Is it possible that a child does not have enough trauma to have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JGL, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. JGL

    JGL New Member

    Hi, I am new here. I am a very frustrated father because it seems like my 19 year old daughter is never improving. She always have problems but they seem to shift in circles (English is not my first language). First she have a problem with social anxiety, very severe in school when she was young. We go to have her tested when she was six. They said it was possibly developmental delays and autism spectrum. When she turn eight, we moved. New school and she develop new problems. Now she have tons of friends but she can't focus in school. But the friends don't stay long because of aggression incidents (she was fighting for no reason). Also she manipulate and lie. I find out she had been making her friend steal her dad's alcohol to sell from his basement. We take her to therapist again they say she have depression, conduct disorder, and ADHD. Okay, now she goes on prozac, ritalin, and therapy. Pretty soon the therapist decides she is all better and sends her home. "Miracle" all problems have vanished.
    I am sorry this is so long. While we all think it's over, she seem to move on to being intimate with many older guys, drug use. Combine with her unexplainable mood swings at home, she was diagnosed as bipolar. Also running away many times. She go on Lithium and Abilify and was in residential treatment for half a year. When she come out and goes into intensive therapy for 8 months and wow, again therapist has a miracle. She is now the perfect child. Come forward two years, I find she contract STD from sleeping with a married man while telling her boyfriend she is a virgin that was slipped a roofie and then lost it (I hear her on phone). She also drop all her college courses one month before semester finish because she feel "bipolar"
    She has a need to manipulate and control relationships. It is like she is a movie director all the time. I do not think it is Borderline (BPD) because she is not always like this. Sometimes months pass with "perfect child". Tell us she love us, cooks us family dinners. Then she just snaps. I think it is attachment disorder and want to coax her into therapy again because this is destroying her life. Problem is we take her for another psychiatric evaluation because health insurance evaluation and they say her life does not have enough trauma.
    When she born, she was born in my home country (Russia) but I was gone. She was raised first with one nanny, then another after the first one caught stealing until she was three. Her mother left her to be with me in the states when she was 8 months. She had colic but whole time they were in my wife's parent's house living with her parent's. But her parent's wanted an abortion so I don't imagine they were very bonded. My wife refuses to talk more. She is very controlling about her image, I will not lie and that has made therapy not progress well I think.
    So, she formed some attachment and thus cannot have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? I am confused by this logic. She refuses to see these grandparents now and has assualted one of them if you are wondering about how they are now. I want my child to get help, it just seems everything doesn't work.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome.
    I think you may do better posting on the Parent Emeritus board because she is an adult child and you really have no legal way to force her to do anything anymore. You can't make her go to therapy. Many of us have dealt with adult problem children over there.

    Does she have a job? Does she help pay for continuing to live with you? Is she in college?

    Regardless of what her problems are, she is the one, at her age, who will have to initiate treatment and she will have to want the help to get better.

    The best way to try to guess what is wrong with her is to look at both sides of her genetic family tree--if there are any psychiatric illnesses, substance abuse, or autism that would be significant. However even professionals get it wrong, as you have seen. It is hard to diagnose.

    Sorry you had to come here. I wish you well.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome.

    It's very possible for your child to have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This comes down to a lack of trust for her primary caretaker. Her early life before she was able to rejoin you may have been chaotic. She was just beginning the attachment process when you left for the states (not a judgment ~ just stating the facts) & your daughter was left with nannies.

    Having said that, there is an entire spectrum of this disorder - from attachment issues to full blown severe reactive attachment disorder. As MWM stated, you daughter is now a young adult ~ does she want help?
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    What constitutes enough "trauma" can vary from person to person. Some people are more affected by life incidents than "trauma" all by itself is not a useful measure of anything.

    On the other hand, it is my understanding that Bi-polar disorder at its very nature is cyclical. They will be great for a while, and then bad for a while. They will swing from one thing to another. They may be hyper-sexual.

    The fact that your daughter can be doing wonderfully for a while and then seemingly "relapse" may indicate Borderline (BPD)--not disprove it.

    I am sorry that your family is struggling with this. I hope you can find some comfort here and know that you are not alone.

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Another thing to consider ~ if you feel your daughter was traumatized a look at PTSD. This will take a bit to work out & if your now adult daughter isn't willing to consider therapy it's a moot point.

    If you wife is unwilling to face various issues, it's a moot point. Dealing with emotional/mental health issues is stressful & the entire family is involved.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi...another thing that jumped out at me is that since there is SOME trauma that interrupted the bonding and lead to a somewhat chaotic life for her when she was young, this could be borderline personality disorder.

    But yet again, she has to want to seek help. Borderlines are infamous for their behavior being almost a "push me, pull me" type thing. They will scream I hate you but be terrified that you will leave them but they cant show that terror. They are huge manipulators.
  7. JGL

    JGL New Member

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Now I can think about Borderline (BPD) again maybe. It cross my mind sometimes when in one day she can want me gone forever then she start get very angry that I am going for a walk to cool down. I have no clue how her boyfriend deal with her, honestly.

    She want to go to therapy but I honestly think she invents issues to resolve in therapy. Right now she's in therapy mood but I told her if we go again she have to be honest. We have been to family therapy before and she lie to fit diagnosis so that her problems can be "resolved" . A couple therapists have called her "recovery" far beyond anything expected.

    My wife may not want therapy anymore but it don't really matter I think. They have negative relationship and my wife has created her own version of their relationship which is positive.

    I will move to emeritus board. Thank you again for your help. :D