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Separation Anxiety Disorder

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

Anxiety Disorders Center


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