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Why Do We Hold On? 10 Hidden Secrets of Adult Attachments Exposed

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Attachment refers to the emotional bond with a specific individual. The attachment formed during infancy influences childhood and impacts interpersonal relationships as one grows. In adult attachment, one can feel a sense of closeness when with someone they deem important, but when apart, a sense of anxiety can creep in. This varies from person to person, but why do these differences occur?

What is attachment?

Attachment can be described as the emotional and social bond between a child and their mother. Psychoanalysts first mentioned the theory of attachment in the mid-1990s, and since then, the term has gained attention in academia. The importance of forming attachments has been continuously emphasized.

When does attachment form?

According to attachment theory, attachment formation begins three months after birth. A baby starts to make eye contact with the parent, smiles at them, and turns their head to follow the parent’s voice. By six months of age, attachment behaviors begin to manifest clearly, and by the age of three, internalization gradually occurs, making this period critical for attachment formation.

Finding attachment figures instead of caregivers

Humans form an attachment relationship with their primary caregivers from birth, and after 36 months, they begin to break away from this relationship and reach a state of independence. However, this does not mean completely escaping from the attachment relationship. As they grow, they often seek new attachment figures to replace the caregiver and recapture the emotions they feel towards them.

Causes of insecure attachment relationship

If an adult is overly attached to a doll, it may be evidence of an unhealthy attachment relationship with their caregiver in the past. Those unable to form a normal attachment relationship with their caregiver during infancy often exhibit unstable attachment styles as adults. Such insecure attachment relationships can manifest as excessive interest in others or, conversely, as fear and avoidance of forming deep emotional connections.

Does it disappear with growth?

Attachment is not a concept that disappears. It persists from birth until death, although the attitudes and behaviors forming attachment can change as one grows. Experts suggest that these changes can be influenced by various experiences encountered during growth.

Difference from a child’s affection deprivation

Children with emotional deprivation often have delayed language, social, and physical development and may exhibit poor learning abilities. This can sometimes be mistaken for developmental disorders such as intellectual disabilities or autism. However, adults do not display such distinctive physical and behavioral traits. Therefore, adult emotional deprivation is much more complex and more complicated to identify compared to children, often accompanied by defensive attitudes to hide it.

Secure attachment

Attachment can be broadly divided into secure attachment and insecure attachment. Secure attachment refers to the extent to which one seeks comfort and calmness through their attachment figure when feeling lonely or exhausted. People with secure attachments generally form relationships based on positive emotions like trust and friendship.

Insecure attachment

On the other hand, if one cannot carry out daily activities without an attachment figure and feels anxious, this can be described as an insecure attachment. People with insecure attachment tend to show strong emotional fluctuations, jealousy, and obsessive immersion in the other person. Maintaining an attachment relationship with a doll as an adult is not problematic. Still, if one becomes overly attached to the point that they cannot sleep without the doll, this could be considered a severe issue.

Showing symptoms of excessive attachment?

People with insecure attachment types should strive to develop the ability to live independently without an attachment figure. For example, it would be beneficial to utilize desensitization therapy, gradually reducing the time spent hugging a doll. Spending more time interacting with people around you is crucial to filling emotional voids. Suddenly, taking away the doll can trigger trauma, so it’s best to avoid doing so.

Self-treatment methods for affection deprivation

If untreated, emotional deprivation can lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and panic, and it can easily become chronic. This is why treating emotional deprivation is necessary. Self-treatment methods for emotional deprivation include meeting stable people to fulfill emotional needs, raising pets, engaging in religious activities or meditation, and having therapeutic conversations with oneself. Therapeutic conversations involve comforting activities like writing a diary or letter for oneself and offering consolation, support, and praise.

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