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Reactive Attachment Disorder in

Teenagers/ Young Adults

Sadly, children who were not properly diagnosed
during their childhood have become teenagers and
adults with RAD. Some symptoms of Reactive
Attachment Disorder in Teens and Adults are:

Intense Anger

Views others as undependable

Avoidance of intimacy
Difficulty getting along with co-workers

Critical of others
Reactive-attachment Disorder,
(RAD), is a condition found in
Sensitive to rejection children who have received
Possessive/ Jealous grossly negligent care in their
earliest days. And therefore,
Suicide attempts
do not form a healthy
Depressed emotional attachment with
New relations are affected by the their primary caregivers.
expectations developed in past relationships. Attachment develops when a
child is repeatedly soothed
comforted, and cared for. And
when the caregiver
consistently meets the childs
needs. The opposite of
attachment caused by the
absence of emotional warmth
Hannah Muller during the first few years of
mullerh@students.westerntc.edu life.
Stereotypes of the disorder
Children who arent effectively treated for most often
Symptoms grow into adults with personality disorders. RAD is a brain
Common symptoms of RAD include: injury that typically occurs because of early abuse and
neglect. Just as a person cant simply outgrow brain
Detached uncaring and defiant
disorder of bipolar disorder, neither can a person simply
Unresponsive or resistant to comforting outgrow RAD.
Holding back or altogether lack of emotions
(other than anger)

Causes Withdrawn or a mixture of approach and
To feel safe and develop trust, infants and young children
need a stable caring environment. Their basic emotional Treatment
and physical needs must be consistently meet. A child
Children who exhibit signs of RAD need a comprehensive
whos needs are ignored or meet with a lack of emotional
physiatrist assessment and individualized treatment plan.
responses from caregivers does not come to appreciate
Treatment involves both the child and the family.
care or comfort or form a stable attachment to caregivers.
Therapists focus on understanding and strengthening the
relationship between a child and his/her primary
Risk Factors
Parents of a young child that show signs or symptoms of
The risk of developing reactive attachment disorder from RAD should:
serious social and emotional neglect or the lack of
opportunity to develop stable attachments may increase Seek a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation by
in children who; a qualified mental health professional prior to Sources:
the initiation of any treatment
Live in a children home or other institution www.instituteforattachment.ong
Make sure they understand the risks as well as
Frequently change foster homes or caregivers the potential benefits of any intervention

Have inexperienced parents Feel free to seek a second opinion if they have

Have prolongeded separation from parents or questions/concerns about the diagnosis and/or
other caregivers due to hospitialization treatment plan.

Have a mother with postpartum depression

Are part of an unusually large family, such that

parental time is scares or available unequal

However, most children who are severely neglected

dont develop reactive attachement disorder.