotional support through a counselor. They also offer therapy sessions to help her cope with grief and separation anxiety. They arrange pet therapy sessions for residents. During these sessions, residents spend time with therapy animals. This shows their understanding of the importance of pet companionship.

Mrs. Johnson gets ongoing support. This helps her go to social events and make friends in the community. Therapy helps her cope, reducing her separation anxiety. Spending time with therapy animals brings her comfort and emotional healing. These methods ease her sense of isolation.

Mrs. Johnson’s case illustrates the complexity of separation anxiety in older adults. It becomes complex when many losses occur. Empathy, community involvement, and recognizing her pet’s significance comfort her. This emphasizes the importance of offering comprehensive support to address separation anxiety’s challenges.

In conclusion, the song “Someone You Loved” resonates with people like Mrs. Johnson. Aging brings inevitable losses. The music reflects the pain of missing loved ones. The lyrics say, “Now the day turns into night, and you’re not here to help me through it all.” These words echo their deep feelings, connecting them in shared longing. It reminds them they aren’t alone in their heartache. Instead, it provides comfort amid the separation’s ache.

"The scariest thing about distance is that you don't know whether they'll miss you or forget you." - Nicholas Sparks
About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.