separation anxiety disorder

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Related to separation anxiety disorder: generalized anxiety disorder


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.

sep·a·ra·tion anx·i·e·ty dis·or·der

1. a mental disorder occurring in childhood characterized by excessive anxiety when the child is separated from someone to whom the child is attached, usually a parent.
2. a DSM diagnosis that is established when the specified criteria are met.
A disorder with onset before age 18 consisting of inappropriate anxiety concerning separation from home or from persons to whom the child is attached

sep·a·ra·tion anx·i·e·ty dis·or·der

(sep-ă-rāshŭn ang-zīĕ-tē dis-ōrdĕr)
Pediatric mental disorder occurring in childhood characterized by excessive distress when the child is separated from someone to whom the child is attached, usually a parent.
References in periodicals archive ?
703 Note: GAD = Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PD = Panic Disorder, SA = School Anxiety, SepAD = Separation Anxiety Disorder, SAD = Social Anxiety Disorder.
Moreover, understanding the long term effects of separation anxiety disorder is needed because information about possible role of it on future psychopathology is a little (Lewinsohn et al.
Most trials of pediatric anxiety have evaluated patients with "mixed anxiety disorders" because GAD, social phobia, and separation anxiety disorder are highly comorbid and share diagnostic features (Figure 1, page 17) (9) An RCT of fluvoxamine, up to 300 mg/d, in 128 pediatric patients with [greater than or equal to]1 anxiety disorders found significant differences in CGI-I and endpoint Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS) scores.
childhood-onset separation anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and specific phobias).
The distribution of the anxiety disorders was as follows: separation anxiety disorder (33.
Of the anxiety disorders experienced by children, separation anxiety disorder (SAD) has been shown to be the most prevalent, accounting for approximately one-half of the children seen for mental health treatment of anxiety disorders (Bell-Dolan, 1995).
These disorders include GAD, separation anxiety disorder, social phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In a multiple baseline study, PCIT was delivered to 3 families of children ages 4-8, with separation anxiety disorder (Choate, Pincus, Eyberg, & Barlow, 2005).
This paper describes the behavioral treatment of acute onset school refusal in a 5-year old girl with Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
The panic attacks are not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as social phobia (eg, occurring on exposure to feared social situations), specific phobia (eg, on exposure to a specific phobic situation), obsessive-compulsive disorder (eg, on exposure to dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination), posttraumatic stress disorder (eg, in response to stimuli associated with a severe stressor), or separation anxiety disorder (eg, in response to being away from home or close relatives).
The use of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) and fading of time away from caregivers in an 11-year old boy with Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is illustrated.