Understanding Self-abandonment: The Hidden Struggle Within


Self-abandonment is a concept that many people may not recognise right away, yet its consequences are widespread. It entails disregarding one’s own needs, feelings, and desires in order to appease others or conform to society’s expectations. This phenomenon can emerge in a variety of areas of life, including relationships, professional decisions, and personal development. In this detailed post, we will look at the causes, symptoms, repercussions, and rehabilitation options linked with self-abandonment.

The Causes of Self-Abandonment

Early life experiences can often lead to self-abandonment. When a child is rejected or punished for expressing their emotions in childhood, they learn to repress their feelings and desires. This survival tactic, while essential in a dysfunctional setting, can lead to a loss of self-awareness as an adult.

Childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, or growing up in a household with emotionally unavailable providers, can lead to self-abandonment. Individuals may come to believe that their wants are insignificant, or that meeting them is somehow bad.

Cultural and social conditioning: Societal standards and cultural expectations can also influence people to discard their genuine selves. Prioritising family or community necessities over personal aspirations is a prevalent cultural expectation, which can inhibit individual identity and interests.

Symptoms of Self Abandonment

Self-abandonment is typically subtle and firmly embedded in one’s actions, making detection difficult. Some common symptoms are:

People-pleasing means always saying yes to others at the price of one’s own health.

Lack of boundaries: trouble saying no or defending oneself against other people’s demands or harm.

Suppressing Emotions: Ignoring or dismissing one’s own feelings in order to appear normal.

Neglecting self-care is prioritising the needs of others over one’s own health, interests, and emotional needs.

Self-criticism is a severe internal critic that reinforces emotions of inadequacy and worthlessness.

The Effects of Self-Abandonment

Self-abandonment has far-reaching consequences that can damage every aspect of one’s life.

Relationships: As people grow overly dependent or emotionally distant, their relationships may suffer. Without addressing their own needs, they will be unable to connect truly with others or create healthy ties.

Mental Health: Chronic self-abandonment frequently results in anxiety, despair, and feelings of emptiness. Disconnection from oneself can show as identity uncertainty or low self-esteem.

Physical Health: Neglecting one’s physical requirements over time can result in major health problems such as stress-related hypertension, sleep disturbances, and a weaker immune system.

Steps to Heal from Self-Abandonment

Recovery from self-abandonment is a return to oneself. It entails understanding and nurturing one’s own needs, desires, and emotions. Here are some steps to start the healing process:

  • Self-Awareness: Recognising patterns of disregarding one’s own wants and desires is the first step towards healing from self-abandonment. Mindfulness and introspective techniques, such as journaling, can assist raise self-awareness.
  • Therapy: Professional assistance can be extremely beneficial in addressing the underlying causes of self-abandonment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and trauma-focused therapy can all help you identify and cure the underlying difficulties.
  • Setting limits: Learning to set healthy limits is critical. This entails not just learning to say no, but also identifying what behaviours you will tolerate from others and implementing consequences when those boundaries are breached.
  • Developing Self-Compassion: Instead of criticising yourself, practise compassion. Guided meditations, self-compassion exercises, and therapy can all help to promote a more positive inner dialogue.
  • Reconnecting with Oneself: Engage in activities that reflect one’s actual interests, passions, and desires. This can include trying new activities, revisiting old interests, and enabling oneself to have new experiences.
  • Building helpful relationships: It is vital to surround oneself with individuals who are supporting, empathetic, and aware of one’s needs. Healthy relationships can provide positive feedback and support to offset tendencies towards self-abandonment.


Self-abandonment is a widespread problem that can infiltrate many facets of one’s life, often unnoticed. Healing from self-abandonment is about returning to your true self, honouring your needs, and expressing your emotions. This journey is about reclaiming the lost self and celebrating its complexities. Understanding, therapy, and self-care can help you transition from self-neglect to self-love, resulting in a more fulfilling, real existence.

Read more from our journal