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Anxious Avoidant Attachment


It is an interpersonal style in which patients experience discomfort in being with others and a tendency to avoid intimate relationships with them.


  • Parenting style:

  • An inconsistent parenting style might be a contributing factor. These parents are slow or inconsistent in responding to signs of distress in their baby

  • For example, not picking up a crying baby to avoid “spoiling” the child may actually lead to the development of anxious attachment toward the caregiver. As a result, the child becomes confused and insecure since they don’t know what behavior to expect

  • A child who has developed an anxious attachment toward a caregiver may act “clingy” or “whiny” toward them to try to have their needs met

  • Hereditary

  • Genetics may also play a role in anxious avoidant attachment


Anxious avoidant attachment can occur in both children and adults. However, their symptoms of this attachment differs. For instance, children may have problems controlling their negative emotions and have poor peer interactions, while adults may experience being overly dependent on their partners and are extremely moody.


Amir Levine, who was a student at Columbia University in New York, encountered a breakup with his boyfriend. He was really sad about it and her grievance gradually developed into anxious avoidant attachment. This made him an isolated human being and unable to connect with others for a long time. Fortunately, after 15 years, he put away his past and transformed into a happier, healthier self. Now, he works as an assistant professor at a clinical psychiatry, and helps mothers heal from the post-traumatic stress bond with their children.


People with anxious avoidant attachment suffered from traumas in their childhood, like being mistreated mentally or physically. Hence they behave very anti-social in order to avoid stepping again into their horrors from the past. However, just like any other mental disorders, it can be cured by psychotherapies and counselling. Therefore, it is directly related to mental health.

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