Trauma - attachment wounding in and of itself is not a specific diagnosable mental health disorder, although some have referred to it as complex-PTSD.
Symptoms may show up in categories of criteria as in the above-mentioned diagnoses, and/or are played out in daily life in a variety of ways, including:
in adults.... - co-dependency - difficulty sustaining healthy relationships - attracting unhealthy (toxic) people - lacking healthy interpersonal boundaries - feeling numb, lost or dead inside - difficulty regulating emotions or returning to 'normal' after an upset - social isolation (voluntary or not) - feeling panicked or triggered, sometimes for unknown reasons - getting angry / feeling rage, sometimes for unknown reasons - lacking a sense of internal solidarity and purpose in life - lacking a sense of peace and joy - substance use - promiscuity or other impulsive behaviors - fear of commitment, fear of abandonment, or a mix of both - inability to enjoy the present moment or feel comfortable in your own skin - trying to "get over it," mask or avoid feelings - dislike of or hatred toward self
in children or adolescents.... - lack of attention span - defiance toward authority - increased emotional or social sensitivity - conflict with or aggression toward peers or siblings - trouble at school - difficulty making or keeping friends - excessive worry / feeling overwhelmed - fear about the future - panic attacks - withdrawal and defiance - tantrums - trouble with sleep / nightmares - feelings of inadequacy and/or trying to please - clingy or overly attached to strangers (indiscriminate affection) - self-harm - substance use - other behaviors that are not developmentally or culturally appropriate
There has been talk in the psychology world to develop a diagnosis for long-term emotional wounding. One such suggestion is Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD). But, the wheels of change turn slow. Don't wait for the APA to validate what you experience. If you can relate to this topic, please call for a free consultation.
FCCS is directed by Melinda Haynes, MA, California LMFT 102308. Oklahoma LMFT 1153. North Carolina LMFT 2143.