In This Article
In This Article
The DSM-5 classifies attachment disorder or reactive attachment disorder, RAD under two forms:
Such issues refer to the inability to form healthy relationships with others.
Reactive attachment disorder can be diagnosed as early as 9 months old.
Attachment disorders can negatively affect a child’s relationship with family, friends, and caretakers.
Attachment therapy can help a child recover from negative attachment styles psychology.
What is attachment disorder and how does it affect a child?
RAD is viewed as a type of attachment theory trauma, usually caused by early childhood neglect or mistreatment.
Insecure attachment issues start at an early age.
If a child or adult is suffering from such issues, it means they will have difficulty trusting and connecting with other people.
A child may seem void of love and will not be able to properly bond with parents, friends, or other family members.
RAD is most common in children from ages 9-months to five years old.
Because RAD begins at such a young age, it can be difficult to treat.
If left untreated, children will have following difficulties:
If childhood attachment disorders are not dealt with, men and women will grow to develop what is called Adult Attachment Disorder (AAD).
AAD is still being studied and is not recognized by the DSM-5, however, symptoms of attachment issues in adults are much the same as those in children.
Attachment disorders in adults manifest through:
The DSM-5 lists specific patterns and signs to look out for if parents suspect their child may have reactive attachment disorder.
Attachment disorder symptoms include:
In teen years, children who have such issues are more likely to have:
Attachment therapy can help reverse such negative effects of emotional distancing.
The need for attachment therapy often occurs when a child is relatively young. The main culprit of this disorder is extreme neglect or abuse.
For example, children who were taken from their parents at a young age, grew up in foster care or lived with parents who abused and mistreated them will emotionally detach from caretakers as a form of self-preservation.
Because of their detachment, a child will be unable to connect with a parent or loved one consistently.
This can cause them to feel unloved, lost, and socially isolated.
Other reasons for reactive attachment disorder in adults and children include:
Under attachment therapy, RAD is usually classified as one of two attachment types.
Their attachment disorder is highly dependent and causes a child to be extremely, even chronically anxious.
This is sometimes classified as an insecure attachment style or insecure avoidant attachment.
There is little research available on the effectiveness of attachment psychology, however, family-based therapy seems to yield positive results in children.
The ultimate goal of attachment therapy is to help children develop healthy attachments to their primary caretakers and loved ones.
Families should seek help from child psychotherapy, family therapy, and parent management training programs.
A family doctor can also suggest where to find a suitable and reputable therapist for attachment issues.
Looking up "attachment therapy near me" can be a helpful resource, as well as reading online reviews for attachment therapy counselors can help patients narrow down their choice.
Parents should be aware that some attachment disorder treatments are considered to be radical, with some counselors suggesting withholding food or using forms of physical restraint to help children progress in treatment.
How can a patient know if attachment disorder therapy is for them?
Patients are encouraged to speak to a therapist over the phone or in-person to make sure they feel a good rapport with the counselor and approve of the techniques that will be used.
What is attachment therapy and how can it help?
During attachment therapy, counselors will use a series of techniques to help children overcome resistance to attachments.
Parents are expected to actively participate in therapy techniques to help children learn how to deal with attachment issues.
Physical treatments aside, a family therapist can draw out a child and teach them how to communicate their thoughts and feelings out loud.
Cost of therapy for such issues depends on several factors, such as:
The average cost of family therapy is anywhere from $60 to $250 per hour.
The total cost of parent management training programs is $2,500 and up.
Costs of psychotherapy for children range from $75 to $300 per session.