Separation anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by worrying that is out of proportion to the situation of temporarily leaving home or otherwise separating from loved ones. Approximately 4%-5% of children and adolescents suffer from separation anxiety disorder. Separation Anxiety Disorder is more common in children with family histories of anxiety. Also, children whose mothers were stressed during pregnancy with them tend to be more at risk for developing this disorder.
A majority of children with separation anxiety disorder have school refusal as a symptom and up to 80% of children who refuse to go to school qualify for the diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder. Approximately 50%-75% of children who suffer from this disorder come from homes of low socioeconomic status. The Physical effects and symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder are: orepeated occurrence of physical symptoms (nausea, stomachache, headache, vomiting, etc. on occasions that involve separation from a major attachment figure, such as leaving home to go to school; opersistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near or next to a major attachment figure; oExcessive, recurrent distress (as shown by anxiety, crying, tantrums, misery, apathy, or social withdrawal) in anticipation of, during, or immediately following separation from a major attachment figure
Social effects and symptoms are: persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school because of fear about separation There are no immediate effects on the spiritual dimension of health Psychological effects and symptoms of separation anxiety are: orepeated nightmares about separation; opersistent inappropriate fear of being alone at home during the day; oan unrealistic, preoccupying worry about possible harm befalling major attachment figures or a fear that they will leave and not return; oan nrealistic, preoccupying worry that some untoward event, such as the child being lost, kidnapped, admitted to hospital, or killed, will separate him or her from a major attachment figure; If left untreated, Separation anxiety disorder puts its sufferers at risk for depression and anxiety problems as adults, as well as personality disorders, in which anxiety is a major symptom. Teenage separation anxiety is not as common as separation anxiety in younger children, however, it does exist.
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Most cases of teenage separation anxiety have an earlier onset that went undiagnosed, but some recent case studies suggest there are some teens and young adults that have all the symptoms and a later onset. You can imagine how disruptive this could be to a teen’s life! Not only may these feelings prevent them from going to school, but from working, having normal social and peer relationships, and accomplishing the everyday activities of normal adolescents.
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