What are attachment disorders?
Attachment disorders are a group of conditions that affect the way children attach to their caregivers. They can be diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or even adulthood and may include a variety of different attachments, such as: insecure-avoidant attachment, secure-autonomous, disorganized/disoriented, resistant/ambivalent, preoccupied/dismissing, fearful/anxious, and dismissing/preoccupied.
The most common form of attachment disorder is insecure-avoidant attachment. It affects about 10% of all infants and toddlers. This type of attachment disorder causes an infant's caregiver to feel rejected when he or she reaches out for comfort from them.
As a result, the child learns not to seek closeness with others because he or she fears being hurt by rejection. The symptoms of insecure-avoidant attachment disorder usually appear during early toddlerhood. These behaviors often cause parents to become frustrated and angry at their young children. Some of the more obvious signs of insecure-avoidant attachment disorder include:
- Lack of eye contact
- Excessive shyness
- Difficulty sharing attention between parent and child
- Frequent tantrums
- Resistance to separation from mother or father
- Fearfulness around strangers
- Clinging behavior toward parents
Who is at risk for developing an attachment disorder?
Children who grow up without having had any consistent parental figures tend to be at greater risk for attachment disorders than those whose families provide adequate nurturing. In addition, children who experience abuse and/or neglect are also at increased risk for attachment disorders.
Other factors such as family history, temperament, genetics, and social support systems also play important roles in determining whether someone will develop an attachment disorder.
Brainwaves and attachment disorders
Attachment disorders have been linked to abnormal patterns of electrical activity in the brain. More specifically, researchers believe that these disorders arise as a consequence of altered functioning within certain areas of the brain.
For example, some studies suggest that people who suffer from avoidant attachment disorder tend to show increased levels of alpha waves while viewing images of faces expressing anger.
Other research has shown that individuals with anxious attachments exhibit decreased activation in the amygdala region of the brain. In contrast, those with resistant attached personalities seem to activate this area excessively.
How neurofeedback can help treat attachment disorders
In recent years, there has been growing interest in using bioelectrical signals to train patients' brains to function better.
Neurofeedback involves teaching subjects how to control specific aspects of their brainwave activity through feedback provided on computer monitors. By learning to regulate their own EEGs, patients learn to change the way they think and behave.
Studies supporting neurofeedback for attachment disorder
One study found that adults suffering from avoidant attachment disorder showed significant improvement after undergoing neurofeedback therapy. The study subjects were trained to increase beta wave activity in the frontal lobe and decrease alpha wave activity in the temporal lobes.
After completing the treatment program, participants reported feeling less stressed and having fewer negative thoughts than before starting the sessions.
Learn more about neurofeedback for attachment disorder treatment
If you’re interested in learning more about neurofeedback for attachment disorder treatment, reach out to us today at Braincode Centers. Our clinicians are here to help correct irregular brainwave patterns so you can successfully treat your disorder and alleviate your symptoms.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.