Humans, more than any other mammal, remain dependent on a caregiver well into childhood. Aside from shelter and food, we also depend on our caregivers for affection, love, and emotional connection. When an infant receives enough love and attention, he will grow up further developing secure attachments. Without the adequate connection, attachment disorders can develop.

Understanding Attachment Disorders

attachment disorders first step center

Attachment disorders are broadly defined disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships caused by a failure to form secure attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. As the child grows, the attachment disorder becomes a barrier between both platonic and intimate relationships.

Insecure attachment disorders are further broken down into three categories.

The Anxious-Avoidant refers to a type of anxious person prone to avoiding intimate and/or long-term relationships.

The Preoccupied personality refers to the type of person with an ambivalent attachment style. He seems to be saying, “come here, go away” at the same time. He also has trouble committing long-term.

The Disorganized type is scared of both engulfment and abandonment. Too much too soon, and he runs away. If you get close, any arguments or struggles will make him extremely suspicious of abandonment. Nevertheless, this combination can be exhausting.

Attachment Disorders as a Fertile Ground for Addiction

When a baby is born, he is given a set of neuronal pathways in which, up to the age of five, are rapidly growing and being pruned for different sets of needs. During this time, if the baby turns to the caregiver for emotional connection, but the caregiver doesn’t provide it, the baby will then turn to other rituals in order to self-soothe or self-regulate.

Attachment trauma and addiction are a common pairing. Numerous studies have shown an association between addictive patterns and disrupted white and gray brain matter. Recent research has even termed addiction as an attachment disorder for its relation to the emotional circuit of seeking.

Recovery from an attachment disorder is possible. Depending on where you live, many communities offer support groups for codependents designed after traditional 12 step support groups. For those suffering from addiction, there is a likelihood that they are also codependent. In order to identify and treat the whole spectrum disrupting a person’s well-being, a dual diagnosis is critical in order to affect a total recovery.

In addition to offering dual diagnosis treatment, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized treatment program tailored to meet specified needs.

We offer programs and therapies like:

Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Everyone deserves to build healthy relationships. First Step Center understands this sentiment and believes in offering integrated treatment that offers a holistic method in helping you or a loved one get well. To find out more about attachment disorders or addiction treatment, call us now at 866.832.6398.