Separation Anxiety Symptoms

Top 7 separation anxiety symptoms in children

Anxiety attack manifests itself in different ways but there are separation anxiety symptoms which are common across the board. If your child displays any of the following separation anxiety symptoms, then you should address the problem.

Clinging behaviour

One of the main separation anxiety symptoms is that the child will refuse to let go of the parent. They are too afraid to be on their own. They refuse to sleep in their bed and are nervous, following their parent wherever they go. The very thought of being left alone scares them stiff. There is nothing that can calm them except their parents with whom they have a very strong emotional attachment.

Crying incessantly

The second one is that the child will cry a lot in anticipation of being left alone by their parent, caregiver or if they are in a new environment such as a school. Being in a new school where nothing is familiar is enough to stir worry and great fear. The only way they deal with these overwhelming feelings of detachment is to cry.

Refusal to act in a certain way

One way to tell that your child has separation anxiety is that they refuse to do certain things because this would mean separating them from the parent or caregiver.  For instance, the child will refuse to go to school because this would mean separation from the parent. The child will also refuse to sleep in their own bed as this would mean being away from their parents. This in particular could present itself if the child was used to sleeping in the same bed.

Physical symptoms

If the child starts vomiting or complaining about headaches, this should not be taken lightly. These are physical signs that your child is experiencing anxiety –related problems. Any other illness should be also being investigated to find out what triggered it.

Emotional changes

The apparently cool, calm and composed child could suddenly erupt. The temper flares, violent actions and the extremely moody behaviours are not normal could be part of the separation anxiety symptoms and should be giving the attention they deserve.

Refusing to attend school

Perhaps of the most classical cases of serious anxiety problem is when the child refuses to go to school. The child is too afraid to leave home because home environment is familiar, hence comforting. The school environment is deemed strange hence the child is afraid. This problem is commonly observed in children who are joining school for the first time as well as those who are   joining a new school.

Drop in performance

The drastic drop in grades should not be taken lightly in a child. It tells you that the child is struggling to cope with the separation anxiety. The fear and nervous condition they go through at school makes it difficult for them.

 The symptoms above should be addressed as soon as they arise as they indicate that the child has anxiety which could get worse.

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