Billie Eilish opens up about separation anxiety during childhood; know more about the condition

Billie Eilish, known for her superhit songs like Happier Than Ever, Bad Guy, and Ocean Eyes, recently opened up about the mental health struggles she faced as a child. In an interview with Sunday Times Magazine, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter shared that she slept in the same bed as her parents and brother until she was 11 years old due to her “crippling, life-changing separation anxiety”.

She said, “I couldn’t be away from my parents. I was worried about what would happen to them, I was worried about what would happen to me, I was worried about being forgotten.”

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Billie added that she couldn’t sleep by herself. “If I woke up and my parents weren’t in the bed and the lights were off, I would scream until they came to the door. And I couldn’t step off the bed in the dark because I was certain that there were scorpions crawling all over the floor.”

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety, according to Archana Sharma, Pediatric Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, is a disorder in which a child becomes excessively anxious when separated from parents or loved ones. “Children, especially, suffer from separation anxiety during the time of stress,” she said.

Terming it “normal in childhood development“, Sharma added, “It commonly occurs between 8 and 12 months old babies, and it usually disappears by the age of 2. However, it may also occur in adults. Some children have symptoms of separation anxiety during their school times and the teenage period.”

Symptoms

Here are some common symptoms, according to the expert.

*Anxiety
*apprehension
*Depression
*Fear
*Crying
*Nightmares
*Palpitations
*Rapid breathing

Treatment

Talking about the cure, Sharma said separation anxiety disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy along with medication. “Psychotherapy, called as talk therapy or psychological counseling, involves counseling with a therapist to reduce separation anxiety symptoms,” she explained.

Additionally, the expert noted that parental counseling is of “utmost importance” in the case of children experiencing separation anxiety.

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