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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Treatment for Separation Anxiety

07/24/2007

Question:

My 7 year old daughter is having a terrible time adjusting to her new school. We just moved here and she just began school. The first 2 days everything was fine, then every day this week she has been hysterical. She starts crying as soon as she wakes up, and does not stop until well after she is at school. She says her tummy hurts and she has diarrhea. I know she is so upset that she is making herself sick, because when she is home she is fine. After school she is fine. She says she cries at school too because she misses me and her siblings. She has always been shy and she has had seperation anxiety when she was younger, but it has been 3 years and it was no where near this bad. I have been in contact with her teacher and she thinks that she just needs more time to get adjusted, and then she will be fine. I`m thinking of taking her to the doctor, but every time I mention it, she gets more upset. Mornings in our house have gotten so stressful that sometimes I feel like crying myself. This has also become very hard on my other children.

Answer:

It sounds like your child still suffers from separation anxiety, and I would suggest that you seek the guidance of a mental health professional as this problem seems to be worsening despite normal reassurance and support.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati