SEPARATION ANXIETY DISORDER
Separation Anxiety Disorder occurs mostly in children and therefore by its nature will develop before the age of 18 years. It is considered by mental health professionals to involve developmentally inappropriate and extreme anxiety triggered by separation or expected separation from major attachment figures (i.e. a parent, sibling or carer).
Other aspects of this anxiety problem may include: extreme worry about something harmful happening to the attachment figure, worry about separation being triggered by specific events such as becoming lost or being kidnapped, school refusal due to fear of separation, fear of being alone for any length of time, problems with going to sleep without a major attachment figure close by, possible nightmares, the nature of which relate to separation, physical complaints (for example headaches or stomach aches) whenever actual or expected separation occurs.
Treatment of children with separation anxiety by its nature requires parental involvement in implementation of strategies.