Are you worried that your teen is suffering from attachment disorder? Do you want to know more about the symptoms of attachment disorder in teenagers so you can figure out how to best deal with your teen?
Many parents find parenting teenagers hard – as your children grow and seek independence there are a number of issues that arise. For parents who are dealing with attachment disorders in their teens, things can be even more challenging. Attachment refers to the deep connection that is usually formed between child and parent. This attachment influences numerous areas of your child’s development, personality and their ability to develop meaningful relationships. It is normal for teenagers to take distance from their parents as they gain their own independence and start to focus more on their social groups. However, it can be extremely challenging dealing with a teenager who is suffering from such disorder.
Symptoms of Attachment Disorder in Teenagers:
Drawing a line between what is normal detachment between teenagers and parents and what is attachment disorder can be very challenging in teenagers. The symptoms in teenagers vary from teen to teen but include some of the following:
An aversion to touch and physical affection – often children who are suffering will be very opposed to any contact from their parents. This is a weaker sign in teenagers as it is quite normal for them to distance themselves.
Control issues – teenagers suffering from attachment disorder will do anything and everything in their power to remain in control. They want to avoid feeling helpless and will be disobedient, argumentative, defiant and will constantly challenge authority.
Difficulty relating, showing empathy or affection – this can manifest itself in a number of ways, from teenagers being overly affectionate with strangers and ice cold with their parents. Teenagers with attachment disorder may find it difficult to relate to others and may lack empathy.
Short temper and anger issues – teenagers with such disorder can express their anger directly or indirectly. One of the giveaway signs of attachment issues is that your teen may hide their passive aggressive nature by giving hurtful hugs or high-fives that are too hard.
A muted conscience – teenagers that have attachment disorder may fail to demonstrate any sign of guilt, regret or remorse even when they are aware they were in the wrong. Their detachment prevents them from feeling accountable for their actions and the consequences they have.
It can be quite challenging to tell whether these symptoms are typical teenage behavior or a sign of attachment disorder. While some level of detachment is common during the teenage years, it is much more likely that a child will develop attachment development disorder as a young child. Generally, it would take a pretty big event, such as a divorce, to cause attachment disorder in a teenager who did not suffer from it as a child.
Dealing with attachment disorder in teenagers is very challenging and you should invest time into strengthening your relationship with your teen. It’s important to facilitate bonding as much as possible, through enjoying activities together, being open with your teen and giving them the space they need to flourish.
Are you dealing with a teen who has attachment disorder? What have you found helpful in strengthening your relationship?