ABC Medical Center > Separation anxiety disorder

What is Separation anxiety disorder?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


This is a condition in which children experience anxiety when separating from their parents or caregivers after the age of three.

Although it is common for babies and younger children to feel separation anxiety, when this continues after three years old and in the preschool stage, it becomes separation anxiety disorder, the main signs of which are school problems, hindrance of activities, and panic attacks.

Despite usually being a childhood condition, separation anxiety disorder can also affect people in adolescence or adulthood, which causes problems in school, work, and social relationships.

The exact cause of separation anxiety disorder is still unknown, but it is considered that it may be due to high levels of stress as a result of separation from an important person or there may be some genetic component in its appearance.

Also, there are some potential risks to developing it such as:

  • Stressful events such as:
    • Diseases.
    • Death.
    • Divorce.
    • Change of school.
    • Moving.
  • Predisposition to anxiety disorders.
  • Family members who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Signs and symptoms Separation anxiety disorder

  • Frequent anxiety episodes due to present or future separations.
  • Excessive concern about fear of the death of oneself or loved ones.
  • Obsession over possible catastrophic events.
  • Refusal to be away from home or travel.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Need to have a loved one by their side at all times.
  • Nightmares anticipating separation.
  • Fear of sleeping alone.
  • Refusal to go to school.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Abdominal cramps.

Diagnosis and treatment Separation anxiety disorder

Once the specialist analyzes the symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical and psychological evaluation, in addition to requesting various studies to help rule out other conditions and corroborate the diagnosis.

The treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms but generally includes:

  • Psychotherapy.
  • Medication.

At the Neurology Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in various neurological specialties is ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.



How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.