Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety about being separated from, or losing, a major attachment figure, like a parent, and the fear or anxiety is developmentally inappropriate. This means that the age of the person is considered. When a toddler experiences some anxiety, maybe shown by crying, when his mother leaves him at day care for the first time, this is normal. When an older child will not be left at school because of fear of being away from his parent, and this problem is ongoing and excessive, Separation Anxiety Disorder may be considered. Like other Anxiety Disorders, these problems cause significant distress or impairment in major areas of life, like work, school, or relationships.