While separation anxiety is normal for children between 8 and 14 months, it becomes a problem when it occurs in children older than 6 years old for more than four weeks at a time. Separation anxiety disorder affects about 4 to 5 percent of children ages 7 to 11.
If your child is constantly worried that something will happen to her or to you if you are separated, and if it is affecting your everyday lives, you need to seek help. See your pediatrician first to rule out illness or medication side effects as a cause of the problem. Your doctor may then refer your child to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Treatments may include psychotherapy, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Separation anxiety may recur often, particularly when your child encounters stressful situations.