January 23, 2018

Parents of RAD Kids Have PTSD!

If you have a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, then you know how stressful life can be. One thing we’ve learned lately is that there is a good chance we have Secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD! I always thought this was a disorder for soldiers coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan – not plain old parents. Then, I started looking at a list of symptoms and discovered that while I don’t have PTSD, I definitely have Secondary PTSD! What? How can this be? What can I do about it?

Symptoms of PTSD, Secondary Trauma

Some of the symptoms of Secondary PTSD are as follows:

  • Realization that things between you and others have changed, or that you’re no longer the same person you were before
  • Feeling that you’re unlike other people, or that you’re disconnected from other people
  • Loneliness
  • Low self esteem
  • Excessive immersion in work
  • More attuned to dangers
  • Fatigue and depression
  • Denial
  • Alternate between trying harder and giving up
  • Decrease in sex drive
  • Stress on significant relationships, such as marriage
  • Helplessness, hopelessness, and anger

These are just some of the symptoms of Secondary PTSD. You can find a complete list of symptoms in the book When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas.

Do feel any of these things? If you do, there is a good chance that you have this disorder. You need to get counseling immediately – first and foremost, for your own well being, and additionally, if you aren’t healthy you will be unable to effectively parent your Reactive Attachment Disorder child. One of the methods that offer great success in this area is Neurotherapy. Another is EMDR therapy, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Both of these types of therapy are totally non-invasive and simple to do! The therapist will do things like shine lights in your eyes and make you play video games or watch movies! It’s bizarre how it works, but it does!

So, if you think you’ve got Secondary PTSD, get some help immediately.

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the Parenting Allies website.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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