Dr. Messina & Associates counseling and psychiatric services in southlake and flower mound

Separation Anxiety Disorder Specialists

Clinical Psychologists, Therapists, and Psychiatrists in Southlake and Flower Mound, TX

As parents, it's natural to be concerned when your child displays excessive and inappropriate fear or distress about being apart from you or other loved ones. At Dr. Messina & Associates in Southlake, Texas, and Flower Mound, Texas, our dedicated clinical psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists specialize in providing compassionate care for children and teenagers struggling with separation anxiety disorder.

A woman and child walking down the sidewalk.

Understanding Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children

It’s entirely normal for toddlers to experience a period of separation anxiety. Your toddler may cry the first time you drop them off at daycare or leave them with a babysitter. In most cases, children tend to outgrow this stage by the time they reach around 3 years of age.

However, if your child experiences prolonged or intense separation anxiety that significantly interferes with their school or daily activities, it may be a sign of separation anxiety disorder. This specific anxiety often focuses on the fear of being separated from a parent or another close caregiver.

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Recognizing the Signs of Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children

You may wonder how to identify separation anxiety disorder in your child. Look for symptoms that indicate excessive fear and distress, which are inappropriate for their developmental age. These symptoms go beyond typical separation anxiety and may include:

Recurrent Nightmares About Separation

Refusing to Be Away From Home Due to Separation Fears

Excessive and Recurrent Anxiety About Being Apart From Loved Ones

Persistent Worry About Losing a Parent or Loved One to Illness or Disaster

Constant Fear That Something Bad Will Happen, Leading To Separation From Loved Ones

Refusal to Sleep Away From Home Without a Parent or Loved One Nearby

Complaints of Physical Symptoms Like Headaches or Stomach Aches When Anticipating Separation

Some Children With a Separation Anxiety Disorder May Experience Panic Attacks and Sudden Episodes of Overwhelming Terror That Peak Within Minutes.

Diagnosis and Effective Treatment for Separation Anxiety Disorder

Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial to prevent future difficulties in school, work, and social relationships. To diagnose separation anxiety disorder, our experienced providers conduct a comprehensive psychological evaluation. Based on the assessment, they recommend a tailored treatment plan for your child’s specific condition.

At Dr. Messina & Associates, we utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a highly effective form of psychotherapy for children with separation anxiety disorder. CBT equips your child with the tools to confront and manage their fears about separation. Additionally, it empowers parents and caregivers with the knowledge and strategies to support and encourage their child’s independence.

If you’d like to learn more about how CBT can help your child overcome separation anxiety disorder, we invite you to reach out to the caring team at the office of Dr. Messina & Associates. You can easily book an appointment online or contact us by phone today.

Support When You Need It Most

Our therapists are here to help you or your loved one get control over anxiety and lead a fulfilling life. Contact the office of Dr. Messina & Associates at 817-677-0449 or schedule an appointment online today.
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