Did you know that separation anxiety in adults was not recognized until 2013, when the 5th edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was released?
Since then, studies have shown that over 6% of the adult population in America suffers from Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder (ASAD).
If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from ASAD, keep reading for more information.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in adults is similar in children. However, attachments might be with different people.
Usually, separation anxiety in children is often evident when they are apart from their parents or caregivers. The child will likely become afraid when they are not near them. It can also hinder certain activities such as sleepovers and summer camps.
However, as an adult, you can also form these types of attachments. For example, you may suffer from anxiety when away from your romantic partner, your best friend, and sometimes your children.
Instead of not being able to participate in summer camps, you will have a hard time getting yourself to work or complete other responsibilities.
Common Signs of Separation Anxiety
While concern over loved ones is a very normal emotion, a person with ASAD will experience anxiety to the point of panic attacks. Additionally, missing someone when they are gone is also perfectly normal.
However, these emotions will heighten if you suffer from ASAD. Common signs can include:
- Fear of kidnapping of loved ones
- Extreme hesitance to leave
- Sleeplessness due to separation
- Depression or anxiety
However, you may also experience physical symptoms. Like kids who get homesick, you may experience headaches, diarrhea, and nausea.
When you speak to your doctor about ASAD, you must have these symptoms for at least six months. Additionally, the symptoms need to be so severe that they affect your day-to-day life regularly.
The doctor will also look at other disorders that might explain these symptoms, such as Social Anxiety Disorder.
Separation Anxiety Treatment
While ASAD still needs a lot of research to recommend effective treatment. However, some common therapy methods have shown promising results.
For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people pinpoint specific thoughts that make the anxiety worse. The individual can then work on techniques to change their thought processes and patterns with a therapist.
In addition to this method, a doctor will likely prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Medication like serotonin may prove helpful. A doctor may suggest combining both treatments for a better result.
Finally, you can find local support groups to learn new techniques and find help. A listening ear might make all the difference.
Separation Anxiety in Adults: Get Help Today
Separation anxiety in adults can cause severe issues in your day-to-day activities, responsibilities, and social life. If you are struggling with the signs of separation anxiety, speak with a medical professional.
Do you have any questions about ASAD? Contact us for an assessment or schedule a free consultation.