The diagnostic criteria for Separation Anxiety Disorder in the DSM-IV are as follows:
A. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:
- Recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated.
- Persistent and excessive worry about losing, or about possible harm befalling, major attachment figures.
- Persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from a major attachment figure(e.g.; getting lost or being kidnapped).
- Persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because fear of separation.
- Persistent and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other settings.
- Persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near a major attachment figure or to sleep away from home.
- Repeated nightmares involving the theme of separation.
- Repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated.