Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is developmentally inappropriate and excessive debilitating fear or anxiety regarding the child’s real or imagined separation from individuals to whom they are attached. Per the DSM-V (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), the 6-12 month prevalence of SAD among children in the United States is 4%, while the 12 month prevalence of SAD among adolescents is 1.6%. Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is the most prevalent anxiety disorder in children younger than 12 years of age.
- Frequent distress when thinking about or anticipating separation from a key figure in their life
- Persistent and excessive reluctance to go away from home, to school, to work, while away from a key figure in their life.
- Persistent fear or reluctance to be alien
- Repeated nightmares involving the process of separation
- Refusal to sleep away from home or go to sleep without the key figures in their life being in the area.
- Frequent complaints of bodily/physical complaints (i.e.; upset stomach, headache)