The pattern of Behaviour in attachment issues


attachment issues

Attachment issues are patterns of behaviour that develop in early childhood, due to the interaction between the caregiver and child. Put simply, they are formed when a baby or young child needs emotional support to calm down or interact with others but is instead ignored. This teaches the child that he’s essentially on his own, which shapes how he responds to those around him as he gets older. The earliest form of behaviour that may indicate attachment problems is a baby’s failure to thrive, but these patterns can also create difficulties in peer relationships and school.

When a child has an insecure-attached relationship with its mother or another primary caregiver, it has trouble trusting others later on. It fears rejection and clings to people who might leave it. This makes it difficult for the child to have healthy, stable relationships as he gets older because he doesn’t know how to trust those around him or what appropriate boundaries are.

Causes of attachment issues

Graffiti on a wall

If an infant feels distressed and the parent does not respond, this teaches the child that his needs do not matter and that he cannot rely on anyone else for help. As he gets older, this may lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Development and attachment issues

A person using a laptop

As the child ages, the emotional neglect leaves him with an internal void that is hard to fill. He craves intimacy, but he has no idea how to find or create it because nobody ever showed him how in his early years. As a result, he often acts in ways that push people away rather than inviting them in.

People who exhibit insecure-attachment traits tend to be withdrawn and isolated when they are adults. For example, if you meet someone who’s very quiet at social gatherings and doesn’t talk much about his past or interests, he may have attachment issues. His isolation may stem from the fact that he was never taught how to recognize or respond to social cues as a child. As a result, he may find it challenging to connect with others and maintain stable relationships, whether they are friendships or romantic.

The symptoms of attachment issues

– Difficulty making friends, keeping friends or trusting others.

– Fear of intimacy due to fear of being rejected or abandoned.

– Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings.

– Feelings of emptiness and low self-esteem because you don’t know how to fill that void deep inside you.

– Obsessive thinking about your loved ones or constantly worrying about them when they’re not around.

– Excessive shyness in social situations, causing problems in work/school/dating/etc.

– Depression, anxiety, aggression, addiction, etc., are all ways of coping with stress or filling that emotionally empty hole inside you.

The treatment of attachment issues

The treatment of attachment issues has been evolving over the last 20 years, and we now have a variety of approaches we can use to treat attachment-related problems. At the most basic level, we know that good parenting is one key to helping children overcome insecure attachments with caregivers. We provide guidance on how parents can improve their parenting skills and learn about the child’s behaviour and feelings. Sometimes this help alone is enough for children with milder forms of insecure attachment; other times it may be necessary to provide more direct intervention.

At another level, there are research-tested interventions such as Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), Multidimensional Ensemble Treatment Foster Care (METFC), and Trauma Focused-Treatment (TFP) that target children and adolescents with insecure or disorganised attachments. The first two focus on foster care, while the latter focuses on more severely traumatised children and adolescents. In each of these models, caregivers are encouraged to provide sensitive support to help children make sense of their experiences.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter