Separation anxiety is a mental health problem. It is usually developed in kids and adults. Any child with separation anxiety may excessively worry about being separated or being apart from their family members. These children fear losing their loved ones or have a constant feeling that something bad is about to happen to them.
Separation anxiety not only happens to children it can even happen to an adult. Adults with separation anxiety have an extreme fear of something bad happening to their loved ones.
Researchers have conducted many teeth but they are not sure of what causes this anxiety.
It is often seen that the cause of this anxiety is a combination of various other factors that may lead to other anxiety disorders.
In some cases, separation anxiety gets very intense and more serious. This serious condition is known as a separation anxiety disorder.
A separation anxiety disorder may be associated with other disorders like panic attacks or panic attack disorder in which a person may experience repeated episodes of intense anxiety and fear.
What are the causes and symptoms of separation anxiety?
Most of the time separation anxiety disorder in a person begins in their childhood. It can be triggered by events that caused stress from being separated from a loved one.
People with anxiety disorders may be socially withdrawn and so extreme sadness and are isolated.
Some of the symptoms include
- Intense fear that loved ones will be fatally injured
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Clinging to the caretaker
- Physical symptoms include muscle tension, headaches, and gut health problem.
Apart from the symptoms separation anxiety disorder is often diagnosed in people along with a few other conditions
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How do we diagnose this condition?
To diagnose this condition a medical professional will conduct an examination and use the set of criteria to evaluate if a person has a separation anxiety disorder.
Can we treat this mental health condition?
Treating this mental disorder is similar to the treatment of other anxiety disorders a medical professional would recommend a few treatments or a few cycles of treatments and figure out which works best for the patient.
Some of the possible treatments include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Medications including anti-depressants.
How to deal with separation anxiety?
We can adapt a few steps to normalize children with separation anxiety. They are
Leaving the child with a caretaker for periodic intervals would help them prepare for separation.
Following a quick goodbye ritual would help in easing the separation anxiety of the child.
Practicing separation is the best way to prepare a child with separation anxiety. Being separated is the only way to eliminate the fear of separation. when a child knows what is to be separated, he would be mentally prepared to handle that situation.
Separation anxiety in adults
- Dealing with separation anxiety is different when it comes to adults.
- Adults can get busy avoiding the anxiety attacks which is caused by separation anxiety
- Recognizing the triggers and neutralizing or eliminating them would help
- Reframing the thoughts from negative to positive would help a person to handle the situation in a better manner
- Only if the anxiety is intense and disturbing the daily life it is important to seek professional therapy
- Like the other anxiety disorders, separation anxiety hampers the quality of life a person lives. Treatment can make the life of these adults better.
- Adult anxiety disorders are not as common as child anxiety disorders but still, many adults experience them. People should consult a medical professional if they feel that the symptoms are overwhelming. Feelings are subjective only a person who is suffering from the disorder can know how severe it is there is no proper skill to evaluate these feelings.
- Not only people but even animals like dogs can suffer from a separation anxiety disorder.
- When a dog is excessively attached to its owner, it tends to get stressed when it is left alone. Curing separation anxiety disorder in dogs entirely depends on its owner.
Anxiety can be caused during a person in childhood or adulthood everyone needs to understand that the symptoms can be managed through proper treatment and medications mental preparation is necessary to contain the symptoms. With proper supportive care social therapy and behavioral therapies, a person can overcome his symptoms and lead a happier life