Often seen in adolescents and in children, separation anxiety is often the result of a past experience or an upcoming event that puts the victim in a situation where he or she has to become separated from something or someone he or she is attached to. The possibility of being separated from something or someone that a person is used to having around often results in separation anxiety symptoms that may last up to four weeks. Although the usual time for these separation anxiety symptoms to subside is a few weeks, there are a few rare cases where the fear does not go away and may sometimes increase.
The usual separation anxiety symptoms that children as well as adolescents may experience include feelings of anxiety, difficulty falling asleep if the source of the separation anxiety or the attachment figure is not near, tantrums, nightmares related to the separation and even homesickness. Sometimes, separation anxiety symptoms may take on physical forms in psychosomatic symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, headaches and stomach aches.
These separation anxiety symptoms usually arise when the child is subjected to changes in his or her routine where the people the child usually spends most of his or her time with is absent for prolonged periods of time. This usually happens when a child starts school or is transferred from one school to another. These separation anxiety symptoms can also emerge when a child faces an impending move to a new home, new city or new country. Divorce is another cause of separation anxiety where the child or children misses the mother or father.
When faced with these separation anxiety symptoms, parents are often advised to observe how long it takes for the children to adjust to the new surroundings and the new people around them. When these separation anxiety symptoms don’t show any signs of subsiding or seem to be taking too long to disappear or may even be getting worse, professional help may be needed.
The need to seek medical help for these separation anxiety symptoms is subject to certain questions that need to be answered and tests that have to be carried out before a child is given professional help or medical attention. Usually, evaluation may be needed when a child seems to avoid socializing with the people in his or her new environment despite the length of time that already passed.
These separation anxiety symptoms can be minimized over time with the cooperation and help of the adults around him or her. The people needed to help the child get over the fear of being separated from family and friends include school staff, the family and the physician handling the case.