Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is an anxiety disorder that can present in both adult and child populations and is included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions affecting children. Experiencing distress on separation from caretakers or other significant persons is considered to be a normal feature of the developmental process that dissipates naturally. However, if this distress persists and becomes so intense that it causes marked interference in daily functioning, a diagnosis of SAD may be appropriate. SAD is characterized by excessive anxiety, specifically regarding separation from home or from those to whom the person is most attached (for children, this is usually caretakers; for adults, ...

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