Signs & Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Adults

Dealing with separation anxiety
Dealing with separation anxiety (Image: a sad lonely young man on winter stadium image by sorokka from

Separation anxiety was labeled as a disorder during the early 1990's, mostly affecting children, but rarely adults. The symptoms of separation anxiety in adults are similar to that of children suffering from this disorder. The difference between an adult suffering from separation anxiety disorder and an adult suffering from its mild symptoms is reliant upon DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) classification. Adults with separation anxiety symptoms may be afflicted with the disorder, or simply display effects concurrent with it.

Behavioral Changes

Behaviors concurrent with separation anxiety symptoms that negatively affect an individual's daily life are often found in adults suffering from separation anxiety. Excessive distress when separated from home or a substantial attachment is a marked symptom of separation anxiety. Worry, fear and the refusal to sleep are often symptoms associated with this problem. These symptoms can be mild to extreme, depending on the severity of the individuals anxiety.

Daily Routine Changes

The inability of an adult suffering from separation anxiety to perform daily responsibilities is a strong and often persistent symptom. Adults may find the action of going to work to be to great a risk, prompting the individual to remain at home with the attached subject. The depressive mood associated with this problem prompts individuals to loose interest in daily routines, confining them to their homes.

Physical Symptoms

When subjected to separation, individuals suffering from this particular form of anxiety can experience acute physical symptoms. These symptoms include headache, stomachache, vomiting and nausea. These physical symptoms may occur before separation, strictly relying on the anticipation of the feared event. When coupled with signs of depression, adults may feel tired. These symptoms occur along a range of severity levels, dependent on the progress of the specific separation anxiety.

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