Separation Anxiety Disorder

By Beatriz Gutierrez

What is it?

-Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached.

-They may exhibit social withdrawal, apathy, sadness, or difficulty concentrating

-They have persistent and excessive worry about losing, or about possible harm befalling, major attachment figures.

-It lasts 4 weeks in children and adolescents and typically 6 months or more in adults.

-Concerns about death or dying are common.

In Children

-Children with this disorder are generally described as demanding, intrusive, and in need of constant attention.

-When alone, especially in the evening, young children may report unusual perceptual experiences like: seeing people peering into their room, scary creatures reaching for them, etc.

-Children with SAD tend to come from families that are close knit.

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Around 41% of children have Separation Anxiety Disorder

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Separation Anxiety Disorder is Persistent

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Anxiety is beyond that which is expected for the individual's development level


I wasn't aware that this could happen in adults and that it lasts around 6 months or more for them. I knew that Separation Anxiety is common with any child because they normally form close bonds with their parents, usually the mother. I chose to research this disorder because I wanted to find out how common it was within adults, since I thought that it wasn't that high of a number. The only thing though that I found funny and questioned was how children in the past (before SAD was considered a disorder) managed their anxiety and if they learned to eventually "grow out" of it. I found the idea and this project pretty interesting.