Reactive attachment disorder in adults

Reactive attachment disorder in adults is found in many cases very commonly, and the disorder takes birth since from the childhood. Whenever children are forced to separate from their family or their basic needs as a child doesn’t get fulfilled, they start having trouble to build relationships in their adulthood. When their parents severely neglect children or get detached from them, they found it very hard to trust their new caretakers. The separation in childhood can gradually become a psychological disorder for a person in his adulthood. In some cases, it is also found that if the detachment was done early in the childhood, it might not create such disorder in a person with his growing age. But a person under proper treatment and care can easily live or manage his life with such disorder. So in this article, we are going to discuss a lot about reactive attachment disorder in adults, and we are almost sure that, someone will get beneficial from it.

Some common symptoms of reactive attachment disorder in adults

Some common symptoms that are repeatedly found in an adult suffering from reactive attachment disorder are as follows:

  • Distrust: adults suffering from this disorder may not be able to trust others whom they are very close with.
  • Anger issues: They are unable to control their anger and may become very destructive sometimes. They are very short-tempered and argumentative and always live under a lot of frustration and tension. They are also unable to get friendly with others when they are not angry and due to which they try to isolate themselves from other.
  • Negative behaviors: They have a lot of negative emotions and try to spread it to their surroundings. They wanted to feel others in the same way as they feel and sometimes may get very depressive if they are unable to do the same.
  • Control issues: They always have a tendency to control over the people surround them and for that they can quickly adopt the manipulative tactics, cheat and lie to control over their environment and caretakers.
  • Impulsive behavior: They take decisions or do the things on impulse without thinking for a while whether it was right or wrong. Some of them pay regret on their impulsive decision, and some do not even feel any regret.
  • Resistance to love: They are not able to receive love from other or to give love in return as they don’t even like to get loved by others.
  • Irresponsible: They are a very irresponsible type and don’t even take the responsibility of their duties. They are not governed and don’t allow others to rule over them.
  • Addiction: Adults having this disorder may indulge in many severe addiction issues such as gambling, alcohol, and drugs, etc. The habit may sometimes be different from the traditional like eating or shopping addiction.
  • Helplessness: They often feel very helpless and think that everyone around them is trying to accuse them whenever there arises any error. This helpless feeling may lead depression and become the primary reason for getting isolated from others.
  • Confusion: They are unable to find the optimal solution of any typical problem and hence get confused doing anything of their own.

reactive attachment disorder in adult

How to treat an adult with reactive attachment disorder

The best treatment is to provide continuous love and support to them who are suffering from it. This disorder takes birth in a child whenever he was neglected or isolated from his parents and unable to receive the love and care for what he deserves must in his childhood. For that negative emotional experience, they try to isolate themselves from other with their growing age and unable to understand the feeling of love and affection. At the beginning of treatment period, it may not be possible to conduct talk-therapy as they have severe trust issues and emotional blocks which further became communication barrier to them. In such case, an experienced therapist may need to rebuild their emotions, trust issues and helps them to get unblocked from their negative emotions. Many therapists now use “role-playing’’ to treat adults suffering from reactive attachment disorder. In such cases, therapist took help from the family member or a friend who is very close to the person suffering from this disorder and try to release some of his negative emotional blocks. Firstly it is vital to develop trust issues failing which it become tough to treat adults suffering from reactive attachment disorder. In many severe cases, it may become necessary to treat with both talk sessions and medications simultaneously.

Supporting an adult with this disorder:

The treatment of reactive attachment disorder is very complicated and may take years to complete. So the first thing you need to do is to address them with the fact that they are suffering from a disorder and try to agree on them for taking the treatment. The most important thing is to provide complete support to them from their loved ones and to build the trust under them. The treatment only gets successful when the caretakers of the patient are gathered around to support them in every critical situation that might be a challenge for them in some cases. A complete therapy with medications and a sound support system can lead a patient to get a cure in a very short period. We can also name the treatment of such disorder as care and cure. So try never to feel them alone and talk to them as much as possible as it can be very useful to unblock the negative emotional barriers.


    • The best way to learn about medications that may benefit you is to speak with a medical professional. Make an appointment if you want to seek diagnosis. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous with any disorder. Best of luck, Kathryn!


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