Attachment Disorder: Research Issues, Sources, Relationship Impacts, Implications: My View

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posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 07:41 AM
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I hope to give a bit of a brief overview per the title.

I should note initially: THE DEGREE--THE SEVERITY OF ATTACHMENT DISORDER makes a huge difference in the implications--of course.

However, I'd also quickly add . . . that while the professionals used to insist (may still--been a while since I've checked the literature) that only 20% of the population was afflicted with RAD, I have long believed it was more likely that only 20% or LESS were NOT afflicted with RAD.

When I got into it online with another mental health professional, by the time he understood my criteria, he agreed. I mean any significant degree of RAD which leaves a detectable mark on the person's life and relationships.

The best book I know on the topic is:

ATTACHMENT: Why You Love, Feel and Act The Way You do

By Drs Sibcy and Clinton

www.amazon.com

There are 10 steps in the back of the book that adults plagued with the results of ATTACHMENT DISORDER can take to mostly overcome the effects of it.

I've studied and taught about RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) for decades.

And only recently did I come across the now documented fact that those of us with RAD are literally physiologically brain damaged.

The frontal & interior areas of the brain which have to do with RELATIONSHIPS and emotions in relationships were . . . NOT DEVELOPED PROPERLY due to POOR ATTACHMENT.

I have long contended--primarily because of my experiences as a psychology professor but also due to my experiences as a clinical psychologist that ATTACHMENT DISORDER was PRIMARILY the responsibility of poor fathering.

Certainly there are many mothers who contribute significantly to serious ATTACHMENT DISORDER. However, in my experience and observation, most mothers are perhaps overly given to unconditional love--however pressured, exhausted etc. they may be.

Just yesterday in a follow-up book by Dr Clinton:

www.amazon.com

He discusses the findings of a couple of land mark research studies:

I'm listing below several ref's related to those and similar studies:

One of the key studies may be ref'd here:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Johns Hopkins Med J. 1974 May;134(5):251-70.

Closeness to parents and the family constellation in a prospective study of five disease states: suicide, mental illness, malignant tumor, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Thomas CB, Duszynski KR.

But seems to be behind the usual professional journal subscriptions etc.

Dr Tim Clinton & Joshua Straub, in the follow-up book GOD ATTACHMENT mentioned above mention some of the findings in that landmark study (emphases added):



* "In large measure, what's causing this crisis of American childhood is a lack of connectedness. We mean two kinds of connectedness--close connections to other people, and deep connections to moral and spiritual meaning."4

* "Much of this report is a presentation of scientific evidence--largely from the field of neuroscience, which concerns our basic biology and how our brains develop--showing that the human child is 'hardwired to connect.' We are hardwired for other people and for moral meaning and openness to the transcendent. Meeting these basic needs for connection is essential to health and to human flourishing."5 {For a thorough understanding into the nature of this study and its findings, see "Hardwired to Connect: The New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities, Executive Summary," Institute for American Values, Sept 9, 2003,

www.americanvalues.org...


"In addition to the study at Dartmouth Medical School, a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School set out on a thirty-year study to find out if a single related cause existed for mental illness, hypertension, malignant tumors, coronary heart disease, and suicide. After studying 1,377 people over a thirty-year period, the single common denominator was not diet or exercise. Not at all. They found instead that the most significant predictor of these five calamities was a lack of closeness to parents, especially the father.7





"Precursors of Premature Disease and Death

The Predictive Potential of Habits and Family Attitudes"

CAROLINE BEDELL THOMAS, M.D., M.A.C.P.


www.annals.org...



The youthful habits and family attitudes of medical students who later developed or died from one of five disease states were different from those of healthy classmate controls to begin with. In medical school, the total disorder group had significantly more nervous tension, anxiety, and anger under stress, had more insomnia, smoked more cigarettes, and took alcoholic drinks more frequently. Individual disorder group means were significantly different from each other. The mental illness group showed the most nervous tension, depression, and anger under stress and the malignant tumor group the least. The malignant tumor group resembled the healthy control group in these respects. The suicide, mental illness, and malignant tumor groups had low mean scores for closeness to parents, while the hypertension and coronary occlusion group means were slightly higher than the control group mean. Thus psychologic differences in youth have predictive potential in regard to premature disease and death.


This is the first time I've seen solid research proof and documentation of something I've been telling my students for 20-30 years.

I don't know how to express HOW WELCOME the findings are, to me. I never doubted I was right. It can just be a lonely position without documentable proof.

And, the findings are certainly sad.

IIRC, 95% of the prisoners in all our prisons have serious degrees of ATTACHMENT DISORDER.

Certainly it is a major root cause of divorce.

Henry Wright of

www.beinhealth.com...

asserts that ALL ADDICTIONS are rooted in a lack of father's effective love.

This is all quite congruent with another landmark study around 40 years ago--the title of which has long faded from memory.

This was a study of all the other studies trying to find out what child-rearing practices and factors produced children who were healthy functioning adults. The definition of healthy adult funcitoning was

--no trouble with the law
--durable job record
--not on welfare
--stable marriage.

The SINGLE FACTOR accounting for 80% of the variance resulting in success as adults was . . . guess . . .

.
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NO, NOT whether the parents LOVED the kid or not.

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it was whether the kid
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FELT LOVED
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OR NOT.

That was it. And that's different for each child as each child's genetics and personality are different.
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another useful link:
jonathanbrink.com...

.
edit on 16/3/2012 by BO XIAN because: TRYING to fix off-site parameters unsuccessfully
edit on 16/3/12 by masqua because: Attempting to fix BB Code
edit on Fri Mar 16 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: attempt again




posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


Well you've made me sh#t a brick. That's some fascinating stuff. Even more so when I consider:

My relationship with my father has always been poor, I smoke a lot of cigarettes, I am an insomniac, I suspect I have depression, and I've had surgery to remove a Cholesteatoma, a noncancerous but destructive tumor, from my left ear.

So, all that because I've got daddy issues?



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by Inquisitive1
 


LOL

INDEED.

My parents' generation believed a lot in 'spare the rod, spoil the child' but failed

utterly failed

at the equally Biblically important verse

Provoke not your children to wrath.

On the other hand, with different fingers . . .

their parents were trying to survive the globalist generated GREAT DEPRESSION and feed their family.

No one taught them how to parent well, either.

Now if we could get our hands on Adam and Eve . . .

I just want folks to get better, have better lives and rear their children with the love children deserve.

LIfe is rough even with THAT.

Without that . . . the foundation is rotten.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


Very nice , I have a few questions for ya .
Is there a certain cut off age range where this is established ? For example , they say that your personality is pretty well formed by a certain age I forget exactly what that is , but somewhere around 5-8 ?

Also , could this "disorder " e brought on by traumatic experience or multiple trauma experiences (for example being separated from parents , abuse , abusive partners) throughout life after that age marker?

Could this mimic depersonalization disorder or a variety of other coping mechanisms similar to "detaching" oneself?

I have more to say , but I'm short on time right now .
Anyway



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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This is great stuff...thanks for posting it.

I have often wondered if there isn't a connection between physical closeness, communication and attachment in infants.

In other words, if a infant receives stimulation on a physical level....touching, singing, speaking to them, warmth, food, human closeness and contact, that maybe it helps in brain development? Doesn't stimulus affect brain development?

So, wouldn't it make sense that kids who are given attention and care develop more connections in their little brains?

Now add in traumatic physical events, which also provide stimulus but send a message that violent physical stimuli is a acceptable form of attachment and it would explain why some kids are so quick to act out violently?

Is this a possibility? I have often wondered about this sort of thing, I am also curious why you feel that fathering or lack of fathering plays such a big role? Could you explain that a bit more?



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by paleorchid13
reply to post by BO XIAN
 


Very nice , I have a few questions for ya .
Is there a certain cut off age range where this is established ?


THANK YOU for your thoughtful questions and kind reply.

ATTACHMENT DISORDER is normally considered to occur between the ages of 0 and 5. Personally, I think 0-6 or even 8 in some cases, can be quite vulnerable to such dysfunctional stuff taking deep root. Certainly the first 2 years are very very vulnerable as the brain is REALLY begining it's 'out-of-the-womb' growth and formation. The patterns are being laid down and more neurons growing at an incredible rate.

The best answer to your question is probably 0-5 as most professionals assert.




For example , they say that your personality is pretty well formed by a certain age I forget exactly what that is , but somewhere around 5-8 ?


Hmmmm . . . let me check . . . personally, I believe that personality is 50% or so formed at conception--it's genetic in key respects.

Of course, The dirty old man Freud . . . taught Oral (0-18 months) Anal (18-36 months), Phallic (3-6 years), Latency (6-to puberty), and Genital (puberty on) STAGES of development. And, that if a child became stuck . . . or fixated at a certain stage, that in key respects, the personality would be colored by that STUCKNESS until it was worked through.

My Freud paper was titled "Frodo and Dr Frud" so you can sort of tell how much I thought of Freud. Nevertheless, he did have SOME useful insights. And, individuals who were not caref for adequately the first 18 months of life do tend to have an over attraction, over-emphasis on oral pleasure modes of feeling comfort and safety. Etc. etc. etc.

This site has some good summaries of stages of development related to personality:

www.angelfire.com... stage:

Jean Piaget talked about Stages of Cognitive Development

--Birth to around 2 years . . . 'Object Permanence' and 'Stranger Anxiety' being the main issues of work, development
--2 to around 6-7 years . . . . Pretend play and Egocentrism are focused on

--around 7 to around 11 years . . . Construing the world in terms of 'conservation' (i.e. that objects and liquids stay inherently the same even though their form, shape may change). . . . and in terms of mathematical relationships, facts, principles.

--around 12 through adulthood . . . abstract logic, POTENTIAL for mature moral reasoning.

And, of course . . .Erik Erikson described STAGES OF PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

--infancy to around 1 year --trust vs mistrust
--toddlerhood (1-3 yrs). . . . the issues are autonomy vs shame and doubt
--preschool (3-6 years) . . . . work is on Initiative vs guilt
--Elementary school (6 to puberty) . . . Industry vs inferiority
--Adolescence (teen into 20's) . . . Identiy vs role confusion
--young adults . . . . Intimacy vs isolation
--Middle adults . . . . Generativity vs stagnation
--late adults . . . . Integrity vs despair

One can imagine that getting stuck and not achieving maturity at each stage could significantly color one's personality.

The two basic GENETIC FACTORS OF PERSONALITY ARE the TWO TEMPERAMENTS:

A) reactive, intense, figety vs
B) easy going, quiet and placid

A) tend to be more unpredictable as well as more irritable for more reasons--many obscure or mystifying to many parents.
B) tend to be cheerful, easy going, predictable in feeding, sleeping etc.

Exceptionally INHIBITED AND FEARFUL young children--due greatly to genetics--tend to be so still at 8 years old and about half of those will be so as adolescents.

Given the hazards of shyness in terms of life fulfillment, satisfaction, amount of money made over a lifetime, quality of spouse and marriage etc., I worked hard with my shy students virtually forcing them to speak up more and to learn to express themselves more frequently, satisfyingly and successfully. They always thanked me. The few complaints I sometimes received was when I didn't push a shy person MORE. LOL.

--running out of characters--more next post.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


reply to post by BO XIAN
 


My first question is to myself: Why isn't this guy on my friends list yet?

My second question: Are you affiliated with the 700 club?

Regardless, very impressive findings.

A few things, first of all you're right when you mentioned that it's lonely when you know something to be true but there is no documented proof to back it up. In your field especially that has to be very important. Experience can teach us a lot of things, but when you're in a respected field such as psychology, proof from your peers means a lot as well.

I too have suspected for a long time that the fact I never had a father played a part in my relationship issues all through my life. There was a definite connectedness with my mother, mainly spiritual, but no father. But with my mother, I've always gotten the impression that when it comes to my father, no news is good news. To this day she'll still only let out little bits of information here and there. It annoyed me when I was 10 and it still does today. Today especially, she knows as well as anyone that there isn't any kind of truth that I can't handle. I've been through a lot and a lot has been through me. TALK to me for christs sake. I'm not going to hate you and I'm the most understanding person you'll want to meet.

Just the other day she told my soon to be ex that she shouldn't have expected the marriage to last forever because I wasn't brought up in a long lasting relationship. Since I didn't see it and feel it growing up, I didn't learn how to do it. Not only was that exasperating to hear something like that after all these years, but it was par for the course in that she'll tell someone else something like that, anyone, before she'll tell me. The one who NEEDS to know. Not to mention how awkward it was to hear this coming from the soon-to-be ex.

Yes, my mother is a hard person to love.
But watcha gonna do? She's mom....right?.

But that's okay, most of what I've learned I've learned on my own anyway. I'm used to it.

Which leads me to the last observation you posted. Sometimes the simple act of love, and the fact that the child FEELS it, can be more important than practical information coming from and about your parents. I may not have had that connectedness that the reports you linked accentuate so heavily, but there was always love in the home. And that, I believe, was the foundation that kept me grounded and saved my a** on more than a few occaions. When things get rough for people like us, I'm not the only one of my kind out there, lean back on a foundation of love. Foundations are usually thought of as holding walls up, but you might be surprised how many walls they can tear down as well.

In closing I just thought I'd add that not everyone with RAD is capable of only losing in life. You mentioned that 95% of prisoners have it. If Roger Waters didn't, or doesn't, have RAD, no one does.



Sorry for getting so deep, but your post was asking for it.





posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by paleorchid13
 






Also , could this "disorder " be brought on by traumatic experience or multiple trauma experiences (for example being separated from parents , abuse , abusive partners) throughout life after that age marker?


Traumatic experiences tend to intensify the disorder.

IF the child HAS HAD adequate parenting the first 6-8 years, their resilience is enormously better and even most traumatic experiences will not be lastingly devastating.

IF the child has had SIGNIFICANT DEGREES OF ATTACHMENT DISORDER, traumatic experiences can intensify the disorder and leave the individual even more stuck at earlier developmental stages; at greater levels of dysfunction.

TWO of the QUESTIONS the young child is asking are:

1. AM I LOVEABLE--WORTH LOVING?
2. CAN I GET THE LOVE THAT I NEED?

One is about the self.
One is about others--the interpersonal environment.

IF early life experiences answer the first question with repeated demonstrations of:

NO, YOU AREN'T WORTH LOVING, then the child all their life will likely DESPERATELY search for proof to the contrary--and will try and manipulate, beg, borrow, steal, whatever hints of love and caring they can--however they can . . . until they get healed, work the junk through and grow up. Many never do. And the scars, to some degree are likely to always be detectable to someone sensitive to them--even after extensive maturing, healing and working through.

This is a big reason for a LOT of sexual acting out--in addition to the dopamine high of the orgasm--for some seconds to minutes--the person FEELS that they are WORTH LOVE.

Outside of a lifelong lasting marriage relationship--such WORTH LOVE tends to be tenuous . . . varying degress of . . .

"WHILE IT WORKS, and you are scratching my itch sufficiently--I'm here and you're worth loving. When it doesn't, I'm outta here and you're trash."

Or

"Yeah, baby, I'm here for you. I don't dig that marriage stuff, though. I'm committed but I'm still gonna keep one foot out the door. Since none of my parents were dependable and faithfully loving, I can't really trust all that love stuff so I'm committed way deep--wellll--as far as my genitals--but when I ain't gettin enough of what I want, my one foot out the door is draggin the rest of me with it and I'm outta here."

That is all about ATTACHMENT DISORDER. Fear of abandonment. Fear of hurt. Fear of being left alone. . . . because early in life--they were abandoned to some serious degree; desperately repeatedly hurt and constantly fearful because of a sick environment.

When the child cried--partly he was saying--Am I worth loving? Am I worth someone attending to my needs?

When the parent repeatedly demonstrated primarily that the child WAS WORTH SUCH CAREFUL AND LOVING ATTENTION--then the child felt WORTH BEING LOVED.

Otherwise, the child grew up feeling increasingly worthLESS.

Likewise--without repeated faithfulness of caregivers . . . the child began early to mistrust the interpersonal environment--life--the world--others--God even.

NO one was seen as trustworthy or dependable. MISTRUST became a way of life.

It's hard to impossible to build a lasting marriage when one or both partners

HAVE BEEN TRAINED LITERALLY TRAINED TO MISTRUST.

No one's willing to be sufficiently vulnerable to abandon to deeply loving exchanges and relationships.

There's always the one foot out the door; the reserve to avoid being totally hurt or totally taken to the emotional cleaners.



Could this mimic depersonalization disorder or a variety of other coping mechanisms similar to "detaching" oneself?


ABSOLUTELY. It's pretty impossible to feel LIKE A WHOLE, WORTHWHILE, FUNCTIONING PERSON

WHEN

One's first years of life were FULL OF DISCONFIRMATION as a PERSON and were

FULL OF TONS OF EVIDENCE that one's primary supposedly loving care givers treated the child like an optional piece of rag-doll/rubbish.

One minute treated like a cute pet; the next minute something to be kicked down the stairs or in the closet.

Please feel free to ask away whenever it's workable for you.

I certainly don't know everything. However, after 65 years of living and 30-40 years of teaching and counseling--I've learned a few things.

Thanks for the honor of your questions.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by Taupin Desciple
reply to post by BO XIAN
 


reply to post by BO XIAN
 


My first question is to myself: Why isn't this guy on my friends list yet?


Maybe my ATTACHMENT DISORDERED obnoxious side was showing too much? LOL. Happy to be your Friend.



My second question: Are you affiliated with the 700 club?


No. I just highly respect their OPERATION BLESSING because CBN covers 100% of the overhead and

100% of all donations to Operation Blessing REACH THE NEEDY PEOPLE.

www.ob.org...

And, my theology is mostly the same--Pentecostal/charismatic.



Regardless, very impressive findings.


They were like a gift to me after 30+ years of sporadic eager study and observations on the topic.



A few things, first of all you're right when you mentioned that it's lonely when you know something to be true but there is no documented proof to back it up. In your field especially that has to be very important. Experience can teach us a lot of things, but when you're in a respected field such as psychology, proof from your peers means a lot as well.


I'd thought not as much for me because I rebelled against the phoney aspects of "PROFESSIONAL" psychology and taught part or full time and counseled in agencies part time--so I never had to 'hang out my shingle.'

However, I'm human--shocking to some, but it's true. LOL. And given my own serious degree of ATTACHMENT DISORDER, confirmation, affirmation etc. have been abiding issues. All the more so given my "bird of rare plumage" personality. So, yeah, it was very welcome.



I too have suspected for a long time that the fact I never had a father played a part in my relationship issues all through my life. There was a definite connectedness with my mother, mainly spiritual, but no father. But with my mother, I've always gotten the impression that when it comes to my father, no news is good news. To this day she'll still only let out little bits of information here and there. It annoyed me when I was 10 and it still does today. Today especially, she knows as well as anyone that there isn't any kind of truth that I can't handle. I've been through a lot and a lot has been through me. TALK to me for christs sake. I'm not going to hate you and I'm the most understanding person you'll want to meet.


INDEED. WELL PUT.

I just went on a longish trip to the VA hospital in the big city. I hate that trip alone so I asked my Step-Dad to go with me. He, my birth dad, my mother and step-mother were all salt-of-the-earth rough cowboy sorts of people--welders, truckers, pipe-fitters etc. Grew up hard during the Great Depression.

Wellllll my Step-Dad's 88 years old. Birth dad, mother and step-mother are all dead.

I was determined to make the most of the trip and began asking him "When did I become a scared rabbit?"

He came into my life at my age of two and I grew up with him. He told me I was that way when he came into my life.

Mother was harsh, gruff, more than a little crazy . . . worked nights and slept days . . . her mother kept me during the day and night . . . "Mamaw" was busy ironing to make a living. She used to brag that as long as she could see my collie's tail, she knew I was OK. I think I was fixated at the frufru stage from the collie's wonderful fur.

Anyway--had a great chat with my step-dad--covered a lot of ground. On the way back, gassing up, I was washing the windshield. And I was overcome with the memory of being ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED AS A TEEN of washing the window wrong. He was able to say that was probably because he was too harsh and impatient. Actually I think it had MORE to do with mother but he was that way, too.



Just the other day she told my soon to be ex that she shouldn't have expected the marriage to last forever because I wasn't brought up in a long lasting relationship. Since I didn't see it and feel it growing up, I didn't learn how to do it. Not only was that exasperating to hear something like that after all these years, but it was par for the course in that she'll tell someone else something like that, anyone, before she'll tell me. The one who NEEDS to know. Not to mention how awkward it was to hear this coming from the soon-to-be ex.


INDEED. I sure know how that feels. Step-dad told my double cousin years ago that his one regret was that he'd not provided a "SAFE PLACE" for me to grow up in. Never has said it to me, yet. LOL.

Out of characters. More next post.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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Just the other day she told my soon to be ex that she shouldn't have expected the marriage to last forever because I wasn't brought up in a long lasting relationship. Since I didn't see it and feel it growing up, I didn't learn how to do it. Not only was that exasperating to hear something like that after all these years, but it was par for the course in that she'll tell someone else something like that, anyone, before she'll tell me. The one who NEEDS to know. Not to mention how awkward it was to hear this coming from the soon-to-be ex.


That must have been very frustrating, for sure. Perhaps it would help to have a weekly lunch or some such and you come loaded with 2-3 questions. There's a book of 700 questions that might be useful . . . some of them anyway. LOL. I don't recall what section but you could check it out. It's linked to in my signature. "QUESTIONS BUILDING LOVE" . . . but I'm sure you could think of some yourself.

Anyway--just have a regular time over a meal or on a drive . . . and draw her out in an open-handed way--maybe initially about her own childhood. What did she learn from which relationships? What did she learn that was positive? What negative? How did that impact her life and relationships etc. If you draw her out in a non-threatening, non-blaming way--eventually it will be MUCH easier for her to talk about stuff she likely feels guilty and helpless about in your childhood. And, it could set a new tone and standard for a higher quality of relationship between you.



Yes, my mother is a hard person to love.
But watcha gonna do? She's mom....right?.


Tell me about it. I came back from Asia after 15 years to help my step-dad with my mother who had Alzhiemers. She was still somewhat rational. But if I didn't do exactly what irrational thing she demanded, she'd say something like: "I wish you were in hell." Cheery stuff from Mommy Dearest. Sigh. Glad I could forgive her easily.



But that's okay, most of what I've learned I've learned on my own anyway. I'm used to it.


Tell me about it. I actually learned some good things from all my parents. I also learned a log of what NOT to do from my mother's poor relationship stuff. She had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off her back to the poor and needy as her own father had literally done. But she could be . . . on wheels in a flash, too.



Which leads me to the last observation you posted. Sometimes the simple act of love, and the fact that the child FEELS it, can be more important than practical information coming from and about your parents. I may not have had that connectedness that the reports you linked accentuate so heavily, but there was always love in the home. And that, I believe, was the foundation that kept me grounded and saved my a** on more than a few occaions. When things get rough for people like us, I'm not the only one of my kind out there, lean back on a foundation of love. Foundations are usually thought of as holding walls up, but you might be surprised how many walls they can tear down as well.


ABSOLUTELY INDEED AND VERY WELL PUT.

We are building up or tearing down . . . more or less all the time . . . and our actions speak much louder than our words.



In closing I just thought I'd add that not everyone with RAD is capable of only losing in life. You mentioned that 95% of prisoners have it. If Roger Waters didn't, or doesn't, have RAD, no one does.


I feel out of it. I don't know who Roger Waters is! No TV--threw it out 5+ years ago because I didn't like the spirit, attitude, lies, brain-washing and negativity it brought into the home . . . and I don't usually read the newspaper. LOL.



Sorry for getting so deep, but your post was asking for it.



ABSOLUTELY. That's what I think these threads ought to BE FOR!

THANKS FOR the honor of your sharing, caring and vulnerability.

Blessings to you and yours. Prayer that your separation can be as constructive as possible. Sigh.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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I don't guess that I've ever sat down and tried to examine the exact reasons why, but I've known for a long time that I don't develop attachment to others as strongly as some people do. I find myself asking "If one of my relatives died, would I cry at their funeral?" I honestly don't know that I would. While others at work seem to find buddies to hang out with or go to lunch with I don't feel the need to do that myself.

It's not that I don't feel love or emotion but it is easy for me to suppress emotional response to others and to try to be totally logical about a situation and by suppress I don't mean a conscience effort but rather an almost automatic default mechanism that kicks in. I know this should bother me but ironically it's quite easy for me to not worry about this being an issue. While some might think this is a blessing it also has serious downsides. It's really good for activities such as, moderating a discussion forum on the Internet. While I might have strong opinions on what I believe to be the truth on a topic it is still easy for me to nearly totally remove myself from the topic and examine both sides.

The serious negative comes when I do this with strong relationships such as my marriage. I know that I should back my wife 100% no matter what, but still I find myself almost stepping outside of my life and examining situations from a neutral point of view. There have been times in the past when she would have a disagreement with someone and I wrongly back the other person because it's difficult to add the emotional aspect to the argument in my mind. Instead I examine the entire situation as a logical exercise and choose to side with whomever I determined to be the more in the right. I'll even think to myself later "Why didn't you back her? She's your wife." I'm working on that because I know that this isn't healthy.

After reading through this discussion and looking further into the links you posted I've self-diagnosed myself as Dismissive–avoidant attachment. Some aspects of this I like. It's difficult for me to be angry with people, I don't really depend on anyone for my emotional well-being, I'm really stable in stressful situations, and I can always sleep well at night. No staying up worrying about problems. Just forget about them and deal with them tomorrow. On the down side of course I wish I could feel the emotional attachment as strongly as others do. I think that the avoidance of emotional worries also has me missing out on the some of the joy of emotional attachment. My wife has total emotional attachment and I really enjoy seeing her face light up and wonder how something so small can bring her so much joy. It's beyond my comprehension honestly.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by Mijamija
This is great stuff...thanks for posting it.


THANKS for your kind words and meaty reply.



I have often wondered if there isn't a connection between physical closeness, communication and attachment in infants.

In other words, if a infant receives stimulation on a physical level....touching, singing, speaking to them, warmth, food, human closeness and contact, that maybe it helps in brain development? Doesn't stimulus affect brain development?


ABSOLUTELY INDEED TO THE MAX!

Physical touch is VERY POWERFUL toward:

--enhancing the immune system
--facilitating brain development
--facilitating a sense of CONNECTEDNESS
--facilitating a sense of SELF WORTH
--facilitating a sense of BEING LOVED AND BEING LOVEABLE
--facilitating a sense of pleasure, joy, peacefulness
--facilitating a sense of hope, anticipation, confidence in the future
the list could go on.

It can be shown with micrographs of the brains of mice who were handled vs mice or rats who weren't.

The complexity and density of the neurons in the brains of those stimulated with touch are much greater. MUCH greater.

Also, for some reason . . . FATHERS mimicing a baby's coos and other sounds back to the baby correlates with significantly greater brain development. I don't know of any reason why it's greater with fathers but IIRC, it is significantly greater with FATHERS vs mothers. Even 5-15 min a day of such can have a big impact.



So, wouldn't it make sense that kids who are given attention and care develop more connections in their little brains?


It not only make sense, it is CERTAINLY PROVABLY TRUE.



Now add in traumatic physical events, which also provide stimulus but send a message that violent physical stimuli is a acceptable form of attachment and it would explain why some kids are so quick to act out violently?


Violence complicates the picture horribly.

1. Kids who receive abusive violence [Non angry, non-abusive swats on their butt to get their attention don't qualify] . . . Kids who receive abusive physical violence

TEND TO ALSO NOT receive affirming loving attention much at all.

2. THAT TRAINS THE KID that the ONLY EMOTIONALLY intense attention they are going to get is to get hit or beat. THEREFORE, !DOH! IT BECOMES A REWARD TO THEM--as sick as that is. SOOOO to get THAT REWARD, they act out, misbehave again, more and more seriously. It's like training the kid to be horribly dysfunctional in a list of critical ways--essentially--to throw their life down the drain. GRRR.




Is this a possibility? I have often wondered about this sort of thing,


ABSOLUTELY. No IF's about it. It is a fact. Mental health professionals see it all the time.

Also, it TRAINS kids that TOUCH is a very complicated love/hate sort of mixed message--a SICK MESSAGE.

Imagine such kids trying to develop a healthy sexuality! Not easily likely in this lifetime. So the result is more sick sexuality visited upon their partners who likely come from a similar background.

Orgasm FEELS good . . . but in ATTACHMENT DISORDERED lives and relationships, the other parts are dysfunctional, twisted, cheap, . . . slam bam thank you mam is almost a luxury compared to some quick grabs and a squirt or two.

Which means that YET AGAIN, giving one's most vulnerable sensitive core physical aspects of one's self, one's identity--to another individual . . . that doesn't HAVE THE RAW MATERIAL to care and respect such SUFFICIENTLY to really be affirming in a lasting way--it just goes on to yet again COMMUNCIATE WORTHLSESSNESS.

The partners end up feeling like a USED CONDOM.

What a lasting thrill THAT is! !NOT!



I am also curious why you feel that fathering or lack of fathering plays such a big role? Could you explain that a bit more?


I'll try.

Dad's inherently are standard bearers. They are kind of like anchors. Foundations. Mom's can be bouncing off the walls spewing unconditional love willy nilly and always regardless.

Dad's aren't like that. Kids know it. Infants know it.

Even dads that are lavish with Unconditonal Love communicate standards that Mom just doesn't tend to communicate. Certainly not average mom.

Kids INHERENTLY KNOW, sense, that when Dad approves, loves, attends--IT'S A BIG DEAL. Because more than most women, DADS JUST DON'T LIKE TO BOTHER with petty things.

So, If Dad is TOUCHING me in healthy ways, listenting to me, HEARING ME, watching me, BEING THERE FOR ME--sharing his heart and emotions with me routinely.

THEN I !MUST! REALLY BE WORTH LOVING.

And maybe others and the world will be there for me, and love me after all.

outta characters.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by dbates
I don't guess that I've ever sat down and tried to examine the exact reasons why, but I've known for a long time that I don't develop attachment to others as strongly as some people do. I find myself asking "If one of my relatives died, would I cry at their funeral?" I honestly don't know that I would. While others at work seem to find buddies to hang out with or go to lunch with I don't feel the need to do that myself.


That is TYPICALLY, USUALLY a function of some significant degree of ATTACHMENT DISORDER. The child gives up and learns to self-satisfy to some degree. Rain on the rest of the world and others in terms of expecting anything reliably good.

Now aspergers syndrome, autism spectrum disorders complicate that picture because they inherently are brain-wise hard-wired clueless about relationship cues. They have to be sort of rewired and painstakenly retrained so those neural connections are built because they are not naturally there.

However, IF such syndromes are not a major actor, then, MOST LIKELY it is due to some significant degree of ATTACHMENT DISORDER from in-SUFFICIENT QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF FACE TO FACE, HANDS ON LOVING--particularly from Dad the first 5 years of life.

Does that fit? or not?



It's not that I don't feel love or emotion but it is easy for me to suppress emotional response to others and to try to be totally logical about a situation and by suppress I don't mean a conscience effort but rather an almost automatic default mechanism that kicks in.


AHHHHH . . . that screams to me again . . . ATTACHMENT DISORDER. You were highly likely trained early on to just not expect such goodies because you were only going to be hurt, disappointed, without anyway--so just cope without to begin with. It does become a "default mechanism" that automatically kicks in. It BECOMES the hardwiring. That's why the fairly recent discovery from live brain imaging is so powerful . . . folks like us really were

BRAIN DAMAGED in those early years because our brains were not HELPED TO DEVLOP correctly in areas of emotional relationship handling.



I know this should bother me but ironically it's quite easy for me to not worry about this being an issue.


You an millions of other adults. You are probably well above average in IQ. You have probably developed a whole range of coping skills and mechanisms to compensate for a long list of stuff. CONGRATS . . . in most respects. Better than not doing so--mostly.

outta characters . . . more next post.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by dbates

While some might think this is a blessing it also has serious downsides. It's really good for activities such as, moderating a discussion forum on the Internet. While I might have strong opinions on what I believe to be the truth on a topic it is still easy for me to nearly totally remove myself from the topic and examine both sides.


INDEED. And probably it's a great help in crises situations and may well save your and many others' lives in the coming traumas . . . WW3 etc.



The serious negative comes when I do this with strong relationships such as my marriage.


NO DOUBT! LOL.



I know that I should back my wife 100% no matter what,


BACKING HER

AS

A PERSON; AS YOUR WIFE; AS A WORTHWHILE, LOVEABLE HUMAN BEING, SPOUSE, CHERISHED ONE. YES.

Doesn't mean you have to worship her used tissues or the bent fender from careless driving!



but still I find myself almost stepping outside of my life and examining situations from a neutral point of view. There have been times in the past when she would have a disagreement with someone and I wrongly back the other person because it's difficult to add the emotional aspect to the argument in my mind. Instead I examine the entire situation as a logical exercise and choose to side with whomever I determined to be the more in the right. I'll even think to myself later "Why didn't you back her? She's your wife." I'm working on that because I know that this isn't healthy.


YOU CAN ALWAYS AFFIRM HER AS A PERSON; AS A LOVED ONE WITH INTELLIGENCE; SOME MATURITY; A MOST CHERISHED TREASURED INDIVIDUAL . . . and probably SOMETHING about what she did or how she handled herself in the situation.

You don't HAVE to affirm stupidity, gross error, cluelessness, mistakes etc.That would be dysfunctional.

Most of the time when things go wrong or we do something careless, thoughtless or stupid--we mostly want to know that we're forgiven; that we are still worthwhile creatures, that our loved ones still love us. That we can get up and go on arm in arm. The rest is inconsequential.

Of course, IF she has significant degrees of ATTACHMENT DISORDER, she may have some jealousy issues to deal with out of those insecurities. That can be tricky.

You do NOT need to be critical. Not important. You can just wonder out loud . . .

"I'm curious about the options you might take next time in a similar situation."

"I'm curious about the things you'll most likely take from that situation to help you feel and do better next time."

That avoids a question. Questions--particularly WHY questions come across as blaming, accusing, disconfirming.

One couples assignment I used to give in marriage counseling was for 30-90 days--NO QUESTIONS at all about anything. Only make statements that foster getting the information you want. No embedded questions--no question words at all.



After reading through this discussion and looking further into the links you posted I've self-diagnosed myself as Dismissive–avoidant attachment. Some aspects of this I like. It's difficult for me to be angry with people, I don't really depend on anyone for my emotional well-being, I'm really stable in stressful situations, and I can always sleep well at night. No staying up worrying about problems. Just forget about them and deal with them tomorrow.


CERTAINLY THOSE ARE WONDERFUL TRAITS AND HABITS. VERY FUNCTIONAL. CONGRATS.

Outta characters . . . More next msg.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by dbates
On the down side of course I wish I could feel the emotional attachment as strongly as others do. I think that the avoidance of emotional worries also has me missing out on the some of the joy of emotional attachment. My wife has total emotional attachment and I really enjoy seeing her face light up and wonder how something so small can bring her so much joy. It's beyond my comprehension honestly.


BTW, I would have ascribed the same RAD label to you. LOL.

That's a tricky set of issues.

imho, Great joy comes out of having earlier being saturated with great pain and sorrow.

My guess is that your wife has experienced a lot of pain and sorrow. She may well have her own degree of significant ATTACHMENT DISORDER.

She may be overly addicted to emotional highs. She may live more in an ALL OR NOTHING world.

Or, she may have grown up very healthy and just be a 'naturally' very emotional person with intense feelings and live a lot in the kinesthetic world . . . feelings and emotions may be her primary modality that she perceives and interprets the world from that perspective.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming gets into that.

To communicate most impactfully to her, translate all your msgs into feelings terms, use touch a lot etc., if I'm right.

[phone call from Taiwan . . . will get back to this. Sorry]



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by dbates

On the down side of course I wish I could feel the emotional attachment as strongly as others do. I think that the avoidance of emotional worries also has me missing out on the some of the joy of emotional attachment. My wife has total emotional attachment and I really enjoy seeing her face light up and wonder how something so small can bring her so much joy. It's beyond my comprehension honestly.


Another possibility is that your wife was blessed with wonderful parents who reared her with an infectuous joie-de-vivre--a robust Joy of Living that exalts over every good thing and ignores the bad.

What a gift, if so.

I don't know quite what to suggest if you are a secularist . . . perhaps . . .

trying intellectually to get inside her skin--imagine what it is like to walk through life in her skin. Use your great IQ and wit and humor to embellish that thought experiment until it can more closely see the world through her eyes.

You might also take her hand or put your arm around her shoulders or her waist, when she is lavishly overflowing with emotion and, as it were, sort of soak it up THROUGH her skin . . . sort of . . .

You might ask her to elaborate on what she's feeling by trying hard to translate her feelings into some experience you have with whatever it is you are most passionate about--some hobby, music, art, whatever.

Or perhaps she can translate her intensity of emotion into some childhood memory or experience of yours which you have earlier related to her.

If you are a Christian, you could ask God to give you sufficient of His empathy to be able to feel what she feels; see through her eyes.

Often such emotionality arises from 'merely' PAYING ATTENTION.

It's one thing to rush along the rose bordered path to watch the latest 'Dancing With The Stars."

It's another thing to pause by several buds one at a time and notice the intricate veining in the petals . . . the aroma . . . the shadings of color, the life and vitality represented by each rose . . . and to be thankful for the opportunity to share such life.

Usually we try and protect ourselves from pain by shutting the world out . . . and or, shutting down within.

Long enough at such shutting down . . . and a part of us dies or withers within. That's a dreadful state. It can take a lot to loosen the dry ground, to enliven the sprouts of potential life long withered.

I don't think psychotherapy is overly great at doing that. It can help. To me, that requires Holy Spirit's work.

Certainly you can share with your wife that you WOULD LIKE to share more of her emotionality. And, here and there in bite-sized chunks you can choose to try and tune into what she's feeling and expressing--to hook your hose up to her fire hydrant, so to speak.

You can also say--wellll, she has enough emotions for both of us. I'll enjoy her emotions vicariously as well as I can and let it go at that.

You could also start a journal . . . of your earliest childhood memories.

If your parents are alive, you could ask them how soon you began to shut down emotionally and why. Perhaps some healing between y'all could occur and thereby release you to be more of a robust emotional person.

It is certainly true that we are created emotional creatures. And that a kind of in NLP terms,

audio-digital personality

is missing out on a lot of life.

Certainly there is room for caution. Uncorking a big pent-up bottle of decades of emotions would not likely be totally serene. You may want to consider how much you want to 'go there' and what the cost might be.

Personally, I think it's exceedingly worth it and even vital for individual health and optimum relationship health.

We were designed to CRY WITH ONE ANOTHER AND LAUGH WITH ONE ANOTHER.

And there is richness in doing so that doesn't bless our lives any other way.

If everything were wimpy gray seen through gray glasses . . . how dreadful!

And, certainly you can also trade here--suggest to her times, types of situations when she might benefit by holding tightly to your calm unflappableness and learn to ride out the storm, chaos and trauma in your steadfast security and stability. Perhaps you could devise a coded signal for her to say she needs that or you to suggest that 'now is the time--come sit or stand beside me and draw on my strength.'

Anyway--blathering on here . . . and out of characters again. LOL.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by BO XIAN
Certainly you can share with your wife that you WOULD LIKE to share more of her emotionality.

And, certainly you can also trade here--suggest to her times, types of situations when she might benefit by holding tightly to your calm unflappableness and learn to ride out the storm, chaos and trauma in your steadfast security and stability.


Personally I think it's no accident that we're married (19 + years). We are on some levels the polar opposite of each other and I'm quite sure she's God's gift to me and I for her. I don't want to hog the entire discussion but I'll keep checking back in here for sure since these discussions on why we do what we do are just fascinating to me.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by dbates
 


Much appreciate your kind contributions and I greatly enjoy the dialogue with you.

Your situation sounds fascinating. Congrats on working things out for 19+ years.

That's quite an achievement in our era.

Besides . . . I don't see throngs rushing to be as vulnerable as you! LOL.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


What a wonderfully detailed and informative response . Thank you .

When you had mentioned about the brain not developing normally , I suppose the question of brain plasticity/neurogenesis came to mind ; That perhaps although one may not receive that love and affection early in life , if a person receives adequate love and attention later on ( for example: parent isn't available at first , than at age 8 or 9 or even later , the parent turns their life around and provides that love and comfort), if it can offset that underdevelopment.

What struck as me interesting, (if I'm understanding correctly), is that although the mother may provide adequate love and affection, the fathers absence still strongly correlates with RAD. Have their been any studies done that reveals an equally strong correlation with the parental roles reversed? (mother absent, father provides love) Or is simply stating that both parents must be involved and that simply in these case studies the fathers happened to more absent than mothers.

What is a single parents best course of action if Thier support isn't enough ?

I will admit , your post hit home to me because my adoptive mother( who was bonkers ) tried to accuse me of having Attachment disorder for the reason why the two of us did not bond. Considering she went nuts and I developed some very strong long lasting bonds with people throughout my life and also missed my biological mom and sister very much , I never gave it much thought. (too long of a story) However your post intrigues me, as I have had many difficulties as well. Let me explain:

My father was never present since birth. My mother was unstable and I wound in foster care at the age 4 and was adopted at age 5, only to have a brutal and abusive relationship with my adoptive mother and because of it, wound in homes and foster care until emancipation at 17. Had terrible relationships with most foster mothers , but all the males in my life were always fine. Life seemed to reinforce my perceptions.


I had an awful time with women and the female sex in general for the longest time, and I still always gear towards favoring the men's side of things . I always fit in with the boys and sought my sense of identity and esteem from hanging with "the guys" and male relationships. I found some wonderful role models , and friendships that helped me, and at the same time , landed me in some pretty unhealthy relationships. Now I'm simply more apathetic towards everyone, very selective about who I let in my personal life, and around women, I'm very careful what I talk about. However, I see that as a wonderful thing. Life has been so much easier.


Would you say that a person with RAD can exhibit behaviors towards only a specific group of people like sex , age , race, religion ..or would it only be a diagnoses to explain a general set of behaviors that cripple ones ability to build all healthy relationships; meaning that having difficulties with specific groups of people would more likely be post -traumatic stress, or simply the birth of a deep rooted bias
.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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Really good thread....will come back in the morning and contribute.

I must go to bed for now though.. lol

Jenn





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