Font Size

Separation Anxiety (cont.)

Separation Anxiety Treatment

Patient Comments

The child or adolescent and his or her family, school staff, and primary-care physician should work together to design a plan to accomplish a gradual return to developmentally expected function in settings such as school, sports, and social events. It is very important to acknowledge the level of distress that the child or adolescent feels.

Utilizing positive reinforcement aids in encouraging the child's return to the feared situation and becoming comfortable with anticipated brief separations from parents and caregivers.

Cognitive-behavior therapy, including response prevention and exposure therapy has been shown to be effective, especially in helping the child or adolescent return to normal daily function.

Antianxiety medications may be effective but are not U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for people younger than 18 years of age.

Separation Anxiety Home Remedies

Developing a routine of self-directed relaxation exercises, including breathing routines of about five to six deep and slow breaths during periods of discomfort, may be beneficial in reducing anxiety symptoms; however, avoiding continuous deep breathing leading to hyperventilation is important.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Separation Anxiety

Anxiety Anxiety as a medical condition is characterized ...learn more >>
Infant Milestones
Infant Milestones Babies grow and develop rapidly over the fir...learn more >>
School Refusal
School Refusal School refusal occurs when a student will...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Separation Anxiety:

Separation Anxiety - Symptoms

Tell us the symptoms your child experienced as a result of separation anxiety?

Separation Anxiety - Treatment

Tell us the treatment you received for separation anxiety.

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 »

Medical Dictionary