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Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety Overview

Separation anxiety is a fairly common anxiety disorder that affects children and young adolescents. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV-TR), a child with separation anxiety experiences recurrent excessive anxiety beyond that expected for the child's developmental level. This anxiety results from separation or impending separation from the child's attachment figure (for example, primary caretaker, close family member). As defined, this condition affects children younger than 18 years of age and occurs over a period of at least four weeks.

Characteristic features of separation anxiety disorder include severe distress, fear, or worry leading to impairment of functioning and frequently accompanied by somatic symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches (see Prognosis).

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Anxiety Disorder: Separation Anxiety and School Refusal »

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), separation anxiety is a fairly common anxiety disorder that consists of excessive anxiety beyond that expected for the child's developmental level related to separation or impending separation from the attachment figure (eg, primary caretaker, close family member) occurring in children younger than 18 years and lasting for at least 4 weeks.

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