Attachment disorder is found in adults and children who, for one reason or another, did not bond properly with a caregiver when they were infants, had on-going pain as an infant, or experienced in-utero trauma caused by a medical procedure, drugs or alcohol. Most often the disorder is the result of neglectful and abusive parents but may be caused by prolonged hospitalization as an infant. Many children we see are foster or adopted children and were taken from their birth parents or early caregivers because of the neglect and abuse they received.
Children with attachment disorder display the following symptoms:
- Superficially charming
- Lack of eye contact
- Resistant to comfort
- No remorse/lack of conscience
- Stealing—no impulse control
- Abnormal eating patterns
- Persistent questions and chatter
- False allegations of abuse
- Destructive to self and others,
- Not affectionate with Mom
- Overly affectionate with strangers
- Cruelty to animals
- Crazy lying
- Highly controlling
- Lack of cause and effect thinking
- Hoarding food
The inner psychology of the attachment disordered child or adult is:
- Get you to attend to their wants because they don’t have any needs. They learned early in life to take care of themselves.
- Black and white thinking.
- Adults cannot be trusted
- Attach to our negative behaviors—seeking out consequences because it verifies what they think of themselves.
- Getting love from you means you are weak.
- “If you’re not in charge, then I’m safe”.
- Extreme fear but bravado on the outside.
I have experience and training in working with attachment disorder including training at the Evergreen Attachment Center in Colorado. Attachment therapy cannot be done telephonically. I can help with parenting issues (see the parenting link). If you suspect that your child has attachment disorder you must seek the services of a good attachment therapist in your area. All attachment therapy is done with the parent in the play therapy room as attachment disordered children are very good at triangulating—getting the therapist (or teacher or police officer) to believe their lies. Information about attachment disorders may be useful for some adults who recognize attachment issues in their lives. Trauma therapy is your best solution to this problem. See the trauma link for information. You can also start today by clicking on this link “Good Mother Messages” to begin to re-parent yourself.
Here are some excellent books:
When Love is Not Enough
99 Ways to Drive your Child Sane
Here are some links for you to learn more about attachment disorder in children and to help you find an attachment therapist:
Contact me to learn more about how I can help you.
Counseling services: Counseling by phone - Online counseling - Counseling in your home