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I have realised I have Attachment Disorder- where now?

(21 Posts)
sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 07:34:25

I am in full shutdown/panic mode (alternating between the two) about the possibility of a relationship with an old friend and someone I know just announced they'd been diagnosed with attachment disorder, so I started reading about it, and I think I sat for 20 minutes with my jaw on the floor before I could say "that's me!"

So what now? I've had a look on amazon, apart from being pricey textbooks, the majority are all about attachment disorder in children. Is there a way of having an assessment and getting a diagnosis leading to support? I will pay for things privately if I have to, but will be a struggle.

It's been a real lightbulb moment. And I want to learn as much as I can, how to change and to understand myself better.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 13-Feb-17 07:44:18

Where were you reading about it? Only because I would imagine that it's difficult to work out which websites are objectively and scientifically reliable, and diagnosis by internet is questionable at best!

Presumably the first step would be to go to see your GP and ask for a referral for counselling.

Toysaurus Mon 13-Feb-17 07:49:44

I wouldn't self diagnose attachment disorder. It's complex. You should get some proper medical advice.

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 07:50:10

Do you think? This was a medical/scientific source. I can't stand any of that david avocado wolfe type of shit, so not some pseudo science nonsense website.
I couldn't remember my password to namechange so I'm wary of saying too much. But I'm already in the mental health system.

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 07:51:50

Ok, slightly patronising replies it feels like?
But yes, toysaurus I'm asking where I might get that proper medical advice....

user1484226561 Mon 13-Feb-17 07:56:49

did you grow up in care? Do you have some sort of handle on what form of attatchment disorder, and how severe it is?

If you are less severe, the good news is that sometimes recognising it is literally all it takes, if you have decided that you want to behave differently, you just decide to, and make a decision to. A lot of adult behaviour after all is how we DECIDE we want to behave, and whereas what comes naturally to someone else might never be completely natural to someone with an attachment disorder, you can overcome that.

user1484226561 Mon 13-Feb-17 07:59:17

when I say, you decide to, obviously I mean, make an informed choice, and get your information from an expert! I agree with caution about self diagnosis, but that is more because there are different types and severities, and you will need guidance.

Blackbird82 Mon 13-Feb-17 07:59:41

I have to say, it does annoy me when people, including medical professionals recoil in horror when patients say that they have researched their condition on the internet.

Yes, there is a lot of crap online and it's always appropriate to question the authenticity of anything you read. But there is also a wealth of accurate information compiled by medical specialists.

FWIW OP, I think I have the same condition as you! I would suggest therapy. I'm having it at the moment and personally I would choose a suitably qualified and experienced therapist over a GP for this kind of thing.

user1484226561 Mon 13-Feb-17 08:01:13

I do think that if you THINK you have an attachment disorder, you probably do, as they are incredibly common, ( but it is less common to have one that is severe enough to seriously impact on your life rather than just occasionally annoy your partner!)

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 08:01:56

Thankyou user
Not in care, but neglectful relationship with mother (severe pnd and never bonded with me) and have been non contact for years.

Well, I believe I've changed type, if that's possible? From Anxious when I was younger and after leaving my last abusive relationship and ending contact with mother, I now relate to Avoidant.

picklemepopcorn Mon 13-Feb-17 08:06:11

The language around attachment disorder is a bit muddled. Different styles of attachment is a helpful way of thinking of it, we almost all have healthy and unhealthy elements. Reading about it and recognising your behaviours helps you to change them.

Developmental trauma is another term for it, quite helpful I think as it is looser.

Not all attachment disorder is (American) reactive attachment disorder, which is the extreme very hard to manage form.

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 08:07:19

Blackbird I agree, GPs are completely unequipped to deal with this sort of thing.

I was seeing a private counsellor a few years ago, after discovering a book that had been written and published about me by my mother (long story and potentially outing myself). I stopped for financial reasons, but I've decided I need to go back. It's just finding the finances to cover it.

I haven't been able to have a relationship for 6 years. I try, but I never get past a month and I have to get out of it. I've noticed I'm attracting (choosing) needy types as opposed to the cold aloof men I used to be attracted to when I was younger.

picklemepopcorn Mon 13-Feb-17 08:09:01

In terms of self treatment, recognising behaviours, taking new relationships slowly, seeking out experiences which have been problematic with a view to them being controlled and safe.

I think counselling with an adoption specialist would probably fit the bill.

If you have anyone in your life that you trust, look up Theraplay activities and see if you can adapt some of them to help you stretch your boundaries a bit,

picklemepopcorn Mon 13-Feb-17 08:10:38

The brain is plastic, you can teach yourself new behaviours as you have seen with your choice of partner.

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 08:14:42

Interesting, I will look that up thankyou popcorn I'm not sure I'm that close to anyone anymore though.

I'm trying to do the things you suggest in your first paragraph.

I'd feel a bit silly asking for an adoption specialist. Is it about trauma in the parenting bond?

Devilishpyjamas Mon 13-Feb-17 08:22:58

I'd look for a psychotherapist rather than counsellor - my understanding is most schools of psychotherapy include training about attachment (but if you look at the various schools you may find one that resonates).

Devilishpyjamas Mon 13-Feb-17 08:24:46

Children who are adopted nearly always have attachment disorders & often severe ones. So if you found someone who worked with adults & with adoption support then they would be a good choice.

picklemepopcorn Mon 13-Feb-17 08:28:50

Yes, anything which disrupts the initial bond (neglect, abuse, PND, disability/illness in the child). Adopted children who go to therapists as adults will have experienced this in some way, so the therapists are experienced in it. It doesn't matter that you are not adopted. They will understand why you are there.

sunflowerblue Mon 13-Feb-17 08:38:30

That's a good point about pyschotherapy. Last time I spent a lot of time finding someone with the right 'match' of qualifications for what I felt I needed. I had thought I'd go back to the same person as last time, as we'd already covered so much, and I wanted to ask what conclusions she'd made about everything I'd told her. I didn't feel particularly close to her though, I liked her slight nervous aloofness! It (the experience of counselling) felt detached and anonymous, which I liked. But perhaps it would be better to find someone with that particular specialism.

Blackbird82 Mon 13-Feb-17 08:55:27

I'm actually married but we are going through some very tough times. We both have issues.

Mine centre around trust and I find it almost impossible to show emotional and physical affection. I often think I would be far happier on my own not having to meet the needs of another person.......

Although I have no problem with attachment towards my son or my dogs! It's just adult relationships I struggle with.

My issues also have their roots in my childhood and I'm only just beginning to piece it all together

MsStricty Mon 13-Feb-17 09:38:49

" I didn't feel particularly close to her though, I liked her slight nervous aloofness! It (the experience of counselling) felt detached and anonymous, which I liked. But perhaps it would be better to find someone with that particular specialism."

OP, your relationship with your therapist will reflect your attachment style, so it may well be that you have already found the right therapist, and it's a matter of working it through. You won't bond immediately - that's the very reason you're choosing psychotherapy: to re-wire your ability to bond. Rather go for the interpersonal fit than qualifications, which are just another avoidance tactic in many instances.

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