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#13548 - 04/20/06 10:09 AM Reactive Attachment disorder
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
A new term I learned today here..and when I delved deep into it, I could explain a lot of my past behaviour, here is what I found on the net about this disorder...

When the past was traumatic, the processing of information might be interrupted, halted, or frozen. When a break in attachment results from abuse, Dr. Joanne May describes seven frozen conclusions that children with reactive attachment disorder have come to accept:

1.I must be bad or evil to deserve such treatment
2.It is not safe to trust adults or those in authority
3.The only way I can survive is to be in control
4.I am bad and/or evil and my “bad” behavior is who I am
5.There is nothing I can do that is right
6.I deserve to be hated
7.Others deserve my hate

Do you relate to any one of them?

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#13549 - 04/20/06 10:24 AM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Here some more stuff on this...

What is secure attachment?

In order to have a secure base from which to explore the world, be resilient to stress, and form meaningful relationships with themselves and others, all infants need a primary adult who cares for them in sensitive ways and who perceives, makes sense of and responds to their needs. Attachment is an instinctive system in the brain that evolved to ensure infant safety and survival. Primary caretakers are usually the natural mothers, but they need not be. A father, another relative or a non-relative can function in the role of primary caretaker provided they sustain a central role in a child’s life for at least three, and preferably five years – the period when a child’s brain develops most rapidly.
What causes insecure attachment and attachment disorder?
If the attachment bond doesn’t occur with sufficient regularity, then the necessary safe and secure experiences do not occur as they should. Instead, insecure attachments are formed. All insecure attachments arise from repeated experiences of failed emotional communication. They take one of three different forms. Before listing some of these, it is important to note that parents of insecure children are themselves products of insecure experiences. Insecure attachment is passed on from one generation to the next unless repair occurs.
• When a parent is unavailable or rejecting, a child may become “avoidantly” attached, meaning that the child adapts by avoiding closeness and emotional connection.
• An “ambivalently” attached child experiences the parents’ communication as inconsistent and at times intrusive. Because the child can’t depend on the parent for attunement and connection, he develops a sense of anxiety and feelings of insecurity.
• “Disorganized” attachment occurs when the child’s’ need for emotional closeness remains unseen or ignored, and the parents behavior is a source of disorientation or terror. When children have experiences with parents that leave them overwhelmed, traumatized, and frightened, the youngsters become disorganized and chaotic. Disorganized attachment leads to difficulties in the regulation of emotions, social communication, academic reasoning as well as to more severe emotional problems.
The major causes are:
• physical neglect
• emotional neglect
• abuse
• separation from primary caregiver
• changes in primary caregiver
• frequent moves or placements
• traumatic experiences
• maternal depression
• maternal addiction to drugs or alcohol
• undiagnosed, painful illness such as colic, ear infections, etc.
• lack of attunement or harmony between mother and child
• young or inexperienced mother with poor parenting skills.
What are the signs and symptoms of insecure attachment?
Insecure attachments influence the developing brain, which in turn affects future interactions with others, self-esteem, self-control, and the ability to learn and to achieve optimum mental and physical health. Symptoms can include the following:
• low self-esteem
• needy, clingy or pseudo-independent behavior
• inability to deal with stress and adversity
• lack of self-control
• inability to develop and maintain friendships
• alienation from and opposition to parents, caregivers, and other authority figures
• anti-social attitudes and behaviors
• aggression and violence
• difficulty with genuine trust, intimacy, and affection
• negative, hopeless, pessimistic view of self, family and society
• lack of empathy, compassion and remorse
• behavioral and academic problems at school
• speech and language problems
• incessant chatter and questions
• difficulty learning
• depression
• apathy
• susceptibility to chronic illness
• obsession with food: hordes, gorges, refuses to eat, eats strange things, hides food
• repetition of cycle of maltreatment and attachment disorder in their own children when they reach adulthood.
What is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a clinically recognized form of severe insecure attachment. Children with RAD are so neurologically disrupted that they cannot attach to a primary caregiver or go through the normal developmental processes. These children cannot establish positive relationships with other people. Many of these children may have been incorrectly diagnosed as having severe emotional and behavioral disturbances ranging from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder to depression. In response to these diagnoses, they may have received various combinations of unnecessary psychotropic mediation. See References and resources for an excellent website that thoroughly describes the problem.
How is inadequate attachment repaired?
Recent studies show that it’s never too late to create positive change in a child’s life, or in an adult’s, for that matter. The learning that accompanies new experiences can alter neural connections in the brain. Relationships with relatives, teachers and childcare providers can provide an important source of connection and strength for the child’s developing mind.
In attempts to repair attachment, here are some things to consider:
• Attachment is an interactive process. It is an evolutionary fact that our brains are structured to connect to one another. The attachment process alters the brains of both parent and child. But what makes attachment so unique is that the stronger, older, more experienced parent attunes and follows the lead of the younger, less experienced, more vulnerable child
• Following an infant’s lead does not mean that that the infant makes all the decisions. It does mean that the caretaker follows and responds to the infant’s emotional needs and defers to the infants emotional needs when appropriate.
• Attachment is a nonverbal process. It takes place many months and even years before speech and thought develop. Communication is accomplished through wordless means that rely on several things to convey interest, understanding and caring:
o eye contact
o facial expression
o tone of voice
o speech rhythm and rate
o posture
o gesture
o body movement
o timing, intensity and voice modulation
Children vary in what they find soothing. There is no “one size fits all” for every child. In determining what constitutes “just right” communication for a particular child, it will be up to the adult to follow the nonverbal cues of that child.
• Attachment is akin to falling in love, but can’t begin until both parties feel safe in their bodies and safe with one another. When adults are anxious, mad, tuned out or overwhelmed, they will not be able to make an attuned connection with a child. They should regulate themselves before attempting to connect. If a child is overwhelmed or inconsolable, he may not be available for an attuned emotional connection until he feels safer in his body. Sensory activities such as rocking, singing, moving, touching, and feeding can sooth children, but youngsters vary in their sensory preferences. What soothes a parent may not soothe an infant. Thus, parents may have to become sensory detectives to determine the best techniques for soothing their child and soothing themselves in order to make connection with the child.
• The key to shared emotional experience is not simply to mirror or give lip service to the child, but to share his experience by feeling it to some degree within your own body. This process of shared experience helps both infants and children regulate their feeling states. It is usually more important to share a negative state with a child than to problem solve. Sharing enables children to learn to problem solve for themselves.
• The shared positive emotional experiences of joy are as important to the attachment bond as the shared negative emotional experiences of fear, sadness, anger and shame. Some parents are very good at detecting a child’s distress and responding appropriately to it. Other parents share joyous moments but leave or space out in times of trouble and unhappiness. A strong attachment bond includes the full range of shared emotional experience.
• Rupture and repair is a crucial part of secure attachment. No matter how much we love our children, there comes a point where we are not in agreement with them, a point when we have to set limits, and say “no.” This is usually a point of rupture in the relationship as the child angrily protests. Such protest is to be expected. The key to strengthening the attachment bond of trust is to be available the minute the child is ready to reconnect. It is also important to initiate repair when we have done something to hurt, disrespect, or shame a child. Parents aren’t perfect. From time to time, we are the cause of the disconnection. Again, our willingness to initiate repair can strengthen the attachment bond.
• Families who have children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) will benefit from treatment and therapeutic parenting. Other disorders may accompany severe attachment disorder.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive_attachment_disorder.htm

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#13550 - 04/20/06 10:36 AM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
And then some more...

Attachment Disorder is characterized by the breakdown of social ability of a child. It is associated with the failure of the child to bond with a caretaker in infancy or early childhood. This can be caused by many factors, ranging from child neglect to the child being hospitalized for severe medical problems. The children may display either indiscriminate social extroversion as they grow older (treating all people as if they were their best friend) or showing mistrust of nearly everyone.

REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER starts in the first 5 years of life and is characterized by persistent abnormalities in the child's pattern of social relationships which are associated with emotional disturbance and are reactive to changes in environmental circumstances (e.g. fearfulness and hypervigilance, poor social interaction with peers, aggression towards self and others, misery, and growth failure in some cases). The syndrome probably occurs as a direct result of severe parental neglect, abuse or serious mishandling.

Inhibited RAD
If caregivers are not reliably or consistently present or if they respond in an unpredictable and uncertain way, babies are not able to establish a pattern of confident expectation. One result is insecure attachment, or a less than optimal internal sense of confidence and trust in others, beginning with caregivers. The child then uses psychological defenses (eg, avoidance or ambivalence) to avoid disappointments with the caregiver. This is thought to contribute to a negative working model of relationships that leads to insecurity for the rest of the child's life.
In inhibited RAD, the child does not initiate and respond to social interactions in a developmentally appropriate manner. It is a disorder of nonattachment and is related to the loss of the primary attachment figure and the lack of opportunity for the infant to establish a new attachment with a primary caregiver. Also, a nonattachment disorder may develop because the baby never had the opportunity to develop at least one attachment with a reliable caregiver who was continuously present in the baby's life.

Disinhibited RAD
Young children exposed to multiple caregivers simultaneously or sequentially do not easily experience the sense of security associated with unique and exclusive long-standing relationships. No opportunity exists to trust one person because past relationships were interrupted, disrupted, or consistently unreliable. Children with disinhibited attachment resort to psychological defense mechanisms (eg, relying only on themselves and not expecting to be soothed, cared for, or consoled by adults) to survive. Instead of relying on one person, any sense of fear or loneliness is inhibited and the children develop a pseudocomfort with whoever is available. The child is thought to suppress the conscious experience of fear only as a result of a psychological defense. The child is afraid of trusting anyone and being further disappointed.
In disinhibited RAD, the child participates in diffuse attachments, indiscriminate sociability, and excessive familiarity with strangers. The child has repeatedly lost attachment figures or has had multiple caregivers and has never had the chance to develop a continuous and consistent attachment to at least one caregiver. Disruption of one attachment relationship after another causes the infant to renounce attachments. The usual anxiety and concern with strangers is not present, and the infant or child superficially accepts anyone as a caregiver (as though people were interchangeable) and acts as if the relationship had been intimate and life-long.

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#13551 - 04/20/06 02:29 PM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6846
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
That is something I never even heard of, interesting though.
Like everything else, it shows me one thing only, that diagnosis is up to a professional.

How on earth could they ever diagnose that, when it surely fits in with diagnosis of all manner of other stuff!

I do now that my mind is "rewired" differently than normal growth.
I do have problems reacting with others, but I am more advanced in other social settings.

I can relate to the frozen response thing, that of a child whose parents talk about him, in front or within earshot.
Feelings of not being quite right.

If anything, at least someone somewhere takes it seriously,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#13552 - 04/21/06 10:04 AM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
time2heal Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 46
RAD takes on many people. Since you brought it up Morning Star I will tell you what life is like with my wife. To give you the background this is the cause and effect I will pull from your list.

separation from primary caregiver
changes in primary caregiver
emotional neglect


low self-esteem
needy, clingy or pseudo-independent behavior
inability to deal with stress and adversity
alienation from and opposition to parents, caregivers, and other authority figures
anti-social attitudes and behaviors
aggression and violence
difficulty with genuine trust, intimacy, and affection
negative, hopeless, pessimistic view of self, family and society
behavioral and academic problems at school
incessant chatter and questions
depression

Now match that with me the CSA survivor and watch the fireworks. She dealt with most of her issues in therapy a while back and she does well. She does relapses from time to time. I think the most difficult thing for me is the questions, chatter, difficulty with genuine trust, intimacy, and affection. I love her with everything I have and we are making sure our son does not suffer with our past. If you want more information Morningstar PM me.


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#13553 - 04/21/06 01:53 PM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Morning Star,

What a mass of material. Thanks for posting it. I had never heard of RAD, but this gives me a pretty good idea of what it involves. As Time2heal comments, match that up with CSA and watch the fireworks. It must be difficult for therapists to separate the issues from these two different causes.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#13554 - 04/23/06 09:49 AM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
time2heal Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 46
Yes our therapist just loves us because we go together.


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#13555 - 04/23/06 08:51 PM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
Thanks Morning Star, Time2heal,

I too had never heard of RAD. Gives me a lot of food for thought. I don't think that was a huge problem in my life as a very young child/toddler/baby. Makes me wonder tho about others close to me... Could be an explaination of some things...

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#13556 - 04/26/06 03:21 AM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
Born to Resist Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
Yes, I can totally relate. I've taken PhD seminars about attachment theory of children to adulthood. There's volumes of literature about attachment and what disrupts healthy attachments that is interesting. I think the most interesting recent books is "The Developing Mind" by Daniel Siegel. He combines the recent work in neurology (sp?) and attachment theories. Its really been able to explain my headaches and why they come from different parts of the brain. As well aided in helping me to try and integrate my different selves.

Courage-Wisdom-Spirituality


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#13557 - 04/26/06 05:56 PM Re: Reactive Attachment disorder
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Well heres what stands out from the list for me:

"Alienation from and opposition to parents, caregivers, and other authority figures."

Would anyone else like to corraborate, and possibly tell me the reason why this occurs and how you stepped out of it?

Thanks

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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