This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is separation anxiety disorder. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how separation anxiety disorder will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.
Question # 1
A 10 year old boy is brought in by his mother to the clinic for a routine checkup. He has no physical symptoms other then the occasional stomach ache, and is he is doing average in school. When asked about his social dynamic at school, his mother explains that he has friends, but never wants to go to “sleepovers” at other children’s houses. When the boy is at a sirens house, he often seems unhappy and complains of stomach pain/nausea, which seem to disappear when his mother is called to bring him back home. At home the patient sometimes will have nightmares of being left alone and will awake in the middle of the night crying. Even though both of the boy’s parents are in great physical and mental health, he is concerned that they will die of a terrible disease. Physical exam shows no abnormalities. What is the likely diagnosis in this patient?
Page Updated: 09.20.2016