Separation Anxiety in Children
Separation anxiety is a part of the normal developmental process in children. It’s perfectly fine for a child under the age of 6 to be anxious and fearful about separating from their parent or caregiver, to whom they are emotionally attached. However, if the symptoms intensify beyond what’s healthy or if the condition persists beyond the age of 6 then it’s possible that the child may have separation anxiety disorder. Separation anxiety disorder can prevent children from performing activities that are normal for their age like developing and maintaining friendships with their peers. School absenteeism increases and academic performance can take a nose dive in children with separation anxiety disorder. Separation anxiety disorder is the most prevalent anxiety disorder in children under the age of 12, and it affects both boys and girls equally. The symptoms of separation anxiety disorder are similar to those of separation anxiety, so sometimes it can be mistaken for healthy behaviour.
Other signs of separation anxiety disorder include:
- Reluctance to fall asleep without being near a caregiver
- Physical symptoms like stomach aches, dizziness and muscle aches
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