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Attachment Disorders Care at The Raleigh House

Attachment Disorders Care at The Raleigh House

Our success in creating human connections influences our ability to navigate social situations, achieve professional success, and establish intimate bonds.

Unfortunately, many of us struggle with conditions broadly categorized as attachment issues in adults. These disorders can negatively affect our capacity to form lasting relationships. Moreover, they can also be contributing factors to a variety of unhealthy behaviors. Attachment disorders and substance misuse frequently co-exist.

Although attachment disorders typically form in early childhood, the adverse effects can persist into adulthood. At The Raleigh House, we fully appreciate how issues with emotional wellness can complicate recovery. Therefore, our programs integrate science-backed therapeutic interventions that directly address emotional traumas contributing to addictive behaviors.

Our specialists offer the training, expertise, and compassion necessary to develop and maintain effective long-term addiction management solutions while simultaneously addressing causal psychological disorders.

What Does Attachment Disorder in Adults Look Like?

We learn to cultivate relationships in very early childhood. When our caregivers treat us with consistent affection, understanding, and patience, we are given the emotional and social tools necessary to form friendships based on empathy, trust, and mutual respect.

Unfortunately, children denied stable and loving bonding opportunities are statistically likely to develop attachment disorders later in life.

Attachment disorders inhibit the ability to make healthy, enduring human connections.

Children with attachment disorders might exhibit many symptoms based on the type of attachment disorder present.

As they age, attachment disorder in adults may look like a fast and hard turn to intoxicating substances, such as drugs and alcohol, to alleviate feelings of isolation, self-doubt, and anxiety.

In fact, attachment disorder in adults looks less like continually wanting to cultivate attachment to others and more like the inability to foster and maintain healthy relationships with others, even those closest to us.

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Attachment Disorder Symptoms in Adults

Attachment disorders in adults tend to exist on a spectrum.

Normal social functioning might not be significantly inhibited in their mild forms, but anxieties surrounding forming platonic or romantic attachments can nonetheless exist. In severe conditions, attachment disorders can lead to self-isolation and impulsivity.

A few common signs of attachment disorder in adults include

  • Anxiety and fear
  • Detachment
  • Difficulty cultivating relationships
  • Difficulty demonstrating or feeling affection
  • Irritability
  • Low trust in others
  • Poor self-image

Understanding that symptoms vary by person and attachment disorder type is essential.

Two Main Types of Attachment Disorders in Adults and Children

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are two types of attachment disorders:

  1. Reactive attachment disorder (RAD): RAD is often caused by early childhood maltreatment or neglect, resulting in irritability, sadness, little to no emotion during social engagements, and little to no interaction with others.
  2. Disinhibited social engagement disorder: This attachment disorder is triggered by social neglect in the first two years of life, resulting in a lack of social boundaries, too much trust in strangers, and hyperactivity later in childhood.

While the DSM-5 doesn’t recognize attachment disorder in adults, it can manifest in adulthood and make it challenging to maintain healthy relationships.

A Look at Attachment Disorder in Children

Attachment disorders can occur in children who have experienced neglect or abuse in infancy. In addition, children without consistent caregivers—who grew up in foster homes or group homes—are also likely to develop attachment disorders.

Several studies have found that children who have grown up either in foster care or as adoptees experience higher incidences of addiction.

According to one study conducted between 2001 and 2003, 35% of the older children entered into eight counties within the Missouri state foster care system met the criteria for a substance use disorder.

A 2012 study published in the online science journal PLOS One found an increased frequency of substance use disorders among adoptees compared to non-adoptees. While the individual circumstances surrounding addiction vary, it is believed that the absence of dependable parental affection leads to the underactivation of the amygdala—the part of the brain that regulates emotion and the fight-or-flight response.

The Raleigh House Attachment Disorders Treatment

Diagnosing and treating emotional disorders are critical components of successfully addressing addictive behaviors.

The coexistence of drug or alcohol dependence and a mental health disorder is called dual diagnosis. We provide mental health and substance use disorder treatments concurrently, helping our clients recognize the triggers that can jeopardize long-term sobriety.

Overcoming addiction or a mental health diagnosis like attachment disorder isn’t just a matter of willpower. Instead, it involves a highly complex sequence of rehabilitation measures that require patience, guidance, and continual support.

We are dedicated to giving our clients the resources to recognize and address underlying mental health challenges exacerbating their substance misuse.

Recovery is a journey—let’s take it together. Call us today.

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