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Separation Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Do you want to know what separation anxiety disorder is? Are you also suffering from SAD and looking for treatment options? Fred, not because here we will explain this topic in detail.

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders in children. It means the stress or anxiety caused by separation or anyone close you were attached to. It is not only for children; it could also happen to adults due to death or getting far away from close ones.

Reading this comprehensive blog post will enable you to educate yourself about SAD. It covers everything from causes and symptoms to treatments and prevention. Let’s start this journey quickly and unveil more about it.

Causes And Risk Factors

The leading cause of this disorder is separation, as the name indicates, but there are also certain risk factors attached to it that may trigger it.

  • A family background marked by anxiety or depression can contribute to an increased risk.
  • Individuals with shy and timid personality traits are more at risk of it.
  • Low socioeconomic status can also be a risk factor for SAD.
  • Excessive protection from parents might also contribute to its development.
  • Insufficient positive interaction with your parents can also increase your risk of suffering from separation anxiety disorder.
  • Problems in bonding with people of the same age may also increase the risk.
  • Life transitions include moving to a new home or switching schools.
  • Family disruptions like divorce or the death of a close family member.

Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of separation anxiety disorder are divided into two sections. These cover the signs and symptoms for both children and adults because they might represent different symptoms.

Separation Anxiety Disorder Symptoms In Children

Here are the common separation anxiety disorder symptoms in children.

  • School refusal
  • Separation anxiety
  • Tantrums on separation
  • Physical complaints
  • Excessive clinginess
  • Fear of separation
  • Nightmares on separation
  • Resistance to solo sleep
  • School non-attendance
  • Sleep anxiety
  • Muscle aches reported
  • Reluctance to be alone
  • Concern for safety
  • Worry about family safety.
  • Anxiety when away

Separation Anxiety Disorder Symptoms In Adults

The adults represent separation anxiety disorder symptoms differently than kids. Let’s have a look at their signs.

  • Experiencing anxiety about the well-being of a family member during separation.
  • Worrying about the possibility of abduction.
  • Closely monitoring the movements of loved ones within the household.
  • Feeling uneasy about being left alone.
  • Experiencing panic attacks when unable to contact loved ones.
  • Concerns about personal or loved one’s safety during periods of separation.
  • Withdrawing from social interactions.
  • Facing challenges in maintaining focus and concentration.


The initial diagnosis for separation anxiety disorder is if you have found three or more three symptoms shared above familiar to you or your child. For further discussion, you should consult an expert doctor about it.

He will set an interview that involves a psychological evaluation of the suspected patient, whether it’s a child or an adult. He might also ask parents to interact with the child in front of him to determine any potential problems in parenting. Doctors will start this diagnosis after being sure it is not being influenced by other health conditions.

Separation Anxiety Disorder Treatments

There are two standard methods used for separation anxiety disorder. These are therapies and medications. Therapy is the safe and effective method unless your anxiety is not severe. Talk to your doctor, and you know the best way for you.


Different types of therapies could be beneficial for treating separation anxiety disorders. The two most effective therapies are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and parent-child therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps you build your coping skills to deal with it with the help of different techniques.

Parent-child therapy: There are three critical components of this type of therapy.

  • Parent-directed interaction (PDI)
  • Bravery-directed interaction (BDI)
  • Child-directed interaction (CDI)


The second treatment method is medications. It is for patients who are severely affected by SAD. Therapies are used alongside medicines for best results. There are no specific medications for this disease, but sometimes antidepressants and other drugs are used according to the condition of the patient.


The last and vital subject we are going to talk about is separation anxiety disorder, which is prevention. Following these will keep you safe from getting infected by it in the first place.

  • Stay mentally prepared: You should always be mentally ready for any event because anything could happen. You may lose a family member, pet, job, or anything. It will aid you in coping better than if it happens unexpectedly.
  • Good parenting: Bad parenting is also a risk factor for GAD. So, ensure you are parenting your children the right way. It may include their social exposure, not getting them attached, and dependence on you.
  • Seek medical help ASAP; Early diagnosis and treatment can also save you from a lot of trouble. It can also protect you from severe damage and help you recover quickly.
  • Stick with the treatment: If you have a fear of suffering from this again in your life, then you should stick with the treatment.

Final Words

Separation anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety that is very common among children, although it can happen to adults as well. It is generally because of getting far away from any close one, including parents, lover, friend, or another. It usually happens among children between 1 and 2 years old and automatically vanishes later.

If you or your child gets affected, early treatment is the best possible solution. Moreover, if you fear it, keep following the necessary precautions to stay safe.

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