Separation Anxiety Disorder

Blocksurvey blog author
May 13, 2023 · 5 mins read

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition where a child finds it difficult to cope with brief periods of separation from parents or other caregivers. They are among the top 10 fears of people and have made many sufferers very uncomfortable.

Many people consider separation anxiety disorder as the “modern-day tantrum.” But is it really? It is a real anxiety disorder, which affects millions of people around the world. It's true, and even more surprising that many of them have never been diagnosed, and it is seen in adults. Find it out there.

What is Separation Anxiety in adults?

Separation Anxiety Disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or from parents. Separation anxiety is a normal part of childhood development. It commonly occurs in babies between 8 and 12 months old and usually disappears around age 2. However, it can also occur in adults. Adults with separation anxiety will fear something bad will happen to their family members or loved ones.

Researches quote many reasons behind Separation anxiety disorders in adults, like Panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD), basically it is associated with all types of anxiety-related issues.

What triggers Separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is more or less the same in adults and children. Usually, it is more prominent in children below three years, but it is identified as an adult separation anxiety disorder when it continues in late childhood. People with this disorder may be socially withdrawn or show extreme sadness or difficulty concentrating when away from loved ones. In parents, the disorder can lead to strict, over-involved parenting.

The symptoms of Separation Anxiety in adults are,

  • They have an unusual fear of losing their loved ones,
  • Extreme hesitant to leave loved ones,
  • Difficulty sleeping away from a loved one for fear that something will happen to them,
  • They often get anxiety attacks, depression, or any other mental health-related issues.
  • An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the parent or loved ones if they leave

Though there are very few children who have a Separation anxiety disorder in adulthood, there are few factors that clearly trigger. They are,

When a person in early adulthood loses someone so close to him, Losing a loved one may be friends, parents, or loved ones. It mentally creates a big trauma within them.

When shifting to a new environment, it may be for high school studies, separation of parents, or moving to a new city, leaving friends behind.

Diagnosis of Separation Anxiety Disorder:

To diagnose a condition like Separation Anxiety Disorder, doctors use a comprehensive examination outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V). But the symptoms are so prevalent and taken in to account only when it is present for at least six months. When it severely affects the person's social functioning, and it doesn’t come under different anxiety-related issues, the medical practitioner will ask you a series of questions to diagnose a Separation Anxiety Disorder.

What is the best treatment for Separation anxiety?

Treatment for adult separation anxiety disorder is similar to treatments used to treat other anxiety disorders. Your medical provider may recommend various treatments, or you may have to try several treatments before finding one that works for you. Possible treatments include,

  • Cognitive Behavioral therapy,
  • Family therapy,
  • Counselling,
  • Medications like antidepressants are given to relieve stress.


The early childhood of a person is critical to a healthy mind and body. When you keep the surroundings peaceful, it makes them flourish inside out. Being aware of what you are going through is the first step of diagnosing the issue and moving towards peaceful inner harmony.

Try this template: Separation Anxiety Assessment

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blog author description

Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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