Separation Anxiety Disorder

Kelly Drake, Ph.D., Golda S. Ginsburg, Ph.D.


  • Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common, treatable anxiety disorder characterized by excessive fear and anxiety about being away from attachment figures (such as parents) or home.
  • Youth with SAD avoid separation situations (e.g., refusing to attend school, sleep alone, or be left with a babysitter), worry about the safety of self and/or attachment figures, and experience physical symptoms of anxiety (e.g., stomachaches and headaches).
  • Adults with SAD also avoid separation situations, which may include avoiding going away to college or separating from their spouse/children.

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.

Last updated: January 8, 2022