Maybe you have never wondered why you feel so sad when a relationship ends, but I do, especially if I know the relationship was not making me happy. The conclusion I have come to is that when a relationship ends, I feel separation anxiety. I feel the same way I did when I was an infant and my mother left me for a few minutes to take care of some chores.

As we grow up, we don’t really forget anything that happens to us. Our experiences leave a groove in our brain and after awhile it seeps down into our unconscious. Here it remains dormant until a recent experience triggers it. I say triggered because for me it feels like a gun went off. One moment I am happy I finally got out of a bad relationship, and the next minute I am depressed and wondering if I will ever find love again.

If you are insecure and have low self-esteem, you will quickly change your mind and try to get the man back. If he does come back, you are happy for awhile and then you realize what a mistake you made to reunite. If he does not come back, you panic and try to make him come back. For me this meant excessive phone calls, emails, and texts. Before I was treated for love addiction, I would sometimes drive by his house and look into the window to see what he was doing. This never went over very well.

I researched separation anxiety and to my amusement, I discovered that it is considered a child’s disorder. This made me laugh because I know dozens of people who experience separation anxiety when they break up with someone to one degree or another.

If you have anxiety disorder when a relationship ends, I suggest that you just not act on it. You simply let your logical brain tell you that you broke up for a reason, and this is the end of it. Stay the course and move on. Seek help if you need it, and talk about this with your friends. I am not saying this is easy, but in the long run you will save a lot of time. You can now move on to a more compatible partner who makes you happy.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award-winning book Infinite Recovery and the Wake Up Recovery Community. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30-minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to Find Everlasting Love.