What is separation anxiety?

See answer. It's a normal part of development, and it usually happens around 8-9 months of age and may last until a year or so. The child experiences anxiety when separated from the primary caregiver (usually the mother) and might cry, cling to that caregiver.
The "camp cries" Often really seen for the first time when kids go away to camp separation anxiety is when a child has an overwhelming anxiety response when separated from their caregiver. Like homesickness on steroids and it can happen anywhere, like a sleepover or even just going to school in the morning.
In infancy. Separation anxiety is a normal developmental milestone at 9-12 months that means your baby has " object permanence, " a mental representation of someone/something he can't see. Separation anxiety disorder in older children includes their worrying that something bad will happen to their parent or themselves while separated.

Related Questions

What does adult separation anxiety disorder look like?

See Below. Adult separation anxiety might occur during the break up of relationship with strong emotional attachment to the person being separated from:marriage, romantic, children leaving home.It might manifest as extreme distress when object of attachment leaves, crying; excessive fear of being left alone when object of attachment is not there. Psychotherapy and meds might help with management of anxiety. Read more...
Fears and dependency. Individuals suffering separation anxiety in adulthood can become anxious, angry, irritable or even depressed about actual or pending separations between themselves and spouses, children, significant or even not so significant others. It can harm relatiionships as it can cause conflicts, present to others as immaturity, or seem clingy or overly dependent- a good clinical psychologist can help. Read more...

What's the difference between separation anxiety and post partum depression?

Separation anxiety. occurs when someone has emotional symptoms when not in the presence of a person he/she is bonded too. This often is the case w/a child going to school for the first time or a little child when a parent goes out of the room or house. In adults it is called "co-dependence." Postpartum depression can occur after childbirth when the mother has a temporary hormonal imbalance. Peace and good health. Read more...

What can be done about separation anxiety?

Start shorter. Work from very short to longer separation. No surprises. Don't give in when crying starts. Come back after crying stops. Goal is to teach ability to tolerate anxiety, followed by re-assurance that you will be back. Don't teach crying causes you to come back. Read more...
Training. Work from very short to longer separation. No surprises. Don't give in when crying starts. Come back after crying stops. Goal is to teach ability to tolerate anxiety, followed by re-assurance that you will be back. Don't teach crying causes you to come back. Read more...

What are the symptoms of separation anxiety?

Several things. I assume you mean what happens with a child when his or her parents leave? Many believe this has to do with the reactions upon departure and the child's change in behaviors. In fact, separation anxiety can occur upon re-unification. What happens, especially with younger children is for example, when mommy comes back and the child sees her, the child becomes unglued realizing she was gone. Read more...
Normal at 8-14 mo. Separation anxiety refers to a developmental stage in which a child experiences anxiety due to separation from the primary care giver (usually the mother). This phase is fairly standard at around 8 months of age and can last until the child is 14 months old. They are inappropriate for older children and may indicate separation anxiety disorder. Read more...

Why does my child get separation anxiety?

Object permanence. Around 4-7 months babies develop a sense of object permanence, which means they can tell when something is gone (and this includes their parents!) and don't yet have a concept of time, so they don't know you will return. To minimize this anxiety try leaving your child with familiar caregivers such as grandparents or a babysitter they are used too. Read more...
Separation anxiety. An infant starts to think for the first time around 6 months that he/she is separate from the mother/father. An infant get anxious when he/she realizes that the parent/caregiver is not around. This stage is not permanent. It phases out between 18 -30 months. Read more...
Anxiety in Children. In a school-age child, I am of the opinion that "some" parents communicate a sense of their own anxieties to their children. Sensing something is very wrong, children want to remain by their parent's sides, feeling that they can either make things safe or they will feel safer with them. It is complicated in theory, but treatment for children can be very successful. Read more...

How do I get help for separation anxiety?

Psychotherapy. I recommend that you find a trusted psychologist/therapist with whom you can understand the causes of your separation anxiety (e.g. Early trauma, neglect) and learn tools to help with it. Read more...

Boyfriend has separation anxiety, what to do?

Does he really have. Separation anxiety or is he overly dependent? Is he addicted to you? Well, this is an issue that he has to be willing to address. He might want to see a psychologist to deal with his relationship issues. Take care. Read more...

How can I soothe my child's separation anxiety?

Reassure. It is normal for a baby to develop separation anxiety at about 9 months of age. Babies of this age are now aware that you are "somewhere" even when he/she can't see you! they can become frantic even when you step out of the room! don't over react, but stay calm and be reassuring. Playing games like "peek a boo" can help too- seeing things go and come back is fun for babies this age! Read more...
Be calm & accepting. Some call this the emotional birth, when baby realizes mom is their best buddy & cries if she leaves. They do not fully grasp the concept that you can exist when not visible until into the 2nd year, so you need to be calm & reassuring. They may fear you won't return. If baby senses your worry it will increase their fear. Peek a boo & similar activities are thought to help babies learn the concept. Read more...
Separation Anxiety. Be reassuring, supportive, talk out your child's fears. Tell them that they must attend school and that you will always be there to pick them up at the end of the day. Separation issues are important developmental milestones to conquer. Be gentle and kind, no matter how long it takes. Read more...