Regular readers of this column must be familiar with my imaginary friend the Doctor. I often ask him to work out different kinds of behavioral problems with young children. This time, it’s what many mental health professionals call separation anxiety.
The child in question is a 5 year old boy. His mother attended a talk I gave recently and told me this story. She got her permission and I give it to her. She only asked that I rename his son, so for our purposes he becomes “Georgie”.
For some time, Georgie has had problems with her mother’s separation. For example, every time she took him to the preschool program, Georgie had a major meltdown. Like, Major. he will be hysterical. Otherwise, watch out, Georgie was a normal kid in every way.
Shortly before Georgie’s fifth birthday, Georgie’s mom read my column. She immediately decides to ask the Doctor to call her home.
The afternoon after Georgie had a meltdown over being taken to a preschool program, his mother sat him down and told him that she had consulted a doctor about his problem. , she said Georgie said throwing “Don’t leave me!” Because he didn’t get enough sleep.
Mother said to Georgie. He said the days I had a seizure when I dropped you off at school you had to go to bed early right after dinner to get the sleep you needed. Doc says yes. You had a seizure when I took you to school this morning, so you have to go to bed early tonight. “
As promised, Mom put Georgie to bed early. After about 45 minutes of howling, screaming, crying and pleading, he fell asleep. I entered. Since then, Georgie has had no separation issues.
It’s safe to say that if Georgie’s mother had sought help from a mental health professional, it’s quite possible Georgie would have been diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. You may have taken Georgie to talk or play therapy to (probably) help you work out any “problems” you may have.
No one knows how much time and money this process took and whether it was successful.
Visit family psychologist John Rosemond’s website at johnrosemond.com. Readers can email email@example.com. Due to the volume of emails, we cannot answer all questions. This column was provided by the Tribune News Service.