font size

Separation Anxiety (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What is separation anxiety disorder?

To understand separation anxiety disorder, it is important to first recognize the normal difficulty that infants and toddlers have with strangers and in separating from parents and caretakers. Infants show stranger anxiety by crying when someone unfamiliar to them approaches. This normal stage of development is connected with the baby learning to distinguish his or her parents or other familiar caretakers from people they don't know. Stranger anxiety usually starts at about 8 months of age and ends by 2 years of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Separation anxiety as a normal life stage first develops at about 7 months of age, once a baby understands that his or her caregivers do not disappear when out of sight (object permanence). That leads to the baby developing a true attachment to those adults. Normal separation anxiety is most commonly at its strongest at 10-18 months of age and gradually subsides, usually by 3 years of age. Normal separation anxiety may result in parents having trouble with their babies at bedtime or other times of separation, in that the child becomes anxious, cries, or clings to the caretaker.

In addition to the child's temperament, factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully he or she moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include how well the parent and child reunite, the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues. For example, children of anxious parents tend to be anxious children.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/23/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Separation Anxiety - Cause Question: What was the cause of your separation anxiety?
Separation Anxiety - Symptoms Question: What were some of the symptoms of your child's separation anxiety?
Separation Anxiety - Experiences Question: Please share your experiences of separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your separation anxiety?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/separation_anxiety/article.htm

Emotional Wellness

Get tips on therapy and treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations