Win War Against Stress
Help a Child Overcome Separation Anxiety
Separation Anxiety is a form of high tension or stress that is caused by an imminent event or previous experiences that require the victim to be in a situation where they must be separated from an object or person to which they are particularly attached. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
This is most frequently seen in adolescents and children, who bond to toys and family members easier than adults. The comfort of a familiar object or person creates an increased agitation at the notion that they will have to give it up, which can result in the symptoms of the anxiety lasting anywhere up to four weeks. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
Usually, however, the symptoms tend to pass in only a handful of weeks. It should be noted, however, that there are indeed cases where the symptoms simply remain or may even grow. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
The usual symptoms that teens and children will feel are emotions of intense anxiety, an increased difficulty in sleeping, tantrums, nightmares that involved the separated person or object, and a kind of homesickness. Not all symptoms are merely mental, as there can be a variety of psychosomatic reactions that include dizziness, headaches, stomach aches, and vomiting. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
It is usually during the disruption of a child’s typical routine that the anxiety symptoms set in the most frequently. For example, if a child is starting in a new school, whether for the first time or following a transfer, they can find themselves feeling many of these anxiety symptoms. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
Naturally, the feelings can also arise if the child is forced into a move to a new home, especially if it is to a new locale like a city or country. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”) severe changes in the child’s lifestyle can also antagonize feelings of separation anxiety, such as a divorce as the person yearns for the presence of whichever parent they are not currently living with
Observation is the first recommended step in treatment. Parents are told to watch and determine how long children need to adjust to the absence of their object and their new surroundings. If there is no indication that the anxiety is going to subside, professional help is highly recommended, especially if the condition appears to worsen. (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
“Usually, a series of tests and questions will be posed to determine if the symptoms warrant medical assistance.” (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
“Evaluation is often prescribed when a child actively seeks to avoid integrating in social activities with others in his environment regardless of the time spent there.” (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”) With the aid of the parents and other adults, children can have the effects of the anxiety minimized over time.
“It is important to understand that among the driving feelings of Separation Anxiety is a fear of being separated from something that the child has intimately bonded with such as family and friends, therefore it is important to help the child overcome these worries and fears.” (“Separation Anxiety in Children – How to Help Your Child …”)
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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