Separation anxiety disorder is a condition beginning in infants as early as seven months old. At this stage, a baby can recognize who his or her parents are and understand that they will always be there even when out of sight. In childhood, separation anxiety affects a child’s behavior and coping skills. A number of strategies can be used to help a child overcome the disorder and be able to develop more independence.
If psychotherapy fails, there are medications which can be helpful in some circumstances, especially when the child’s anxiety is severe. Certain medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work to maintain high serotonin levels in the brain since serotonin is one of the major message-carriers. If these messages can keep coming through, it is believed the cells made dormant by anxiety will reactivate and ease an anxious child.