The psychological condition that we are calling separation anxiety disorder or SAD involves three main ingredients i.e. separation, anxiety and the resulting disorder. The separation in this context means from a caregiver, a lover, sibling or a caregiver. It could also mean a pet or the familiar environment.
The problem of separation anxiety disorder has been addressed extensively in children and is usually not considered a disorder; it is just a separation anxiety. The anxiety is witnessed at the age of 6-7 months and goes on till the age of 3 years. This is perceived as perfectly normal. It is considered in the psychiatry books to be a healthy part of growth and development in children. One should not worry if their child displays any symptoms of anxiety as they will outgrow them.
The difference between the separation anxiety in children and the separation anxiety disorder is that the latter becomes excessive and a kind of freaky obsession .In adults, it, a full-blown separation anxiety disorder could be devastating and generally revolves around the following components.
The social life of the affected person will drastically change. They will be unable to deal with the fact that they are separated from the people they love. As such, they will withdraw from active social life in order to attend to personal grief over the loss of the person or thing that they have attachment to. There is excessive obsession which they have no control over.
There is an emotional component in the whole scenario. For the anxiety to arise the person will be excessively anxious because of the emotional detachment from people or persons they love. If for instance a man loses his wife due to death, he may suffer from this condition, depending on how close they were.
There is also the problem when they are both alive but the wife does not want to lose sight of her husband despite the assurance that he is well. She wills constantly call/text him and even physically looks for him for fear that he could leave her.
Such fears are usually unfounded but unfortunately, the patients have no control over their bizarre behaviour. They are far removed from the normal emotional attachments between people and for the normal people; this is an illness that should be treated with medication.
Both children and adults face serious challenges at home, school or workplace. They are unable to adapt to the changes taking place around them .Environment plays a big role in the change of behaviour of both adults and children. The stressful environment is considered one of the causes of SAD.
The other possible cause of this problem could be genetic with some people being genetically predisposed than others. The temperament of the child could be traced back to their background and especially if they had temperament al parents in the first place.
There is need to carry out more research on the cause of this condition so that it can be managed when excessive.