Separation anxiety disorder. Is there a cure?


I suspect that I suffer from separation anxiety disorder. Is there any way I can cure myself of the continuous and suffocating fear of being alone?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Separation anxiety disorder is a specific psychiatric condition that causes children to suffer excessive anxiety about being separated from their home or from people to whom they feel attached. Children who have the condition won't go to school, and are often excessively fearful about getting lost, or of losing a loved one. They can have nightmares about separation, and physical symptoms such as nausea, headaches and vomiting when they think about being separated. By definition, the condition starts in childhood or in the teenage years. If you are now an adult, the problem will probably have started when you were younger. A fear of being alone is not necessarily separation anxiety disorder it may be a symptom of other mental-health problems. You need to have a full psychiatric assessment. Make contact with your local community mental-health team, via your GP, and ask for help. There are a variety of treatments that may be able to help you, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions

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