What is Separation Anxiety?
I just had my Qualitative Research Method proposal done (for my final examination). I chose Separation Anxiety in Twins. The topic about twins had always amazed me since I did my bachelor degree thesis. At that time, I chose Individuality in Twins. I got a clear image on how hard is it to build individuality in twins, because they always have such a unique relationship that can be understood by them…
In my latest proposal, I chose separation anxiety in twins. Separation anxiety is a psychological condition when a person has excessive anxiety of being separated from home or other caregiver figures (APA, 2000). The early onset is at 6 years of age and it is not happening after 18 years old (if it so, then we need to refer to other diagnoses).
Separation anxiety disorder used to be known as school phobia, because it happens during the school years and children are showing reluctancy to go to school or join in after-school activities. Separation anxiety is common on 0-3 years of age, but then it becomes disorder when children can’t go to school and enjoy the class after 3 years of age. This disorder will affect their academic performances and social life too.
There is one example of severe separation anxiety on 18-year-old fraternal twins (adulttwins-separation-anxiety). They showed number of severe depression (Twin A) and anxiety symptoms (Twin B). They mentioned thoughts of killing themselves and even hurt himself (Twin A) with knife and fire extinguisher. This condition was started with a week of separation because they went to different university after graduating their High School years. Sometimes the reasons of separation anxiety in twins are irrational.
What parents can do?
Parents can start by talking to their twins about their individuality and their uniqueness as a person. They are unique as twins, and they know that for sure. But sometimes, twins do not understand that they need to be a person individually. It is very important for parents to tell their twins about this as early as possible.
Parents can help their twins by enhance each child ability or talents. By doing so, each child will feel special and understand their being a complete child, not merely as a unit of twins. If your twins show any differences in sports or academic, do not stop that, instead enhance that.
Way to go, parents!