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Separation Anxiety

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York NY USA
Posts: 3
jamhalpert HB User
Arrow Separation Anxiety

My 12 year old son has extreme separation anxiety. Some examples: He will want to hold my hand all the time even from the driveway to the house which is only a few feet. Every time I go up to the bathroom, if I am up there for more than 2 minutes he comes upstairs and sits outside the bathroom door. He says I love you several times an hour (which is nice but very extreme). He also has problems at bedtime, up until a few months ago he was sleeping in my bed, refused to sleep in his own bed, and just a couple months ago he finally started sleeping in his own bed but has extreme anxiety about it and will ask me questions for hours while in bed like: What time is it? What are you doing? Are you watching TV? I love you a million percent, etc.
I have to go to bed the same time he does because he cannot be alone upstairs without me. I don't know if going to bed the same time he does is helping or hindering. He is afraid of the dark and all the lights have to be on upstairs all the time, even for when he goes up to the bathroom. He will go up to the bathroom without me but rushes and is only up there for 30 seconds.

He will also act as if he can't do things on his own when I'm getting him ready for school in the morning, he will act like he can't brush his hair or tie his shoes when I know he can. He will also ask me throughout the day if he's going to die even for such small things like a scratch and he will ask this repeatedly. I don't know what to do to help with this separation anxiety. He has ADHD and wears the Daytrana patch during school only. He does well in school and does not have anxiety about going to school but that is the only thing it seems he doesn't have anxiety about.

Here is some back story. He is an only child and does not have very many friends and I'm very concerned and want to help him get over this separation anxiety but I don't know how. His mother and I are divorced and have been divorced for over 2 years. She abandoned him at one point moving out of state and stole Christmas presents from him and also lied to him several times (saying she's go trick or treating with him and didn't etc). She was detrimental to him and does not see him. I have full physical and legal custody. I used to have his mother come over the house to see him but all she did was take a picture with him then ignored him and would yell at him to go in the other room, she did not ever spend any quality time with him. I never talk badly about his mother in front of him and my son doesn't even ask about her.

I have not dated much since but now I am with a very loving woman who accepts my son 100% and is very good to him. My girlfriend and my son are close and he loves her. My girlfriend (who lives with us) plays with him unlike his mother did. My son is the most important thing to me but I have no personal life due to his separation anxiety. I can barely spend any quality time with my girlfriend even at bedtime, its hard for us to even talk in bed (and throughout the day) because he will come up to us every few minutes and run in the bedroom etc and as I said earlier we have to go to bed when he does. I don't want it to seem like my son is a bother because he is not, I just want to know how to be able to help with his separation anxiety and still be able to have a relationship.

My son has already had an intake appointment for therapy and will be starting to see someone later this month.

Last edited by jamhalpert; 12-09-2012 at 12:43 PM.

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