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Separation Anxiety (cont.)

How do I know if my child has separation anxiety?

Patient Comments

Symptoms of separation anxiety disorder include the following:

  • Subjective feeling of anxiety
  • Unrealistic worries about the safety of loved ones
  • Reluctance to fall asleep if not near the primary attachment figure
  • Excessive dismay (for example, tantrums) if separation from the primary attachment figure is imminent
  • Nightmares with separation-related themes
  • Homesickness
  • Psychosomatic symptoms such as:

When to Seek Medical Care for Separation Anxiety

Seek medical evaluation when social functioning becomes impaired, that is when a child or adolescent is refusing to go to school, is not socializing, is avoiding participation in sports or recreation, or is unwilling to be separated from the primary caregiver.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Separation Anxiety - Symptoms

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Separation Anxiety - Treatment

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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