Separation anxiety is a normal developmental stage experienced by a child when separated from the primary caregiver. It typically manifests itself as crying and distress when a child is away from a parent or from home.
- Separation anxiety manifests itself in a variety of physical and behavioral ways, including:
- Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches, particularly when they occur persistently in anticipation of separation from parents
- Not wanting parents to be out of sight: following them around the house, requests to sleep in the parents' bed at night
- Nightmares about parents being gone or leaving
- Excessive worry about family members’ safety or the child’s own safety
- Excessive worry or panic when anticipating or experiencing a separation from home
- Refusal to go to school or other activities away from home