Separation Anxiety Disorder


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Will Winter, MD, FAAP

Do you have to stay with your child while he or she is going to sleep? Is your child afraid to be alone? Does he or she have tantrums when it is time to go to school?

These are just some of the symptoms found in Separation Anxiety Disorder.

Just like with anxiety disorders generally speaking, we consider the possible stressors. Is there verbal fighting in the house? Is the family moving? Etc. All possible stressors should be clarified and addressed.

If there is significant dysfunction when it comes to day-to-day life, treatment is indicated. Talk therapy, specifically CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is very useful. Medication may also help but often may not be necessary.

The prognosis for Separation Anxiety Disorder can be quite good with treatment and if the stressors in the child's life are addressed quickly and definitively.

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