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How To Overcome Separation Anxiety

Unhealthy Ways To Express Anger

Cesar Explains How To Fix Separation Anxiety With Your Dog

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive persons way of showing their anger. Its not very productive but extremely common.


Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it cant really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. Its not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. Its healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this wont serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time its a no-win situation.

When Separation Anxiety Continues And Worsens

However, if you notice your childs anxiety starts affecting their daily life and academics, talk to their doctor. Things like stomach aches, vomiting, headaches, constant worry about losing you or a loved one to a disease or illness or a reluctance to sleep away from you may be a sign of a more serious emotional problem called separation anxiety disorder , Dr. Fox said. The main difference between the two is that with SAD their fears keep them from normal activities.

What Are Some Signs That My Child May Have Separation Anxiety

Its usually easy to spot: Do you get lots of tears at daycare drop off? Thats one sign. Some others include:

  • Becoming more clingy when you leave them
  • Crying or clinging in new situations
  • Refusing to go to sleep without you or another caregiver nearby
  • Beginning to cry at night after being able to sleep through the night

Keep in mind that it is completely natural for your baby or toddler to feel anxious without you by their side. Make sure to treat them gently and with compassion.

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Trying Coping Techniques For Relaxation

  • 1Practice breathing techniques to help calm yourself down. Breathing can be a great way to calm down when you are feeling anxious. Deep breathing is a known stress reliever. When you begin to feel yourself getting anxious, try this technique:XResearch source
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose for five seconds.
  • Focus your attention on listening to and feeling the air move as you breathe.
  • Place your hand on your chest and feel it rise as you breathe.
  • 2Try meditating. Like deep breathing, meditating is another way to calm yourself by focusing on your breath and clearing your mind.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansOrganization devoted to improving the health of patients, families, and communitiesGo to source
  • Sit in a position that you find comfortable. If you sit on the floor, a pillow or mat can make things more comfortable.
  • Start off with some breathing exercises.
  • Focus your attention on your breathing. Gently bring your mind back to focus on your breathing as soon as it wanders.
  • Dont judge or dwell on any thoughts that may come to mind.
  • Meditate for five minutes at least once a day. As you develop the habit of meditating, you can gradually increase the time you spend on it.
  • Start by spending a few minutes on breathing exercises and meditation.
  • Close your eyes and begin to imagine a setting that you find peaceful and relaxing. For instance, picture yourself in a sunny, grassy meadow with birds singing.
  • When you feel relaxed and ready, open your eyes.
  • Establish Anxiety Stimulus Hierarchy

    Separation Anxiety: How to handle Dont Leave Me fear ...

    In separation anxiety in teenagers, the stimulus is identified as fear of losing or getting separated from a loved one. In this step, the intensity of the fear is judged by introducing the anxiety factor to the individual. Once the trigger for the anxiety and the level of its intensity has been established, the therapist moves to the next step.

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    How Can I Help Support My Child

    There is no reason to feel guilty when you need to leave your child for a short period of time. Focus instead on helping your child to learn how to manage their feelings without you an important part of helping them to become more independent.

    Talk about what you will do together later

    Part of what makes children anxious when you part is the fear that they might not see you again. Discussing plans for your return helps to ease this fear: After Im finished work, Ill come and pick you up and we can go to the playground and play on the swings together.

    Practice short separations and work toward longer ones

    Try leaving your child with a trusted friend or relative while you run a quick errand and see how that goes. This will allow your little one to slowly get used to what its like to be apart.

    Leave a soft toy or blanket with your child to help ease separations

    Does your child have a favourite comfort object? If not, it might be a good idea to introduce one. A special toy can help a child to self-soothe when they are feeling upset.

    Comfort your child when they are afraid

    When you and your child are together, listen to what they have to say. Make sure to always respond with understanding and compassion and take care not to trivialize their worries. Look for non-verbal cues as well, such as fussing or extra clinginess.

    Introduce any new caregiver gradually

    Make goodbyes quick and positive

    What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder In Children

    All children and teens feel some anxiety. It is a normal part of growing up. Separation anxiety is normal in very young children. Nearly all children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old have separation anxiety and are clingy to some degree. But the symptoms of SAD are more severe. A child must have symptoms of SAD for at least 4 weeks for the problem to be diagnosed as SAD. A child with SAD has worries and fears about being apart from home or family that are not right for his or her age.

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    How To Handle Separation Anxiety

    Remember, it’s only natural for your baby to feel anxious without you, so there’s no reason to feel guilty when you need to get on with other parts of your life. In fact, separation anxiety is usually a sign of how well you have bonded with them.

    Instead, you can focus on helping your baby understand and deal with their feelings so they feel more secure. They’ll learn that if you leave them, they will be OK and you will come back. If your baby’s old enough, you can talk to them about what’s happening, where you’re going and when you’ll be with them again.

    Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Infants

    Separation Anxiety: This Will Help You To Overcome Separation Anxiety

    “The timing and intensity of the separation anxiety may be different for different children,” says Jessica Mercer Young, Ph.D., a research scientist at Education Development Center in Newton, MA. Your little one will likely get clingy and cry as soon as you leave her side. It doesnt matter whether shes at daycare, in her crib, or at Grandmas housethe tears will shed regardless. Rest assured, though, she’ll probably calm down shortly after you walk out the door.

    The intensity of your child’s reaction depends on her temperament. Other factors play a role too: Infants who have been exposed early on to caregivers other than their parents tend to have an easier time dealing with departures in later months. However, if your baby is tired, hungry, or sick, she’s likely to give you a very hard time if you leave.

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    Key Points About Separation Anxiety Disorder In Children

    • SAD is a type of mental health problem. A child with SAD worries a lot about being apart from family members or other close people.

    • The cause of SAD is both biological and environmental.

    • Symptoms of SAD are more severe than the normal separation anxiety that nearly every child has to some degree between the ages of 18 months and 3 years of age.

    • A child must have symptoms that last at least 4 weeks to be considered SAD.

    • A mental health evaluation is needed to diagnose SAD.

    • Treatment includes therapy and medicines.

    What Causes Separation Anxiety In Puppies And Dogs

    Its unclear why some puppies are more prone to separation anxiety than others. McConnell theorizes there may be several reasons, including never previously being left alone and traumatic separation, such as would be seen in some abandoned shelter dogs. Even a single traumatic event in the owners absence, like the house being robbed, can lead to SA. Finally, she suggests that personality can play a role, with clingy dogs perhaps being more at risk than independent ones.

    Other triggers to watch for involve life changes like a sudden switch in schedule, a move to a new house, or the sudden absence of a family member, whether its a divorce, a death in the family, or a child leaving for college. Recent research has even pointed to a lack of daily exercise as a possible cause. Because there are so many potential triggers for SA, its essential to work on prevention and start treatment at the first sign.

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    Avoid Contact Talk And Eye Contact With Your Dog

    Try not to make it a big deal when leaving the house or when you return. This way, you let your dog know that the time away is not a big deal. That itâs just a business as normal! Depending on the seriousness of the dog anxiety, you may need to observe this practice five minutes or up to an hour before leaving and when returning back. Medication: Finally, to treat severe separation anxiety in dogs, consider calming medicine. Get in touch with your veterinarian to discuss your options.

    Easing Separation Anxiety Disorder: Tips For School

    How To Help Your Toddler Overcome Separation Anxiety

    For children with separation anxiety disorder, attending school can seem overwhelming and a refusal to go is commonplace. But by addressing any root causes for your childs avoidance of school and by making changes at school, though, you can help reduce your childs symptoms.

    Help a child who has been absent from school return as quickly as possible. Even if a shorter school day is necessary initially, childrens symptoms are more likely to decrease when they discover that they can survive the separation.

    Ask the school to accommodate your childs late arrival. If the school can be lenient about late arrival at first, it can give you and your child a little wiggle room to talk and separate at your childs slower pace.

    Identify a safe place. Find a place at school where your child can go to reduce anxiety during stressful periods. Develop guidelines for appropriate use of the safe place.

    Allow your child contact with home. At times of stress at school, a brief phone calla minute or twowith family may reduce separation anxiety.

    Send notes for your child to read. You can place a note for your child in their lunch box or locker. A quick I love you! on a napkin can reassure a child.

    Provide assistance to your child during interactions with peers. An adults help, whether it is from a teacher or counselor, may be beneficial for both your child and the other children theyre interacting with.

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    What Separation Anxiety Can Look Like

    Some children experiencing separation anxiety have physical symptoms such as stomach aches and nightmares, while others may experience headaches or a racing heartbeat. Others may have persistent thoughts that something bad is going to happen to themselves or to their parents.

    Read more: How to help your child cope with the transition back to school during COVID-19

    Some children may also be anxious when it comes to the pandemic specifically. Going back to school can entail some risks for unvaccinated children, and some may fear contracting COVID-19 or transmitting it to their friends and family. Also, children, much like adults, may feel a little rusty when it comes to interacting with people outside the family, particularly with strangers like a new teacher.

    Children, much like adults, may feel a little unpractised at interacting with people outside the family.

    Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

    How To Help Your Havanese Overcome Separation Anxiety

    If your dogs separation anxiety is mild then there are some things that you can do to help them become more confident and independent.

    If your Havanese has moderate to severe separation anxiety it is recommended that you get help from a professional dog behaviorist. If you try and push your anxious dog too hard or in the wrong way even with the best of intentions it could make the situation worse.

    Here are some tactics you can try if you would like to help Havanese be more independent and overcome their mild separation anxiety.

    Start by working on basic commands and then level it up.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety

    You may experience extreme anxiety symptoms due to a separation or even as a result of overthinking about separation. Now you know that it is okay for children to be anxious while they are in their early development stage. Adults and young adults diagnosed with âseparation anxiety disorderâ may have similar symptoms. Also, adults may show the usual signs shown by toddlers when they go through the fear of separation.

    The Diagnostic and Statical Manual introduced by the United States Psychiatric Association is the handbook used by doctors to study mental health problems. So, according to this manual, a person is diagnosed with separation anxiety when they experience a few of the following symptoms:

    These symptoms can last an average of six months for adults. It may even continue for years if the necessary treatments arenât taken. You may have the above symptoms while having health disorders like nausea, sore throat, and related conditions. It will disturb the quality of your work life as well as your family life. Also, you should be aware that separation anxiety is a treatable condition and not something that you should hide nor be ashamed to talk about.

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