Separation anxiety is not just common in kids… and puppies. Adult separation anxiety disorder affects some 7 percent of Americans at some point in their lives according to a recent study.
In fact, the prevalence of adult separation anxiety (ASA) in the United States is even greater than that of childhood separation anxiety disorder, which is around 4-5 percent. While some Americans with the adult version first experienced it during childhood, the vast majority encountered it only after they reached adulthood.
Separation anxiety disorder is a psychological condition in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (like a father, mother, grandparents, and brothers or sisters).
Adult separation anxiety disorder often occurs along with other psychiatric illnesses, especially other anxiety conditions or mood disorders. Because adult separation disorder is only recently being recognized as a serious mental health problem, there are few treatments that have been created to address it specifically. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some treatments available that are beneficial.
If you or someone you know is suffering from ASA please seek out help. The first step is admitting that there is a problem, because combatting adult separation anxiety takes a conscious awareness of your separation anxiety symptoms. Counseling, rather than medication, is the treatment of choice for separation anxiety disorder that is mild in severity. There are several options:
- Professional psychotherapy from a counselor in your community
- Self-help cognitive program for separation anxiety such as the popular Linden Method
- Yoga or other relaxation programs
- Massage and acupuncture
- An effective natural supplement such as Panicyl
Research into ASA treatments will continue and hopefully improve in both effectiveness and availability. It’s important to treat any other related mental health issue such as stress, depression, or panic attacks since those problems tend to exacerbate existing ASA symptoms.
Photo by: Philip Clifford
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