Separation Anxiety Disorder

A disorder in which a child becomes excessively anxious when separated from parents.
Children are especially prone to separation anxiety during times of stress.
Separation anxiety differs from normal clinginess. Children with the disorder can’t think about anything but the present fear of separation. They may have nightmares or regular physical complaints. They may be reluctant to go to school or other places.
Treatment includes talk therapy and possibly anti-anxiety medication.

 

Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW202
Diagnosis: Separation Personality Disorder
US Patients: 5%-25% of children; 2% of adults
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: B;G+
Age Onset: Normal 8-14 months; usually finished by age 3.
Brain Area: amygdala, ventrolateral and dorsomedial areas of the prefrontal cortex
Symptoms: reluctance, worry about being away from home, or away from loved one, nightmares if away from home
Progression: anxiety on separating from home or a specific loved one or significant others
Causes: American Psychiatric Association considers this a normal part of development except for the significantly older.
Medications: tricyclic antidepressants. SSRI’s
Therapies: counseling for the child and family, behavioral therapies, contingency management with “praise”

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