An 8-year-old boy is brought into his primary care physician by his mother because of stomach aches following a cross country move 3 months ago. His mother expresses concern because since the move her son has been insisting on sleeping in his parent’s bed and even when he is taken back to his own bed, he returns to his parent’s bed during the night. He reports concerns that there are shadows in his room that scare him and he is fearful that he will be kidnapped from his room and never see his parents ever again. Many hours are spent each night trying to convince him to sleep in his own room, and he is having trouble getting to school on time because he is fatigued from not getting enough sleep. He has been having recurring nightmares of being kidnapped from the home and wakes up crying even when he sleeps in his parent’s bed. While in the home he likes to be close to his mother which is a source of frustration for her because she reports that she feels like she cannot get a moment alone. Tim is reluctant to go out and meet other children without his mother being present and he has not made new friends in the neighborhood.
Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?
- A) Agoraphobia
- B) Delusional disorder
- C) Dependent personality disorder
- D) Separation anxiety disorder
- E) Social anxiety disorder
Dr. Ted O'Connell