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Anxiety, Depression and Self-Abandonment

By Dr. Margaret Paul
October 08, 2018

Discover a major cause of anxiety and depression and what you can do about it.

Young woman resting her head beside a tree, expressing loneliness. Most people want to believe that their anxiety or depression is being caused by other people or by events - but these are not the major causes of most current anxiety and depression. Certainly, we all experience anxiety or depression regarding painful and challenging life events, but this is different than ongoing anxiety or depression. 

Other than anxiety and depression that is physically caused due to a toxic gut which causes toxicity in the brain, or unhealed childhood trauma, or very painful life events, most current, ongoing feelings of anxiety and depression are caused by some form of self-abandonment. Your anxiety or depression may be the way your inner guidance is letting you know that you are abandoning yourself.

There are four common forms of self-abandonment and they can lead to a vicious cycle.

1. Self-judgment and other lies

Do you ever tell yourself any of these lies and judgments?

  • I am not lovable.
  • I am unworthy and undeserving of love.
  • It is my fault that he or she doesn't like me.
  • I am inadequate.
  • I am a failure. I will never amount to anything.
  • I am ugly. I am too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too dark, too light, and so on.
  • I am selfish when I take care of myself.
  • I am alone and I will always be alone.
  • No one will ever love me.

Telling yourself these lies and judgments is like telling them to a small child. The child would feel very anxious and depressed at hearing these statements from you. Likewise, your inner child feels anxious and depressed when you judge yourself and allow your wounded self to lie to your inner child.

2. Ignoring your feelings by staying focused in your mind, rather than present in your body

Do you ignore the pain you are causing through your lies and self-judgments? Do you judge yourself for your anxiety or depression? Do you ignore the deeper core pain of life – the loneliness, heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others that are a part of life?

When you ignore the feelings you are causing, or you ignore the painful feelings of life that are caused by others and events, the message to your inner child is that he or she is not important to you. Your feelings don't matter. Now you not only feel the anxiety or depression coming from your lies and self-judgments, but you exacerbate your painful feelings by ignoring the feelings that you are creating.

3. Turning to various addictions to numb your feelings

If you feel intense anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, and so on as a result of your self-abandonment, and you further abandon yourself by turning to various addictions to numb out the pain and avoid responsibility for it, you cause even more anxiety and depression.

Since you are doing anything but loving yourself, and your inner child always needs love - or at least some way of filling up the inner emptiness and aloneness - your wounded self turns to old learned addictive ways of avoiding pain, such as junk food, nicotine, drugs or alcohol, or to activities such as TV, work, gambling, spending, or masturbating to Internet porn.

Turning to any of these addictions pacifies the pain for the moment - which is how they became addictions - but because they are all ways of abandoning yourself, they only lead to more pain in the long run.

4. Making others responsible for your feelings of worth and safety

Now you are not only in pain from the self-judgments, and from ignoring your feelings and turning to addictions, but if you are making others responsible for your feelings, that will also cause anxiety and depression. Rather than lovingly attending to your feelings with an intent to learn about how you are abandoning yourself, do you pull on someone to give you attention or approval? Do you try to get someone to have sex with you? Do you give yourself up to try to get love, rather than learn to love yourself so you can share your love? Do you get angry and blaming as a form of trying to have control over others giving you the love you are not giving to yourself?

Stuck…and Unstuck

You may be stuck in the vicious cycle of self-abandonment that feeds upon itself. You will not permanently get out of this cycle and heal your anxiety and depression until you stop abandoning yourself, and instead move into the intent to learn about loving yourself, devoting yourself to your Inner Bonding practice.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.


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Focus on letting go of the need for attention, approval, appreciation or love from others. Focus on giving yourself attention, approval, appreciation and love throughout each day. Others love and appreciation is the icing on the cake, but you need to provide the cake by loving and appreciating yourself.



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