Separation Anxiety Disorder is usually seen in children and adolescents, although it can be present in adults as well.
A person with this disorder becomes excessively afraid of leaving a loved one, usually a parent. Although many healthy children experience phases of development in which they do not want to leave their parents, Separation Anxiety Disorder persists for a long period of time and is characterized by extreme distress.
Common signs of Separation Anxiety Disorder include:
- Crying, clinging, or panicking when separated from parents
- Unrealistic worry that something bad will happen to parents while the child is away
- Unrealistic worry that he/she will never return home, or that his/her parents will never come back
- Difficulty sleeping alone
- Frequent stomachaches or headaches, particularly before and during school
- Refusal to go to school