Adoptive Parents, Reactive Attachment, Disorder (RAD) and PTSD from Emotional Trauma

Adoptive Parents, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and PTSD:



Hello – I am Laurie. My intention for this blog is to prompt discussion with adoptive parents who have behavioral, adopted and foster issues in their children. Please read some of my posts. I’m sure you’ll find them helpful.

My last post was focused on two RAD symptoms. These symptoms affect adoptive fathers and their faithfulness towards their wives. Please check it out.

I have recently read up on PTSD and its effects on adoptive parents. Today I am going to write on my perspective about this subject. I know it helped me understand the process of living with someone who has RAD which causes PTSD to developing in the adoptive parents.


PTSD: (definition found on my dictionary app on my phone)

         PTSD = Post-traumatic stress disorder – an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as survival guilt, reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images.


Adoptive Parents of RAD Children and Emotional Trauma Causing PTSD:

         Last year I found some research which showed fourteen things everyone should know about emotional trauma. One of the fourteen things is PTSD. I have since done some added research and have found adoptive parents can develop PTSD as a result of living with the constant emotional trauma of RAD from their adopted child. It makes sense when it takes four to six weeks of being in a trauma situation to develop this disorder. So, let’s revisit research I found last year. (See below)


Definition of Emotional Trauma: Trauma is a shock or severe distress from experiencing a disastrous event outside the range of usual experience (such as rape or military combat). Any wrenching or distressing experience, especially one causing a disturbance in normal functioning. A powerful shock that may have long-lasting effects.


14 Things Everyone Should Know About Emotional Trauma:

1)  The traumatized person is in thought about the trauma events regularly

2)  They worry about what is going to happen next

3)  Traumatizing situations longer than four to six weeks can produce PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

4)  Trauma doesn’t always mean violence – for example: divorce, being bullied, a move or being overscheduled can cause emotional trauma

5)  It can cause insomnia, nightmares, or a racing heartbeat

6)  The person can feel disconnected or numb

7)  They can have a hard time learning or concentrating when stressed

8)  Trauma causes emotional shattering to the heart

9)  It can cause anger, irritability, sadness, mood swings, hopelessness chest pains and fatigue

10)              The person lives in guilt, shame and self-blame

11)              They withdraw from others

12)              Trauma can cause a person to trigger to noise, smells, etc.

13)              It causes the person to startle easily

14)              They live in fear, anxiety and/or terror


Do You Have These Symptoms?

         If you feel you have the above symptoms of triggering to noises, sounds, smells, etc., there is a chance you have PTSD. This may be due to living with your adopted RAD child’s symptoms longer than four to six weeks. RAD causes such upheaval in the home and emotional trauma to the adoptive parents. Maybe you can get some help if you relate to the symptoms.

If you do want help, find a specialist in your area who has worked with PTSD and has had success bringing healing. If you can’t find someone then maybe I can help. In the life coaching center I work at we have had success helping PTSD victims and we would love to help you. I can be reached at Contact me and we can talk about how to set up sessions for you.



         Well, that is all for today. Hope you were encouraged and if this doesn’t directly pertain to you maybe you could refer someone to us that can use our help. Blessing and have a great week! Until next time…