Separation Anxiety Disorder
It is normal for very young children between the ages of 7 and 15 months old to experience separation anxiety. Often times kids go through a phase when they are scared nervous of unfamiliar people and places. Anytime a child has the fear it can be excessive and if it last longer than four weeks the child may have separation anxiety disorder. Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes alarmed or frightened when away from home or separated from a parent or love one. This fear may interfere with the child’s normal activities, such as going to school or playing with other children.
Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety Disorder
- An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the parent or caregiver if the child leaves
- Repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated
- Refusal to go to school in order to stay with the caregiver
- Refusal to go to sleep without the caregiver being nearby or to sleep away from home
- Fear of being alone
- Repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation
- Bed wetting
- Repeated temper tantrums or pleading
- Recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated
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Helpful Links For Anxiety Disorder
- Separation Anxiety - Describes typical phase of separation anxiety in infants and young children.
- Anxiety and Children - Provides an overview of separation anxiety disorder, symptoms and treatment options. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- Separation Anxiety - Offers practical suggestions for parents dealing with separation anxiety disorder, as well as books to read to children.
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