RadKid.Org: Reactive Attachment Disorder

There's always a storm a'brewing.



Signs & Symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder in Children & Adults

Symptoms of RAD in Children

  • Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate
  • Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent?s terms
  • Problems making eye contact, except when angry or lying
  • A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as the child gets older
  • Hypervigilant
  • Hyperactive, yet lazy in performing tasks
  • Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things
  • Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues
    Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times
  • Trouble understanding cause and effect
  • Poor impulse control
  • Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith
  • Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Lying for no apparent reason
  • False allegations of abuse
  • Destructive to property or self
  • Stealing
  • Constant chatter; nonsense questions
  • Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills
  • Developmental / Learning delays
  • Fascination with fire, blood and gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice
  • Problems with food; either hoarding it or refusing to eat
  • Concerned with details, but ignoring the main issues
  • Few or no long term friends; tend to be loners
  • Attitude of entitlement and self-importance
  • Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had them by asking
  • Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other
  • A darkness behind the eyes when raging

Symptoms of RAD in Adults

  • Avoidant
    • Unreasonable or inappropriate anger
    • Hostile
    • Overcritical of others and self
    • Intolerant of rules and authority
    • Lack of empathy or remorse
    • Views others as untrustworthy and unreliable
    • Shallow/Vain
    • Feelings of self-importance
    • Feelings of entitlement or arrogance
    • Self-reliance; prefers to work alone than with others
    • Views relationships as threatening, or not worth the effort
    • May be a workaholic, as a way of avoiding relationships
    • Feelings of being unique
    • Grandiose or unrealistic fantasies
  • Anxious/Ambivalent
    • Compulsive caregiving
    • Feels underappreciated
    • Many short-term relationships
    • Idealizes others
    • Possessive; makes unrealistic demands of partners in relationships
    • Preoccupied with relationships, and easily makes declarations of affection
    • Obtains feelings of security through relationships
    • Sees relationships as imbalanced
    • Oversensitive to rejection, easily gives in to jealousy
    • Sees others as being difficult to understand
    • Unable to understand the concept of altruism
      Extreme emotions
  • May Also Include


    • Prone to depression
    • Socially inappropriate behavior
    • Impulsive
    • Manipulative
    • Risk-taking
    • Self-mutilating behavior
    • Often do not remember much of childhood experiences
    • Darkness behind the eyes when angered
    • At risk of abusing their own children
    • Children with RAD may become adults diagnosed with sociopathic, narcissistic, antisocial, or borderline disorder

Last Modified on: Saturday, August 08, 2009


If your browser does not support our flash navigation, click the orange site map image on the top of the page.


Information received in part from experience and observation, but also from:


RadKid.Org Blog | RadKid.Org Directory | RadKid.Org AT Wiki

We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify. 


Health Links select site Rated with SafeSurf Labeled with ICRA