Have you ever heard of separation anxiety? Well if not, it’s not surprising as for sure there’s a lot out there that are also unaware of it.
Separation anxiety is a not so common yet a very serious anxiety disorder that affects children and young adolescents. Essentially, this anxiety results from separation or impending separation from the child’s attachment to his close family member, caretaker or the like. Normally, this affects an individual over a period of at least 4 weeks.
Symptoms of separation anxiety disorder normally may include the following:
- Subjective feeling of anxiety
- Psychosomatic symptoms like headache, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, nausea, stomachache,
cramps, vomiting, and muscle aches
- Impossible worries about the safety of loved ones
- Unwilling to fall asleep if not near the primary attachment figure
- Unreasonable depression like tantrums; if separation from the primary attachment figure is near
- Nightmares in relation to the pending separation
Love and guidance from parents or from other close people around the individual with separation anxiety is actually considered as the best treatment of all. Family member/s, school staff, and primary care physician around should design a plan to help the individual with separation anxiety realize that separation is a normal part of life and it’s not always a pure negative stuff.
Over the years, this therapy, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, has been shown to be effective, especially in helping the child or adolescent return to normal daily function. This therapy may take some time but it’s really worth it.