Separation Anxiety Disorder

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Some children have symptoms of separation anxiety during their grade school and teenage years. This condition is called separation anxiety disorder or SAD. A person with separation anxiety disorder is excessively fearful or anxious about separation from those with whom he or she is attached. The feeling is beyond what is appropriate for the person’s age, persists (at least four weeks in children and six months in adults) and causes problems functioning. A person with separation anxiety disorder may be persistently worried about losing the person closest to him or her, may be reluctant or refuse to go out or sleep away from home or without that person, or may experience nightmares about separation. Physical symptoms of distress often develop in childhood, but symptoms can carry though adulthood.

Sign and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder:

  • Clinging to parents
  • Extreme and severe crying
  • Violent, emotional temper tantrums
  • Poor school performance
  • Refusing to sleep alone
  • Refusal to do things that require separation
  • Physical illness, such as headaches or vomiting
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Failure to interact in a healthy manner with other children
  • Nightmares

Related Conditions

Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Acute stress disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Adjustment disorder

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