Separation Anxiety Disorder
What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?
It’s a inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home, individual or object of affection.
It’s normally seen in children.
What are the symptoms?
Inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:
1. Recurrent distress when separation from home, a very attached person or an object of affection occurs or is anticipated.
2. Persistent and excessive worry about losing or about possible harm to the attached person/object of affection.
3. Persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from the attached individual/object of affection
(e.g., getting lost or being kidnapped)
4. Persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school, college or office because of fear of separation.
5. Persistently and excessively fearful or reluctance to be alone.
6. Getting excessively angry, irritable, throwing tantrum on being left without the attached person/object of affection.
7. Persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near the attached individual/ object of affection.
8. Refusal to sleep away from home or away from the attached individual/ object of affection.
9. Repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation
10. Repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated.
How to Treat it?
a. A complete neuro-psychiatric analysis is done to analyze the stressors, personality types, level of affection and extent of stress experienced.
b. Based on a concrete analysis, treatment modalities are selected after repeated discussion with parents or family members.
c. Counseling, play therapy are the main-stay of treatment.
d. Medications are avoided, but might be required on SOS basis to calm episodes of tantrums, anger and stress.