Is Reactive Attachment Disorder In Adults Real?

In recent decades, researchers have learned much about reactive attachment disorder (RAD) in children. But is reactive attachment disorder in adults real? RAD is a disorder that can be present in people of any age from infancy to adulthood. The DSM-V states the criteria for RAD, stressing that the symptoms must be present before the age of five. RAD can be cured in children and adults. If not, it can last a lifetime.

Reactive Attachment Disorder Happens to Survivors of Trauma. There is hope!
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What Exactly Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?

In simple terms, reactive attachment disorder is the result when a child doesn't form an attachment to a primary parent or caregiver before the age of five. The lack of an early relationship where the child's basic needs of food, shelter, warmth, and nurturing aren't being met causes the child not to be able to form caring, loving relationships with others.

How Can You Evaluate Reactive Attachment Disorder in Adults or Children?

There is no definitive test for RAD, but clinicians have some good tools at their disposal. The DSM-V criteria describe the types of symptoms that are common in people of all ages with RAD. A thorough psychiatric evaluation can also tell clinicians much about whether an adult or a child has RAD. If you're still not sure, the qualified counselors at BetterHelp.com will be happy to give you some guidance.


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The Connection Between RAD and ACES Too High

Because many children who have RAD were victims of trauma, severe neglect, or severe abuse, the ACES Too High test reveals information about the effects of adverse childhood experiences. It's a simple questionnaire that scores the impact of toxic stress. The acronym ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. ACEs harm a child's brain as it develops, though the symptoms are sometimes delayed until the child is a teen or adult. The higher an individual's ACE's score, the greater risk they have for serious health problems like chronic disease, mental illness, aggression or violence.

What Does RAD Look Like in Children?

Children with RAD don't trust adults because they could not trust adults to take care of them when they were small. They use coping mechanisms to help them feel safe which may include lying, manipulating, stealing, impulsivity, aggression and controlling. They are superficially charming, which deceives others into thinking that they are being socially appropriate. In reality, children and adults with RAD may lack empathy for peers, other persons, and animals and can sometimes be cruel to them.

How Does RAD Manifest in Adults?

RAD follows children into adulthood when it was not effectively treated during childhood. Adults with RAD have trouble being genuine in friendships and romantic relationships because they have difficulty showing empathy, remorse, trust, and compassion. It causes them to deny personal responsibility and continue the lying and manipulating behaviors they learned as children. They often feel that others blame them, which causes them to feel hopeless, helpless, stressed, depressed, isolated, and angry. This disorder leads some adults to addictive behaviors including substance abuse, alcoholism, sex addiction, or other addictions. Many of these behaviors may lead them into trouble with the law.

Reactive Attachment Disorder Happens to Survivors of Trauma. There is hope!
Online Counselors are Available to Help You Get Well.

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Reactive Attachment Disorder in Adults is the Real Thing

Reactive attachment disorder in adults is real. It looks much like RAD in children. Fortunately, RAD in adults is treatable with the right kind of therapy and treatment. If you think you or someone you know has RAD, let them know there is hope and there is cure, so they can have a happier, more satisfying life.


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