A beginner’s guide to attachment disorders

Children who find it difficult to form healthy emotional attachments have normally had issues with neglect, abuse, pain or separation from their primary caregiver. Often known as insecure attachment, attachment disorder is the term used to describe behavioural and emotional problems in young children who can’t form expected bonds with their primary caregiver, normally their parents.

How does it happen?

The bond between a child and their parent is usually formed in the first year of their life, but if there is abandonment, neglect or abuse during that time, they can struggle to develop a connection. This can mean that they suffer behavioural problems and find it difficult to trust people, leading to difficult emotions which can have a negative impact on their life.

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What are the signs of attachment disorder?

There are several signs that a child is suffering from insecure attachment. These include anti-social behaviours, lack of affection or inappropriate clinginess, poor eye contact and seeking affection from strangers.

The Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust advises that difficulties at school, including relationships with friends, poor concentration and disruptive behaviour, can also be a sign of attachment disorder.

Fortunately, mental health training can mean that these symptoms are picked up sooner and can be treated. If you are looking for mental health training courses Blackpool, there are several providers such as https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/mental-health-training-courses/blackpool.

reactive attachment disorder

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Types of attachment disorder

The two main types are Reactive Attachment Disorder and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder and are typically found in children with severe symptoms. Treatment for these would typically involve therapy and counselling, mental health support and sometimes medication. Parents can also attend parenting skills classes to help them deal with their child’s behaviour and understand how they can help.

Author: Niru Taylor

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