separation anxiety

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a multidimensional emotional state manifested as a somatic, experiential, and interpersonal phenomenon; a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, or dread. These feelings may be accompanied by symptoms such as breathlessness, a choking sensation, palpitations, restlessness, muscular tension, tightness in the chest, giddiness, trembling, and flushing, which are produced by the action of the autonomic nervous system, especially the sympathetic part of it.

Anxiety may be rational, such as the anxiety about doing well in a new job, about one's own or someone else's illness, about passing an examination, or about moving to a new community. People also feel realistic anxiety about world dangers, such as the possibility of war, and about social and economic changes that may affect their livelihood or way of living. Most persons find healthy ways to deal with their normal quota of anxiety.
Nursing Diagnosis. Anxiety was accepted as a nursing diagnosis by the North America Nursing Diagnosis Association and defined as “a vague, uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread, accompanied by an autonomic response (the source often nonspecific or unknown to the individual); a feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger.” It is an alerting signal that warns of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger and enables the individual to take measures to deal with the threat. It is differentiated from fear in that the anxious person cannot identify the threat, whereas the fearful person recognizes the source of fear.

Factors that can precipitate an attack of anxiety include any pathophysiological event that interferes with satisfaction of the basic human physiological needs. Situational factors include actual or perceived threat to self-concept, loss of significant others, threat to biological integrity, change in environment, change in socioeconomic status, and transmission of another person's anxiety to the individual. Other etiologic factors are associated with a threat to completion of developmental tasks at various life stages, for example, a threat to an adolescent in the completion of developmental tasks associated with sexual development, peer relationships, and independence.

Interventions. Measures to assist the individuals suffering from anxiety are aimed at helping them recognize their anxiety and their usual means of coping with it, and providing alternate, more healthful coping mechanisms that give a sense of physiological and psychological comfort.
anxiety disorders a group of mental disorders in which anxiety is the most prominent disturbance or in which anxiety is experienced if the patient attempts to control the symptoms. Everyone occasionally experiences anxiety as a normal response to a dangerous or unusual situation. In an anxiety disorder, the person feels the same emotion without any apparent reason and cannot identify the source of the threat that produces the anxiety, which actually has its origin in unconscious fears or conflicts.

People with anxiety disorders experience both the subjective emotion and various physical manifestations resulting from muscular tension and autonomic nervous system activity. This can produce a variety of symptoms, including sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, insomnia, loss of appetite, and palpitations. The source of the anxiety lies in unconscious fears, unresolved conflicts, forbidden impulses, or threatening memories. Symptoms are often triggered by an apparently harmless stimulus that the patient unconsciously links with a deeply buried, anxiety-producing experience. Chronic anxiety can lead to various somatic alterations. The onset of anxiety may be gradual or sudden. Some persons experience incapacitating acute anxiety (as in panic disorder) while others manifest their anxiety through avoidant behavior patterns (phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder). Anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance-induced anxiety disorder.
free-floating anxiety severe, generalized anxiety having no apparent connection to any specific object, situation, or idea.
performance anxiety a social phobia characterized by extreme anxiety and episodes of panic when performance, particularly public performance, is required.
anxiety reaction a reaction characterized by abnormal apprehension or uneasiness; see also anxiety disorders.
separation anxiety apprehension due to removal of significant persons or familiar surroundings, common in infants 12 to 24 months old; see also separation anxiety disorder.
situational anxiety that occurring spcifically in relation to a situation or object.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

sep·a·ra·tion anx·i·e·ty

a child's apprehension or fear associated with removal from or loss of a parent or significant other.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

separation anxiety

1. A child's apprehension associated with separation from a parent or other caregiver.
2. Anxious behavior exhibited by a domestic animal in the absence of its owner or custodian.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

separation anxiety

A normal developmental stage—occurring between 6–8 months and 10–14 months—during which an infant experiences apprehension, uncertainty and discomfort when faced with anticipated or actual separation from a primary care giver, mother or parent-surrogate. SA wanes by age 2, when toddlers begin to trust that their parents will return; if unresolved in childhood (separation anxiety disorder), it can reappear whenever one is in an unfamiliar situations—e.g., hospitals, illness, pain—or around unfamiliar people.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

separation anxiety

Pediatrics A normal developmental stage–between 6-8 months and 10-14 months–during which an infant experiences apprehension, uncertainty, discomfort when faced with anticipated or actual separation from a 1º care giver, mother or parent-surrogate; SA wanes by age 2, when toddlers begin to trust that their parents will return; SA reappears whenever one is in an unfamiliar situations–eg, hospitals, illness, pain, or unfamiliar people
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sep·a·ra·tion anx·i·ety

(sep'ăr-ā'shŭn ang-zī'ĕ-tē)
Apprehension or fear associated with removal from or loss of a parent or significant other.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

separation anxiety

Excessive and inappropriate levels of anxiety experienced by children during separation, or the threat of separation, from a parent or from a person in loco parentis.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
21 out of 30 in the midazolam group achieved satisfactory parent separation anxiety score; 28 out of 30 in the dexmedetomidine achieved satisfactory parent separation anxiety score.
Fairbanks et al (22) documented clinical improvement in 10 of 10 patients with separation anxiety disorder, 8 of 10 with social phobia, 4 of 6 with specific phobia, 3 of 5 with panic disorder, and 1 of 7 with GAD.
Regrettably, when parents are told that their little one suffers from separation anxiety or stranger anxiety, they can't help but feel there is something wrong.
The main goal of this study was to explore how parents' worries about sending their children to camp and children's precamp social and separation anxiety symptoms related to homesickness during overnight summer camp.
Participants completed standardised assessments of maternal separation anxiety and mother-to-infant emotional attachment.
The study used tools to measure parental anxiety about distancing and separation anxiety, as well as the adolescents' self-management skills and their most recent hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c).
Separation anxiety has its roots in lack of self confidence.
By nature, there is no such a thing as "separation anxiety." Instead, there is a healthy need of a child to be with her mother.
Separation anxiety, as Quinodoz discusses at the beginning of the book, is a universal phenomenon.
Among the topics are grooming behavior, marble burying and burrowing, ultrasonic vocalizations by infant mice as a ethological expression of separation anxiety, the tail-suspension test as a model for characterizing antidepressant activity, learned helplessness, novelty-induced hypophagia, stress protocols and behavioral testing for acute and chronic social defeat, and mice models for the manic pole of bipolar disorder.
The most common anxiety disorders, as defined by the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder' (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), are specific phobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder and separation anxiety disorder.