UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date

2020-10-28

Document Type

Book Chapter

Disciplines

Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychology

Abstract

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common childhood anxiety disorders. SAD refers to an exaggeration of otherwise developmentally normal anxiety manifested by excessive concern, worry, and even dread of the real or anticipated separation from an attachment figure. Although separation anxiety is a developmentally appropriate phenomenon, the disorder manifests with inappropriate intensity or the inappropriateness of age and context. Although The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Edition 4 (DSM-IV) had limited the diagnosis of SAD to children and adolescents, the diagnosis has been extended to include SAD first diagnosed in adulthood in the 5th edition (DSM-V).

SAD has serious implications for quality of life and functioning across several areas of life, including work, social interactions, and close relationships. SAD has been described as a gateway anxiety disorder that can lead to a variety of poor mental and physical health outcomes, including excessive worry, sleep issues, excessive distress in social settings, poor academic performance, and somatic complaints. Despite its prevalence, SAD is often underdiagnosed and undertreated.

One of the marked differences in children diagnosed with separation anxiety compared to adults is the type of attachment figures involved. In the case of children, the attachment figures are usually adults, such as parents. Adults, in contrast, experience anxiety when experiencing real or anticipated separation from children, spouses, or romantic partners.

Keywords

separation anxiety

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2021, StatPearls Publishing LLC. This book is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, a link is provided to the Creative Commons license, and any changes made are indicated.

Source

Feriante J, Bernstein B. Separation Anxiety. 2020 Oct 28. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 32809628. View chapter on NCBI Bookshelf

Journal/Book/Conference Title

StatPearls

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

32809628

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Share

COinS