Teenager with separation anxiety looking for help by anonomous (Northumberland)

Okay so this is for kids, but I can’t find anything else sufficient on the internet. I am 16 years old and female, I don't know if you needed to know that. Anyway I have suffered sexual abuse and have been recovering for 3 years and severe bullying when I was a child, I have had clinical depression, but I went with my best friend to Chester for four days, but I felt this rush when I was in the car like a really warm sensation when I didn't know where I was when I knew where I was again then I didn't know.

Anyway for three days I constantly felt like I was going to throw up, so much so I stopped eating convinced I was going to be sick, I missed my mum I was worried about her and I was scared out of my mind, but it got better when me and my best friend went to the zoo and I ate for the first time in three days, however the night before we were due to go back she had an anxiety attack, and she threw up a lot. Me worrying about whether she was going to throw up or not made me feel even more ill, this was in August by the way.

When we came back and I was back at my own house I felt better but then I tried to go out with my occupational therapist but I got that rush again so we had to turn the car back, since then it’s been on and off. But since coming back from Chester I haven't seen my best friend regularly, we used to do sleepovers every weekend and we went to the same school so we saw each other every day, but I didn't get the results I needed so I got put on a different course so I don't see her every day now, and we tried to have a sleepover but I had to back in the middle of the night because I couldn't cope, I think maybe it was just too soon. But I went over to her house recently and it was bearable, and I saw her today and she made me feel so much better!

My symptoms are everything you describe in separation anxiety, we are extremely close friends because we are the only people that understand each other and going from seeing her every day to not much at all has made me and her very ill, we have lack of energy, lack of appetite, feeling sick randomly, panic attacks I think mine are mild, I hope.

I know this is a lot to read but also recently I’ve had people saying I have different things first it was car sickness, which I’ve never been travel sick in my life, then it was anxiety which I reckon it is, then it was post traumatic stress disorder which I’m guessing is what happened when I was at Chester, then they thought I had Asperger syndrome but imp really good at reading and writing and talking, infect I never shut up as I'm you've noticed!

People have been reverse hypercondriacing me and I had a rather bad panic attack tonight because I couldn’t handle all the information, also last week my cat that I’ve had since I was 5 passed away and I found him, I suffered messed up thoughts because of grief but me and my best friend think it will go away the more often we see each other, However we both have all the symptoms of depression and as far as I can tell severe depression, which is 7 or more symptoms, so it could be that but anxiety is part of severe depression. Also I am embarrassed to say I’ve been having diarrhea it’s that bad, but that only recently.

I feel happy mostly when I’m with her, and they said to identify the cause of depression, and it’s not seeing her as often we're both really scared of losing each other someday because we mean that much to each other. And I don’t know if that normal but she’s the only person that understands me, and I’m sorry for making this so long but I just want your opinion, because I’m sure separation anxiety is whats going on but I would like your confirmation, sorry for going on so much and thank you for your time

Dear Anonymous:

It sounds like you are having a really hard time and that anxiety has sure got you in it's clutches!

You describe many symptoms of different issues you are struggling with. There is such a thing as adult separation anxiety but that is not exactly what you are describing, and being 16 you are not an adult.

If you'd like to know if you have separation anxiety disorder, we need to make sure your symptoms are as follows.

Developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear with 3 of these symptoms for at least 4 weeks.

Recurrent excessive distress when anticipating or experiencing separation from home or from major attachment figures.

Persistent and excessive worry about losing major attachment figures or about possible harm to them, such as illness, injury, disasters, or death.

Persistent and excessive worry about experiencing an untoward event (e.g., getting lost, being kidnapped, having an accident, becoming ill) that causes separation from a major attachment figure.

Persistent reluctance or refusal to go out, away from home, to school, to work, or elsewhere because of fear of separation.

Persistent and excessive fear of or reluctance about being alone or without major attachment figures at home or in other settings.

Persistent reluctance or refusal to sleep away from home or to go to sleep without being near a major attachment figure.

Repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation

Repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated.

You may need a good therapist to help you be sure that it is not some other disorder causing these symptoms.

Although it’s wonderful that you have found such a close friend, it sounds like not being able to be with her all the time is causing you to feel insecure and have this array of symptoms you are describing. The issue is that you have to separate to function on your own to some extent.

Teenagers need to do things on their own sometimes without their best friend or their parent.

Having separation anxiety means you are fearful that if you are separated from the person you care about something terrible will happen. In reality, nothing terrible will happen and that begins to get in the way of that you being successful. It's important that instead of responding to the anxiety by avoiding doing things that you should be doing, you learn new strategies to face down the anxiety, and do those things anyway. A good therapist can help you with this.

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