How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My nephew is almost 5. He seems to suffer from extreme and

Resolved Question:

My nephew is almost 5. He seems to suffer from extreme and debilitating anxiety to the point that he CANNOT behave appropriately around other people if his mother is not there. To site a few examples, if ANYONE walks into the room he's in he will put up his hand and start shouting "NO NO NO NO!" before that person even says hi. He'll then run screaming to find his mother with a constant, panicked and escalating"mommy mommy mommy mommy!" as if he's being chased by a monster. Sometimes he'll do that and then he'll hide under a table.

I have spent 2 weeks on vacation with him and his family for the last 3 years, along with seeing them a few times a year during the holidays. I send school pictures of my kids and little notes from them to him when were not together so we stay fresh in his mind, and so we move beyond being "strangers" every time we get together. Usually by the end if 2 weeks of vacation he'll be okay if I walk in the room, but sometimes still acts as if I'm an evil spirit coming to kidnap him. I have also noticed that if he will talk to me at all usually it's in a "dinosaur" voice which is loud roaring instead of words. He doesn't know how to play because he is so intent on where his mother is that he can't stay focused and even if she goes to the bathroom, he has to go with her.

For a long time I thought he was REALLY shy, but this is beyond shyness. My sister asked what I though about his behavior and I didn't know what to tell her. She's already planned on not sending him to kindergarten because he couldn't possibly last one minute with all of those other kids. Do you have any thought about what might help him or a thought about what this might be? I would appreciate some direction!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear concerned aunt/sister,

Your nephew is exhibiting the classic symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder. Here are the diagnostic criteria according to the DSM-IV TR, official manual of the American Psychiatric Association:

A. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning sep­aration from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:

· recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

· persistent and excessive worry about losing, or about possible harm befalling, major attachment figures

· persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from a major attachment figure (e.g. getting lost or kidnapped)

· reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation

· persistently and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other settings

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

· 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

B. The duration of the disturbance is at least 4 weeks.

C. The onset is before age 18 years.

D. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.

E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and, in adolescents and adults, is not better accounted for by Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia.

Specify if:

Early Onset: if onset occurs before age 6 years

This disorder is treatable with psychotherapy and a competent child psychologist should be sought. This should not be treated with drugs. The best approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, clinically proven effective The treatment for children and adolescents is usually short-term and focuses on teaching the children and their parents specific skills linking behavior and emotions.

Though not a substitute for a skilled therapist, I recommend the following book:

Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety or School Refusal: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Andrew R. Eisen, Linda B. Engler and Joshua Sparrow

I hope that this information proves helpful.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education