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Separation Anxiety (cont.)

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What happens if separation anxiety disorder is left untreated?

Potential complications of separation anxiety disorder include depression and anxiety problems as adults, as well as personality disorders, in which anxiety is a major symptom. Adults with separation anxiety disorder have a guarded prognosis due to their being at risk of being quite emotionally disabled.

Is it possible to prevent separation anxiety disorder?

Research indicates that educating parents on ways to help their child cope with anxiety may be helpful in the prevention of separation anxiety disorder. Specifically, helping parents guide their child through experiences that cause anxiety, as well as developing healthy ways to cope with such experiences, seems to decrease the likelihood of developing any anxiety disorder, including separation anxiety disorder.

Where can I find more information on separation anxiety disorder?

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
3615 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-966-7300
Fax: 202-966-2891

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098
Phone: 847-434-4000
Fax: 847-434-8000

Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
8730 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1001
Fax: 240-485-1035

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Public Information & Communication Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 301-443-4513
Toll Free: 1-866-615-6464
TTY: 301-443-8431
TTY Toll Free: 1-866-415-8051
Fax: 301-443-4279

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Anxiety Disorders." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 46.2 (2007): 267-283.

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Separation Anxiety Disorder: Planning Treatment." Pediatrics in Review 21 (2000): 248.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

den Boer, J.A. "Social Phobia: Epidemiology, Recognition and Treatment." British Medical Journal 315 (1997): 796-800.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Treatment Revision. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, D.C., 2000.

Foley, D.L., D.B. Goldston, E.J. Costello, and A. Angold. "Proximal Psychiatric Risk Factors for Suicidality in Youth." Archives of General Psychiatry 63 (2006): 1017-1024.

Foley, D., M. Rutter, A. Pickles, A. Angold, M. Hermine, J. Silberg, and L. Eaves. "Informant Disagreement for Separation Anxiety Disorder." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 43.4 Apr. 2004: 452-460.

Fremont, W.P. "School Refusal in Children and Adolescents." American Family Physician Oct. 15, 2003.

Lewinsohn, P.M., J.M. Holm-Denoma, J.W. Small, J.R. Seeley, and T.E. Joiner. "Separation Anxiety Disorder in Childhood as a Risk Factor for Future Mental Illness." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 47.5 May 2008: 548-555.

Masi, G., M. Mucci, and S. Millepiedi. "Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Management." CNS Drugs 15.2 (2001): 93-104.

National Institute of Mental Health. "Behavioral Therapy Effectively Treats Children With Social Phobia." Dec. 17, 2007.

Osone, A., and S. Takahashi. "Possible Link Between Childhood Separation Anxiety and Adulthood Personality Disorder in Patients With Anxiety Disorders in Japan." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 67.9 Sept. 2006: 1451-1457.

Physicians' Desk Reference Staff. Physicians' Desk Reference, 62 ed. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, United Kingdom, 2008.

Rapee, R.M., S. Kennedy, M. Ingram, et al. "Is prevention of and early intervention for anxiety disorders possible?" Journal of Consultation Clinical Psychology 73 (2005): 488-497.

Silove, D.M., C.L. Marnane, R. Wagner, et al. "The prevalence and correlates of adult separation anxiety disorder in an anxiety clinic." BMC Psychiatry 10 (2010): 21.

Talge, N.M., C. Neal, and V. Glover. "Antenatal Maternal Stress and Long-Term Effects on Child Neurodevelopment: How and Why?" Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 48.3-4 Mar. 7, 2007: 245-261.

van der Linden, G.J., D.J. Stein, and A.J. van Balkom. "The Efficacy of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." International Clinical Psychopharmacology 15.2 Aug. 2000: S15-S23.

Walkup, J.T., M.J. Labellarte, M.A. Riddle, D.S. Pine, L. Greenhill, R. Klein, et al. "Fluvoxamine for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents." New England Journal of Medicine 344.17 Apr. 26, 2001: 1279-1285.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/24/2016


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