Reactive Attachment Disorder occurs when a young child doesn’t form the important bond that usually develops between children and their caregivers. It’s more common in kids who have experienced neglect or abuse. Kids who spend time in foster care or in an orphanage are particularly at risk. It can also occur in kids who have a history of disrupted caregiving, such as frequent moves between homes or residential facilities.
Reactive attachment disorder is a serious mental health condition. It can lead to significant problems throughout a person’s life, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. If not treated, it can also cause problems with school or work performance and relationships. It’s best to address RAD early on, even in babies and infants. Some signs of RAD include avoidance of eye contact or touching, aversion to physical affection, and anger or control issues.
The Impact of RAD on Teens and Adolescents: Challenges and Solutions
The treatment for RAD typically involves helping the child form positive interactions with their caregivers, providing them with a stable living environment, and improving the relationship with their siblings and other family members. Medications and behavior therapy can help. It’s especially important to make sure that the child has a reliable adult who can provide support and encouragement.
It’s very important that a doctor or therapist is familiar with RAD and its treatment. Those who aren’t familiar with the condition can mistake its symptoms for other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.