What is separation anxiety disorder?

Separation anxiety disorder is when your child is more frightened or upset to leave home or leave you or someone they’re close to than they should be at their age.

Does your child have separation anxiety disorder?

If your child does three or more of the following for at least four weeks, then you should consider having them assessed by a psychologist.

  • gets very anxious when they have to leave home or be away from people they are close to
  • worrying too much about something bad happening to people they are close to
  • worrying too much that something will happen that will separate them from the people they are close to – for example, getting lost
  • not wanting to go to school (or anywhere else they have to go) because it will mean going away from people they are close to
  • being very afraid of being alone
  • having nightmares about being separated from home or loved ones
  • making excuses – such as headaches or stomach aches – whenever they need to be away from people they are close to

How do I get help for myself or my loved one?

The first step in getting help is finding out whether you have a problem. A trained clinical psychologist can effectively perform a professional assessment, which will identify whether you have any problem areas, and will recommend the treatment most appropriate for you if necessary.

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