Separation Anxiety Disorder
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Separation anxiety disorder is a condition that causes your child to feel anxious when separated from something familiar.
- Antianxiety medicine: This helps your child feel less nervous.
- Antidepressants: This decreases or prevents symptoms of anxiety or depression. It can also be used to treat other behavior problems.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not helping or if he has side effects. Tell your child's healthcare provider if your child takes any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines he takes. Include the amounts, and when and why he takes them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider as directed:
Your child's primary healthcare provider will watch how your child responds to medicine. Tell him about unwanted side effects or problems your child may be having with his medicine. The type and amount of medicines your child takes may need to be changed. Your child's primary healthcare provider will also talk about how long your child may need therapy or medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
How to help your child:
- Be a positive role model: Learn to control your own anxiety. Your child learns from watching your behavior. Be careful that your own actions do not support or strengthen your child's separation anxiety behavior. These actions include checking on your child often and avoiding situations that cause you anxiety.
- Learn more about separation anxiety disorder: The more you know about your child's condition, the better you can help him. Work with your child's teachers to help your child in school.
- Set rules that do not change: Clear and simple rules can help change how your child thinks and acts. Set limits and create routines that are always followed. Praise and reward your child when he is able to control his anxiety.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:
- Your child's eating or sleeping habits change.
- Your child's separation anxiety disorder prevents him from doing his daily activities.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child says he wants to hurt himself or others.
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child has trouble breathing, chest pains, or a fast heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.