Separation anxiety disorder can occur in adults
Recent evidence has indicated that separation anxiety, which is typically thought of as a disorder that occurs in childhood, may persist or even begin in adulthood. Adults who experience separation anxiety may stay in close contact with loved ones due to anxiety and the intense fear that harm will come to them if they don’t maintain contact. They may experience panic attacks when separation occurs. Authors examined the prevalence of adult separation anxiety disorder in 520 patients seeking treatment at an anxiety clinic in Australia. The study indicated that 23% met the criteria. The disorder was also found to be more common among women than men. The researchers have also found that separation anxiety co-occurs most frequently with panic disorder and panic disorder with agoraphobia.
Source: Silove, D. M. (2010 September). Separation Anxiety Disorder Occurs in Adults: Prevalence and Correlates. Clinician’s Research Digest.