Separation Anxiety: More Than Just the Back-to-School Blues
Aug 20, 2013 - 11:09:47 AM
This overwhelming fear may be a sign of separation anxiety disorder, a condition characterized by a school-aged child's extreme fear and nervousness of separating from loved ones.
"Upwards of 5 percent of children between the ages of 7 and 11 years old suffer from separation anxiety disorder in the United States. In severe cases this condition can hamper a child's academic performance and social interactions and even make it difficult for a child to develop physically and emotionally," says Dr. John Walkup, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Early detection and treatment is the best way to ensure full recovery."
As parents prepare for the new school year, here are a few telltale signs that a child may be experiencing separation anxiety:
Although parents and school staff can make accommodations for children with separation anxiety disorder, many children continue to suffer even after substantial accommodations have been made.
There are proven treatments for separation anxiety that can make a big difference in a child's life, school functioning and relationships with parents. Treatments can include specific forms of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy and medication used alone or in combination with psychotherapy.
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/
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