Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Shaker Clinic to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Shaker Clinic.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Signs & Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Everyone experiences separation anxiety differently. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and effects of separation anxiety is a key component of starting the recovery journey.

Understanding Separation Anxiety

Learn about separation anxiety

Separation anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that involves intense and excessive anxiety and fear of being separated from a loved one or ones. The distress experienced by people who are struggling with this disorder often causes a great deal of disruption in their lives and an overall decline in daily functioning. Examples of fears that trigger this form of anxiety can include:

  • The possibility of being separated from a loved one
  • Ongoing worry that a loved one may suddenly die
  • Panic that a loved one will get lost
  • Concern that a loved one will be kidnapped
  • Trepidation that a loved one will get hurt
  • Anxiety that a loved one will become ill

Adults who are suffering from separation anxiety disorder often place their focus on the health, wellbeing, and safety of their children, significant other, or another person with whom there is a strong attachment. Cornerstone to this illness, however, is that the focus placed on another person or persons is distressing and leads to a number of adverse effects. Adults with separation anxiety disorder may constantly check on the whereabouts of loved ones, be overly protective of children (regardless of the child’s age), or refuse to be alone. Additionally, adults with this condition may report physical pain in the event separation from a loved one is imminent, develop another mental illness if symptoms of this disorder persist, and experience discord among loved ones if appropriate care is not sought. Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can alleviate symptoms, restore functioning, and help these individuals form healthy relationships with loved ones without the distressing symptoms of separation anxiety disorder.

Statistics

Separation anxiety statistics

Studies have determined that separation anxiety disorder is a disorder that typically begins during childhood, yet its symptoms can carry over into adulthood. Researchers estimate that nearly 1% to 2% of adults struggle with this form of anxiety. Experts also believe that this mental health condition affects more women than men.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for separation anxiety

Professionals in the field have yet to conclude a single identifiable cause for separation anxiety disorder. However, most in the field of mental health believe that the development of this disorder occurs when certain genetic, physiological, and environmental factors are working together. Additionally, research has concluded that there are some additional risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to developing this form of anxiety. Consider the following explanations:

Genetic: Research has found that 73% of individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety disorder have a family history of this mental health condition. Because of this link between family members who suffer from the same mental illness, it can be deduced that separation anxiety disorder can, in fact, be inherited. This case is especially true for individuals with a first-degree relative who have a history of this mental illness.

Physical: As with other anxiety disorders, those who are suffering from separation anxiety disorder have been found to have certain chemical imbalances in their brains. Specifically, neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating mood and impulses are often not regulated in the brains of these individuals and can lead to the onset of anxiety symptoms. When these chemicals are not balanced, a person’s ability to respond to stress is hindered and can cause an exacerbated startle response to minor triggers or to perceived fear or danger.

Environmental: Experiencing an abrupt life stressor in which a person is separated from his or her child, significant other, or other loved one as a result can ultimately lead to the development of separation anxiety disorder. Examples of life stressors that can trigger this form of anxiety include the unexpected death of loved one, experiencing a disaster in which one is separated from loved ones, and having a personal history of forced separation from primary caregivers during childhood. Lastly, it has been found that those with a history of codependent relationships that are romantic in nature can lead to the onset of symptoms if an individual is not able to adjust when he or she is not around his or her partner.

Risk Factors:

  • Being female
  • Having a family history of separation anxiety disorder or other mental health condition
  • Personal history of another mental health condition
  • Experiencing the loss of a loved one
  • Experiencing an abrupt major life change in which one is separated from a loved one
  • Being in an unhealthy, codependent, romantic relationship
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of separation anxiety

While the onset of separation anxiety disorder symptoms typically manifests during childhood, there are a number of signs that can infer that an adult is suffering from this mental health condition. Consider the following behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms when trying to deduce if you or a loved one is battling this distressing form of anxiety:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Frequently checking up on the whereabouts of children, significant other, or other loved one
  • Refusing to leave home
  • Missing work
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Refusing to sleep without or when away from children, significant other, or other loved one
  • Avoiding travel
  • Ritualistic or repetitive behaviors
  • Cyclical thinking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness

Physical symptoms:

  • Labored breathing
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Stomachaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination due to pervasive nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Disturbed sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Appetite changes
  • Profuse sweating

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Nightmares
  • Impaired memory
  • Compulsions
  • Ritualistic thinking
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Lack of concentration
  • Inability to focus on tasks

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Guilty feelings
  • Shame
  • Irritability
  • Derealization
  • Ongoing feelings of nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Elevated levels of anxiety
  • Intense and excessive fear
Effects

Effects of separation anxiety

Someone grappling with the symptoms of separation anxiety disorder should seek treatment immediately as there are a number of adverse effects that are likely to occur. Seeking effective and appropriate treatment can significantly reduce a person’s chances of experiencing the following outcomes:

  • Social isolation
  • Inability to maintain employment
  • Financial problems
  • Increased conflict in interpersonal relationships
  • Development of another mental health condition
  • Development of a substance abuse problem or addiction
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide attempts
Co-Occurring Disorders

Separation anxiety and co-occurring disorders

When an adult is suffering from separation anxiety disorder, it is common for that individual to also suffer from another mental health condition. The following psychiatric disorders are known to occur alongside this form of anxiety:

  • Specific phobias
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder