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mommy, don't go!

Helping Children Overcome Separation Anxiety

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Article -anxiety/fear becomes disorder if:
1) intensity of fear reaction is out of proportion to actual threat
2) frequency of reaction is increased and cannot be alleviated through reassurance
3) content of fear is relatively innocuous (going to school, riding in elevators)
4) fear reaction is spontaneous and beyond control of child
5) leads to escape or avoidance of situation
6) reaction persists over time, without child gaining mastery of anxiety with repeated exposure to feared stimulus.
7) child's functioning is hampered or interfered with by fear.

Age of onset for separation anxiety disorder average 7.5 years.
-excessive anxiety focused on separating from home or primary attachment figures. Crying and distress. Fear something terrible will happen to cause separation (kidnapping, getting lost)...often shadow parents and refuse to be alone at any time. (older children more commonly struggle with greater time & space, like sleepovers).
often accompanies significant change (death of loved one, divorce, moving), but also entering school for first time, or moving schools.
-SAD considerable risk for developing social phobia