How Does Disordered Attachment Affect Mental Health?

How Does Disordered Attachment Affect Mental Health

Severe childhood trauma, such as abuse and neglect, can cause a disorganized or “fearful-avoidant” style of attachment. This style combines elements of the avoidant style with those displayed in the anxious-preoccupied style creating a sort of push-pull dynamic with your partner. That being said, attachment styles are dynamic and subject to change throughout your life, so you can absolutely develop a healthier one through therapy, introspection, communication skills, and self-care.

Understand The Roots Of Disorganized Attachment

Attachment theory states that our early childhood experiences and relationships with our primary caregivers set the stage for how we form and maintain relationships throughout our adult lives. Disorganized attachment is typically characterized by a desire for intimacy when you don’t have it and then pulling away in fear or mistrust when you do achieve it.

  • Difficulty Finding & “Keeping” A Partner
  • An Intense Yearning For—But Also A Fear Of—Closeness
  • Frequent Relationship Conflicts
  • Chronic Loneliness
  • Severe Social Anxiety
  • Difficulty Trusting Others

Healthier Attachments For A Healthier You

Your attachment style can affect your ease of forming fulfilling and lasting relationships, which can impact your health both physically and mentally. Disorganized attachment doesn’t just make romantic partnerships difficult, it can also negatively affect how you interact with your friends and even your family.

Relationship Issues Affect Your Physical & Mental Health

Humans are a fundamentally social species, so fulfilling relationships—whether romantic, familial, or platonic in nature—are a basic survival need that can actually influence your overall health. As we grow older, chronic loneliness and relationship instability increase the risk of everything from depression and cognitive decline and can cause mortality from things like heart attacks and strokes.

People with secure attachment styles may find it easier to meet new people and resolve conflicts, whereas insecure or contradictory styles often give way to stressful arguments, distrust, and interpersonal turmoil.

Therapy Creates A Foundation For Healing

People with disorganized attachment can learn to create rewarding relationships, but it is difficult without help. Trust is the first step, and it is often easier to trust a psychologist and the safe space that they cultivate at the beginning of your journey. A therapist can work with you on developing healthy coping and communication skills that bolster your ability to create fulfilling relationships.

Take Your First Step Towards Well-Being

As our models of well-being become increasingly interconnected between mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s clear that healing from trauma and creating healthy interpersonal bonds are essential for your overall health. Dr. Taji Huang is a renowned clinical psychologist and relationship therapist who has helped people from all walks of life, including celebrities, heal from attachment disorders. Contact her Glendale office today and book your first appointment.

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