Separation Anxiety (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
The following structured and semistructured interview scales, administered by a medical professional, can be extremely helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of separation anxiety disorder:
A physical exam with clinically pertinent medical testing should be performed, preferably by the primary-care physician. Tests may be performed to rule out metabolic abnormalities (for example, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia), cardiovascular abnormalities, or central nervous system infections because they may cause symptoms of acute anxiety that, in children, might appear to be separation anxiety.
Bettina E Bernstein, DO
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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.