Are you SAD? Although separating from loved one can be hard on all of you but some people feel it much more strongly. I was referring to Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and it is much less rarer than you would believe. It relates to excessive anxiety the patient feels due to separation from a loved one. What are the symptoms and treatment course let’s discuss here.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Adults and children, both can be affected by Separation Anxiety Disorder. Most people ignore the symptoms but this is a huge mistake. Mental sickness is just as serious as physical injury.
If your child refuses to go to school or to bed without you, then this is the first sign. They want to be near you all the time and dread separating even for a while. If they complaint of nightmares, then ask them what it was about. Usually kids with separation anxiety disorder have nightmares about separation from parents or caregivers. Some physical symptoms include headaches, tummy aches and diarrhea. Keep track of their behavior and physical illness over the course of one month and if you notice a pattern and the problem persists, then you have something to worry about.
Adults show pretty much the same symptoms but their behavior needs to monitored for six months.
The first step to treatment is a positive attitude. Know that your loved ones who suffer from Separation anxiety disorder will need your love, attention and support endlessly during treatment and never let them learn of your annoyance (if you have any).
For children, set small milestones of physical distance and motivate and praise them about achieving them constantly. This will boost their confidence and treatment will be more effective and successful.
Counseling, psychotherapy and medication are three approaches to address Separation anxiety disorder according to severity of the disorder.
The most important part of treatment is identifying the problem. Severe cases especially in adults include depression and should not go unaddressed. Think of it like a slow cancer of the mind which will take bits and pieces of you slow but steady.
If you are suffering then speak up now and get help right away. If you know a loved one who is suffering then talk to them and get them the help they need. With that said, I wish you rainbows, unicorns and sunshine.