What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?
Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) includes extreme anxiety (fear and nervousness) concerning separation from parents or loved ones. Although some amount of anxiety related to separating from parents is normal, children and teens with SAD react to separation with feelings and behaviors that are not considered normal for their age. Their sense of safety is highly dependent upon their parent being present. Children with SAD often have other fears as well, including fear of thieves and robbers, car accidents, the dark or going places where they will be separated from their parents. Children and teens with SAD sometimes refuse to go to school. Symptoms must be present for at least one month for a child or teen to be diagnosed with SAD.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder in children?
How is Separation Anxiety Disorder diagnosed in children?
What is the treatment for Separation Anxiety Disorder in children?
Anxiety Treatment at Children's National Hospital
The Anxiety Disorders Program is a specialized treatment clinic devoted to carefully assessing and effectively treating a wide range of anxiety disorders common among children and adolescents. Discover more about the treatments we offer.
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Dealing With Pandemic-induced Separation Anxiety in Kids
Children and families are finally resuming some of their pre-pandemic activities, such as summer camp, vacations and in-person school. For some kids, this return will also trigger separation anxiety.
Providers Who Treat Separation Anxiety Disorder
Departments that Treat Separation Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety Disorders Program
The Anxiety Disorders Program at Children's National Hospital is a specialized treatment clinic devoted to carefully assessing and effectively treating a wide range of anxiety disorders common among children and adolescents.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's National offers assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders.