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. Remember, separation anxiety is a rite of passage for infants and toddlers. Be patient as your child learns that it's OK to spend time away from you.
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.
It was estimated that in 2004, anxiety disorders cost in excess of 41 billion Euros in the European Union. Results from a German survey showed that the excess costs associated with anxiety disorders ranged from €500 to €1600 per case in 2004. The work loss days for some anxiety disorders are higher than for common somatic disorders such as diabetes.