Separation anxiety in adults

Diagnosis of adult separation anxiety disorder

You may have come across an adult suffering from adult separation anxiety disorder. It is rather confusing because you would ordinarily expect it to happen in children as part of developmental process. Since the condition was only recently entered in the psychiatry books, diagnosis has been a bit of a challenge to the experts. However, the diagnosis can be made based on the following;

Excessive distress

The adult will be excessively distressed when they are removed from the person they have a strong attachment to or home. Even the mere anticipation can cause separation anxiety disorder.

 Excessive worry

The subjects worry so much that the person with whom they have attachment to could meet a tragedy like death or accident when they leave them. This is the reason they worry so much and do not want these persons to go away from them.

 Bad incidents

The persons with adult separation anxiety disorder have a tendency to link bad incidents happening to their attachment figures. They worry excessively that such people would be kidnapped or lose their way when going or coming back from their destination. No reassurance can change their mindsets, providing fodder for diagnosing the adult separation anxiety disorder.

 Refusal to leave

You may have seen an adult who refuses to leave home for work or school because this would mean that they get separated from the people they have close attachment with.

 Refusal to be alone

Another way of telling that someone has adult separation anxiety disorder is the fact that they do not want to be left alone at home unless one of the people they have attachment with is present. They want the settings to be perfect as they are always like.  Any changes affect them so much that they would resist any attempt to change the status quo.

Sleep issues

The problem becomes compounded by the fact that these people are refuse to sleep unless it is in the company of the person they have attachment with. If they can’t see them in bed, they refuse to sleep. In some cases, they would rather sleep away than sleep at home than sleep at home where they cannot find the person they have strong attachment with.


The person will have serious nightmares which recur every night. The nightmare is due to worry, distress and the fear of being separated from the people they love. The nightmares revolve around the people the subject of separation. They struggle so much with their own fears of being removed either physically or emotionally from the people they are close to.

Physical symptoms

These persons have not only the emotional signs but physical ones as well. For one, they will complain about headaches, stomach aches and vomiting to name but a few. All these are physical manifestations of someone with anxiety disorders.

Proper diagnosis should be made early so that such people can be treated and also helped to overcome the problems they are going through.

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