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Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment Disorder

Now that we have a basic understanding of what child abuse and domestic violence are I want to move forward to explain why so many people who’ve been abused as children go on to be abused by an intimate partner. As I’ve mentioned throughout this blog already, I am one of the examples of such continued abuse. It’s what led me to have complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). The more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s based on an attachment disorder. Therefore, I want to take some time to delve into what an attachment disorder is and how it affects people at every stage of their lives.


What is an attachment disorder?

Children who struggle with their emotional attachments to others may develop this psychiatric problem. As early as a child’s first birthday, parents, caregivers, or doctors may become aware of a child's emotional attachment issues. When a parent has one or more of the following concerns, they frequently bring their child to the doctor: severe colic, issues with feeding their child and thus the child isn’t gaining weight, children who act aloof and unresponsive, being inconsolable, defiant behavior, hesitating to interact socially with strangers.

Most children with attachment disorders have had severe problems or difficulties in their early relationships. Although the exact cause of this issue is unknown, most researchers believe that inadequate caregiving is a possible cause. Therefore, it only makes sense that children who were physically or emotionally abused or neglected will develop this type of psychiatric problem. The physical, emotional, and social problems associated with it will persist as the child grows older, hence into adulthood.


A quick interjection…

At this point I want to remind you that I’m not a medical expert, I am a chaplain with a lot of psychology education. These are my understandings and I have a line of thinking that will “prove” my theory: Most people who experience both child and intimate abuse have an anxious-ambivalent attachment disorder. It’s also important that I point out that there are a variety of different types of attachment disorders, but the one I’m talking about here is anxious-ambivalent attachment disorder.


Conclusion for now…

There’s A LOT that needs to be said on this topic so that you can have a better understanding of why you or someone you love has been abused. The good news is that healing is possible. You can go on to live a “normal” life. It just takes time so that you can gain an understanding of who you are and how to live a healthier, happier life. This is what this blog is about. It’s here to help you understand yourself and be a thriver, not a victim. I look forward to sharing this information with you – information that I’ve learned throughout my years of healing.


I discuss my experience surviving child abuse and later becoming a victim of domestic abuse here at Healing Family Trauma Pittsburgh. By letting them know they're not alone, I'm attempting to assist those around me. By visiting my Etsy store, you can support my efforts.

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