What Is Separation Anxiety? Know Symptoms, Causes And Risks

Separation from your closed ones can cause separation anxiety disorder, know what is it and how can it affect your health.

Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 20,2022
Updated at: May 20,2022

If you have ever gone through a heartbreak, then you know how it feels to be detached with someone you love or admire so closely. Even if we leave aside the romantic aspect of the relationship, sometimes it is very hard to let people go out of your life. It could happen because of different reasons, one of them could be physical and emotional attachment. You can also get habited to a person in such a way it might be difficult to leave them. In adults, it could happen because of transfer to different location, education purpose, divorce, or moving out because of work purpose. All of this can give a person separation anxiety. Read this article to know what is it, and how does it affect your health.  

What is Separation Anxiety? 

Separation anxiety happens when you are afraid of losing touch with someone and you feel anxious because of the distance. We spoke to Dr. Tanu Chowdhury, Clinical Psychologist from Healthcare Clinic, Lucknow to know about the problems associated with separation anxiety. This condition is caused in people usually when someone very close to them such as their children, partners or very close friends are no longer together in the same place. Separation anxiety is actually a big thing for some people and those who have always been in close contact with that person might have severe symptoms of this disorder. 

Separation anxiety disorder could even impact you when your pet dies or gets separated from you. Basically, the specific attachment you have you have for any person, thing or animal can result to anxiousness that might result to heaviness in breathing and concentration issues. There are many other symptoms that could affect you, depending on the individual.  

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety 

Separation anxiety can give you multiple symptoms at once. This can be different for every individual because it affects people at various levels. We are sharing some common symptoms of separation anxiety that could affect your daily life.  

  1. Excess distress before separation or during that phase 
  2. Worrying more about the person or feeling of losing him 
  3. Taking tension about events that might follow after separation of that person 
  4. Reluctance to leave that person alone at anytime 
  5. Excessive fear of being alone 
  6. Reluctance to sleep away or have attachment issues 
  7. Repeating nightmares about getting separated from that person 
  8. Physical symptoms that could affect your physical or mental health 

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What causes Separation Anxiety in Adults? 

Separation anxiety could be caused because of different life events. It is usually because of moving away from that person. Separation anxiety can happen over a short period of time or longer period as well. Anxiety that happens because of mental health disorder or conditions could be more severe as it might affect the person adversely.


Separation anxiety are common in autistic people. This disorder could make a person overprotective or controlling over the other person which he is afraid to lose. However, these actions over the period of time can further separate them from you.  

Risk factors Associated with Separation Anxiety Disorder 

As mentioned above, there could be some cases, where the person might have severe symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. One of the major ones consist of the following.

Also Read- 7 Reasons Why You Have Chapped Lips 

Obsessive compulsive disorder- This is more common in adults and they particularly become very specific about their choices and relationship for the other person. They often have co-existing conditions such as the following- 

  • Social phobias 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Agoraphobia 
  • Traumatic experience 

Agoraphobia is a condition that involves fear and anxiety which develops when you are in a space where there is no exit. You might not be able to receive help or such conditions can cause agoraphobia disorder. 

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