Separation anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that usually begins in childhood and is characterized by worrying that is out of proportion to the situation of temporarily leaving home or otherwise separating from loved ones. Approximately 4%-5% of children and adolescents suffer from separation anxiety disorder.
The symptoms of separation anxiety includes persistently and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other settings, persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near a near a major attachment figure or to sleep away from home, repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation, repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated, repeated nightmares about being separated from the people who are important to the sufferer.
Data from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) and the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) show that the 12-month prevalence rate of SAD among US adults is 7.1–7.9%. Similar rates have been found in other cultural groups: 6.4% in Chile and 9.1% in Brazil. In contrast, the 12-month prevalence rate of SAD from East Asian surveys, although less studied, has been reported to be much lower, in the range of 0.4% in Taiwan, 0.2– 0.6% in Korea, 0.2% in China, and 0.8% in Japan. The prevalence rates in several other populations have been found to be similarly low, such as in epidemiological surveys of Mexico (1.7%), Nigeria (0.3%), South Africa (1.9%) and Europe (0.8%). In contrast, the 12-month prevalence rate of SAD in the rural population of Udmurtia, a Constituent Republic of the Russian Federation, was estimated to be 44.2%