Reactive Attachment Disorder Mental Disorder Network Reactive Attachment Disorder

What is Reactive Attachment Disorder?

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a complex psychiatric illness that can affect young children. Though relatively rare, it is a serious clinical condition.

Usually apparent by age five, Reactive Attachment Disorder is characterized by serious problems in emotional attachments to others. A parent, daycare provider or physician may notice that a child has problems with emotional attachment by their first birthday.

Sometimes known as attachment disorder (AD), this condition is frequently misdiagnosed and is sometimes misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder or attention deficit disorder.

Reactive Attachment Disorder is difficult to treat with traditional therapy techniques, which generally require the formation of a bond between the therapist and patient. As one RAD parent writes, "Fundamental to RAD kids is that they haven’t bonded and are unable to trust. They have learned that the adults in their lives are untrustworthy. Trust hasn’t worked for them. Without trust, there cannot be love, and without love they are emotionally underdeveloped. Instead of love, rage has developed within them." (From

Synonyms and keywords include angry attachment, attachment disorder, disorder of nonattachment, disinhibited attachment disorder, disinhibited reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited RAD, inhibited attachment disorder, inhibited reactive attachment disorder, reversed attachment and promiscuous attachment disorder.

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