Attachment Disorder: Fact or Fiction? Pt 2 of 2

by Bryan Post

Continued from 11/14 ...
Second, when we diagnose someone with a disorder the person becomes the diagnosis in the eyes of others. Rather than seeing a child we see a RAD child or we see an ADD child. The true definition of a disorder is a temporary state lacking order. All things in the world are designed to work harmoniously; when someone or something is not working harmoniously then it is in a state of disorder. This is not a permanent state, but a state needing restoration toward order. When a child is given a diagnosis of RAD we immediately link the child with all of the negatively behaviors associated with the disorder. Therefore, even when the child is doing well we cannot see it, because the very diagnosis of RAD dictates that the child is only being manipulative. It is common that a child diagnosed RAD will have also been diagnosed as ADHD, Bi-Polar, Oppositional-Defiant, or even Conduct Disordered; this is known as differential diagnosis.  At this point I quote psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis, “Differential diagnosis to doctors means, ‘I’m not sure but these are my hunches.’”

Last, stress research indicates that during times of stress our cellular system constricts into survival mode. This indicates that for both children and adults during times of stress we are prone toward disrupting attachment. Therefore, if a secure system is not intact to repair it then we remain unattached. Quite simply, during times of stress we are all challenged within our attachment systems. Because of this, I believe that there is no such thing as an attachment disordered child, but rather an attachment challenged child. We can all be attachment challenged not just a traumatized child.

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