Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is just one of several mental health conditions characterized by excessive or unwarranted feelings of fear and worry combined with physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat and headaches. In addition to separation anxiety, there are other types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. Each disorder is identified by the scope and target of its symptoms. The common factor among all of them is that they can be treated with the help of a licensed anxiety therapist.
Although everyone worries or has anxiety from time to time, when symptoms interfere with or prevent someone from engaging in normal daily activities, they likely have an anxiety disorder.
Separation anxiety occurs when someone develops extreme worry and fear about being separated from a particular person. Although it commonly occurs in infants and young children, many adults also experience SAD. For more information or to talk with an anxiety therapist, we encourage you to call Blair Wellness Group in Beverly Hills.
Causes and Risk Factors of Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety can start in early childhood and continue into adulthood, however, adult-onset SAD is also a possibility. It may develop after someone experiences a loss due to a significant event such as a move, divorce, illness, or death.
Some risk factors make it more likely to develop SAD. For instance, if you had separation anxiety as a child or have been diagnosed with another type of anxiety disorder, then you are more likely to develop SAD. It also tends to be more prevalent in females, particularly those who have a history of a trauma in their childhood.
People with SAD can experience a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. In order to be diagnosed with the disorder, the symptoms must be present for at least six months or more and interfere with daily functioning. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Excessive distress about being separated from a particular person
- Wanting to know a loved one’s whereabouts at all times
- Extreme fear of being alone
- Persistent fear about the health or safety of a loved one
- Difficulty sleeping away from a loved one
In addition to these, a person’s anxiety can likely manifest into physical symptoms as well. Some of those may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep problems
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to concentrate
People who experience separation anxiety live with intense feelings and fears that can make it difficult to sustain healthy relationships and complete everyday tasks at home or work. To complicate things further, some of the irrational behaviors directed at a loved one — such as wanting to know where they are at all times — can push away the very person that is the source of their anxiety.
Dealing with ongoing separation anxiety will not only make life miserable, but when left untreated, it can also lead to other maladaptive behaviors and serious health concerns such as depression, isolation, insomnia, digestive problems, and substance misuse.
Tips for Coping With Separation Anxiety Disorder
Like other forms of anxiety, separation anxiety can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. Some people may realize that their fears and behaviors are irrational, but may be unable to control them. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help quiet your fears and cope with separation anxiety in a healthy manner.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without judgment. Meditation allows you to reduce your anxiety, increase focus, and thereby reflect on your situation and the feelings surrounding it.
Reframe Your Thinking
It can be difficult to break the pattern of negative thoughts that fuel anxiety, but it helps to actively seek to change your way of thinking and replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Changing your perspective can improve your attitude and create a more positive outlook.
Keep a Journal
Writing down your innermost thoughts allows you to become more aware of your feelings so you can start to process and find meaning in why you feel the way you do. Keeping a journal is an effective way to analyze your concerns and bring clarity to the issues at hand.
Seek Out a Professional Anxiety Therapist
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, anxiety can persist and interfere with your daily life. Don’t ignore how you feel or assume that your symptoms will get better or just go away. Most people who struggle with anxiety disorders require help from an experienced therapist. The good news is, psychological treatment is incredibly effective for understanding and coping with an anxiety disorder.
Professional Treatment for Separation Anxiety Disorder
Frequent worrying and overthinking can affect your relationships and take the joy out of daily life. If you’re experiencing excessive anxiety or are having a difficult time coping with separation from a loved one and it’s interfering with your work or relationships, seeking out an experienced anxiety therapist may be able to help.
At Blair Wellness Group, we utilize various forms of psychotherapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, to help our clients get a better understanding of their emotions and behaviors. Because each person’s struggle is unique, we strive to offer the most effective blend of treatments as part of a personalized plan designed to meet each client’s needs.
Separation anxiety isn’t just something that affects children — millions of adults also contend with this difficult disorder. Fortunately, regular psychotherapy sessions combined with proven self-help techniques can help you change your perspective and offer a better way to manage the underlying causes of your anxiety.
If you would like to talk with an anxiety therapist, contact Blair Wellness Group. Dr. Cassidy Blair is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in all types of anxiety disorders as well as depression, addiction, relationship issues, and more. Call our Beverly Hills office at 310.999.4996 to schedule an appointment. We also welcome patients from Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and the surrounding areas.
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At Blair Wellness Group, we are here to meet your clinical needs at any time.
We support our clients to reach their goals and objectives through maintaining an adaptive lifestyle.
With more than 15 years of experience in providing psychological services, we are confident in our expertise.
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We are dedicated to our client’s wellbeing. Our team has the extensive training to provide quality care for all of our clients.
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We offer evening and weekend appointments for our concierge patients and all patients upon request. Call us today at 310-999-4996 to discuss how Blair Wellness Group can help you overcome addiction,
depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and other disorders.