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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Reactive Attachment Disorder vs BPD  (Read 8478 times)
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« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2010, 04:32:54 PM »

I am getting it from the latest research on when children begin to develop selective attachments. I don't think there's any reason to distinguish the symptoms of reactive attachment disorder from the functional deficits that happen because of the neglect. They are all intertwined. Look at the work of Charles Zeanah and his colleagues at Tulane.

Thanks, I will.  I appreciate the information.


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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2010, 04:34:06 PM »

Also, my daughter was NOT neglected after we got her at 14 months, so obviously you can develop RAD before the age of 3. She is not by a long shot the only child I know that was attachment-disordered despite being adopted well before the age of 3.

I agree with you most definately on that point.
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« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2010, 12:47:23 AM »

The T for my gd age 4 has recommended I read and consider the work of Heather Forbes and Bryan Post that provides a different view of dealing with RAD than some out there. I thing my DD, adopted at 3 weeks, had and has many issues similar, and we are trying to provide a different approach in raising our gd, also suffering from some trauma being in our dysfunctional household with DD.

The website is www.beyondconsequences.com. I have read their book volume 1, "Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control-A Love Based Approach to Helping Children with Sever Behaviors" and am starting Heather Forbes Volume II. I have mentioned this book before, maybe on this thread.

Some of her ideas I have been exposed to in other forms over the years, and no one method provides any "miracle cure". But new tools to try are always welcome to me. I really appreciate the mindfulness of her approach, and doing a time-in with GD when she is being really stubborn and ready to blow up, esp. when she is tired, really works many times. Like tonight, it was late. She had a babysitter while dh and I went out to dinner. She wanted her bedtime milk to be different somehow. So instead of having a "take it or leave, it is time for bed now" attitude, I tried sitting on a chair across the room and offereng for her to come sit on my lap to try the milk. She slowly circled around the kithchen and kind of slipped up to the side of my chair for me to lift her up to my lap. Drank the milk. I said nothing, looked only in her general direction without really making eye contact. It sure felt good when it worked out. Then she went to bed very peacefully and right to sleep.

My friend that was babysitting told me on the way driving her home that GD was really fearful that I would not come back home. She has such seperation anxiety since her mom left by police escort last Oct. We are not allowing any contact with DD until she ( DD) can choose to accept she needs some mental health help. GD working with the new T has helped a lot in giving me new ideas about dealing with behaviors. I am very thankful that Gd provides a much more "normal expectation" experience of parenting than her mom ever did. DD can also see this and it is a constant source of pain for DD and between us - DD's claim that we have dumped her out on the street to try again with a "normal" kid - her kid that we have stolen. So sad, as DD trully doesn't see what gd's needs are, and can barely see her own needs. have to let go of this one now - she is in Gods hands, this is all I can do for today.

don't know if this helps any here, but at least it is a positive story to share. love for you all, remember we are good people, doing the best we can under trying conditions. Our kids love us and needs us even when they cannot express this, and sometimes we have to set painful and difficult boundaries to take care of ourselves, others in our family, and to allow them to take care of themselves as much as possible.


The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2010, 10:27:50 AM »

Let me say up front that I have no personal experience with this, but I do have a friend from childhood who had severe endometriosis resulting in a hysterectomy in her late 20's, which prevented her from ever conceiving.  She was able to adopt an Eastern European infant at about 3 weeks of age.  The child is now about 5 years old, and so far, no problems with RAD or other unusual behavior problems have presented.  She is just a bright, sweet little girl.  I pray that this remains so.

Also, I would think that RAD damage would begin almost immediately if a newborn is virtually isolated, cries to be fed or changed and nobody ever responds within a short time.  The infant experiences right off the bat that his/her needs are not being met.  I'd be interested in studies that document incidents of RAD that include at what age the child was adopted, from birth up to, say, age 4 (at what age the child received a primary caregiver to bond with.) 

I also wonder if any studies have been done documenting the existence of RAD in more primitive societies, in which newborn infants and babies are pretty much carried about by the mother at all times.  I would find that interesting also.  I'd be willing to bet that in societies/cultures where the newborn infant is in almost constant physical contact with the mother up until the baby can walk, and is given the breast immediately at the first sign of hunger, that the incidence of RAD is very low if it exists at all.

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« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2010, 12:27:00 PM »

Hi qcarolr and LOAnnie,

I am going to look into the resources qcarolr recommends ... .I am definitely open to new ways of doing things.

LOAnnie, it's interesting that you ask that question about more primitive societies, because Mary Ainsworth (who was the long-time research partner of John Bowlby, the originator of attachment theory) spent a lot of time in Uganda, observing the Ganda people, and came back to England to compare western-developed early attachment processes. Bowlby first started formulating attachment theory in the 40s and 50s, while working with children separated from their parents either because of WWII or because the mother was severely ill with something like TB.

I'm glad to hear that in more recent years, babies have been released for adoption so early in life. The problem when we adopted from Eastern Europe (Romania) is that it took 6 months of NO visits from the biological parent(s) to get the child put on the list for adoption. And then 6 more months at least before all the red tape between two countries was peeled through. That meant NOBODY got adopted under the age of 1 year. NOT in the best interest of the children. My daughter was even put on the list early (her mother took off without leaving a forwarding address right after she was born), and we STILL didn't get to pick her up until 14 months of age.

Here's the way I understand/conceptualize it: Brain damage to certain parts of the brain occurs for various reasons. One of those reasons might be severe neglect that deprives the child of important stimulation during a critical period of brain development. Another reason might be a genetic problem, or a virus in utero, or an injury ... .many many possibilities out there. But the brain damage is done. That brain damage results in altered behavior (including attachment behavior). It is really hard to "unlearn" pathological behavior that is a result of actual brain alterations. Possible, but really hard. We know that the brain continues to be incredibly plastic throughout the lifespan ... .but when your perceptions are altered as a result of early brain alterations, you might not be highly motivated to change. For example, if you perceive that everybody is out to get you, you behave as if everybody is out to get you. The perception drives the behavior ... .and you are not very motivated to change because you think your behavior is reasonable. It is a circular problem ... .altered perceptions drive troublesome behavior, troublesome behavior reinforces the sense that you're being persecuted, perception drives behavior, etc. etc. etc.

So the only thing I can do is step out of that nasty circle and not contribute to my daughter's perception that she is being persecuted ... .which is almost equally hard for me to do! Darn it! But possible because I am able to at least to some extent put myself in her shoes ... .which I don't think she is really able to do with me.

And qcarolr, I DO think it is helpful to hear your stories ... .very helpful. It doesn't matter so much if what the child's problems are called ... .we have to respond in the moment to behavior, which may be really similar across "labels".

My 12 year old son talked to me last night about how worried he is that his sister is going to get into serious trouble "because she has no common sense." He doesn't get why we don't just take all of her freedoms away to keep her from doing something stupid. It's really hard to explain to him ... .I don't have any evidence she is doing anything dangerous, and she's almost 16 ... .she likes to tell him wild stories (made-up mostly, I think) to get him all upset, and I know that she thrives on negative attention. The last thing I want to do is reward her for upsetting others ... .and I think in a weird way, putting more restrictions on her so that she can have a big show-down confrontation, would reward her. I am having a hard time figuring out how to explain all this to him.

This is just one example of what she told him ... .we are going to get her the cervical cancer vaccine. She is mad because she doesn't want a shot. She told her brother that if we make her get the shot, she is going to go out and have sex just to spite us.
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« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2010, 02:09:35 PM »

Jemima, I imagine it's really hard to know what to tell your son. He can see that some of your DD's behavior does look stupid.

My experience with my DD has been that many of her stories are just blowing smoke and idle threats. But she also does do some pretty self-destructive things - usually not the things she threatened - rather, she does awful things I never would have even thought of!. If we get too restrictive, she doesn't get to make mistakes and learn from them, she gets reclusive and hard to live with, and she also gets confrontational and angry. If we don't get restrictive, she makes mistakes and doesn't always seem to learn from them, and then she gets mad if we don't bail her out or that we "let" her make mistakes.

So we're pretty much screwed either way.
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« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2010, 07:06:45 PM »

So the only thing I can do is step out of that nasty circle and not contribute to my daughter's perception that she is being persecuted ... .which is almost equally hard for me to do! Darn it! But possible because I am able to at least to some extent put myself in her shoes ... .which I don't think she is really able to do with me.

So true.  Thank you for telling your story here.  I have learned a lot from it and I appreciate your candor.
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« Reply #67 on: February 13, 2010, 08:56:52 PM »

Jemima,  I really appreciate the research information. I have not read much about RAD - that dx wasn't on the radar when my DD was young. She does have some right-brain trauma that has been consistently tested since she was 4. The last testing, done just before her 23rd bday, she seemed to accept and better understand the difficulties she has faced her whole life. But then she went through the trauma of relinquishing her son, and really just gave up trying anymore. The custody case was closed, her son was on track to be adopted, her husband (though they were very violent with each other - she missed him) was deported and the final divorce papers filed. She went back to her main cocaine friend and it was all downhill after that. So I had to choose to protect her daugher, myself and my dh from her spiral out. I know letting DD go was the "right" choice, still know this, and am not in as much daily pain about it. But sometimes I do miss those right moments that we shared. I don't know if more information would have made any difference in the path of DD's life. My guess is the doc who advised when she was 6 years old that the right-brain stuff would "make life hard for her, for her whole life" was on target. I thought I could love this away, but no, that isn't so.

The other point is go ahead and do everything in your power to provide protection to your daughter health and safety from STD's and cervical cancer. DD got cervical cancer from her husband who was sleeping with the "cocaine" friend. DD had been to the doc with this "friend" to get procedures done for her cervical cancer from HPV. DD has also been treated for othe STD's - the sex seems to go with the drugs and binge drinking parties - no clear thinking here about protecting your health in any way. DD has also gotten an IUD to avoid any more risk of pregnancy - she is very fertile. All this is sad but true. I would take the heat now while you have the ability to take her for the shot.


The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)

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« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2011, 04:37:54 PM »

Hi!  Hi!

So glad we found this site!  I'm new here as our Dd16 has now had added the 'potential' for BPD diagnosis to her listing.  The psychiatrist isn't wanting to do that as he says she is still developing her sense of self and has listed her for CBT next month when everyone is back from summer holidays.  

She was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder-disinhibited type before we adopted her at the age of 6 - among many other disorders and possible disorders.

As we are very familiar with RAD/AD, I feel very much out of my element with this new diagnosis and am in the process of reading, "Stop Walking on Eggshells."  

Could someone perhaps answer this, as RAD/AD are only now getting recognized in Canada, does RAD/AD get re-labelled as BPD as children move into adulthood, is this a totally different diagnosis that's been missed?
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« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2011, 11:36:12 PM »

My sister adopted a family of 3.  They have all been diagnosed rad among several other things.  She has taken them to a clinic in colorado for therapy.  Her and her husband live in illinois.  They have made small gains and of course went backwards as well.  

One thing they found is rad at a certain age is called BPD instead.  
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« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2011, 04:25:14 PM »

I have just had a friend visit a therapist who told her her husband probably has Attachment Disorder.  Many of the things my friend told me about her husband and how he reacts and behaves sounded a lot like BPD to me (I believe my ex has BPD/NPD, undiagnosed).

I looked it up and the symptoms do read like BPD.  


I just wondered if anyone else knew about Attachment Disorder or had any theories about its relation to BPD.


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« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2011, 04:52:51 PM »

DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Overview of Comorbidity

Additional discussions... .

Personality Disorders

Borderline and Paranoid Personality Disorder

Borderline and Schzoid/Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Avoidant Personality Disorder

Borderline and Dependent Personality Disorder

Borderline and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Sadistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Self Defeating Personality Disorder


Borderline PD and Alcohol Dependence

Borderline PD and Aspergers

Borderline PD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Borderline PD and BiPolar Disorder

Borderline PD and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Borderline PD and P.T.S.D.

Borderline PD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
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