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Out of all the things that are causing difficulty in the 14-year-old female what do you personally think her biggest challenge is? There is no right or wrong answer.

I feel the symptoms the 14-year-old female endorses which reveal the diagnosis of Reactive Detachment Disorder are among her biggest challenges. This girl underwent a lot of trauma during crucial times in her life where her brain was developing. Reactive Detachment Disorders have been found consistently in young people who suffered severe deprivation during their early years in life (Humphreys et al., 2017). This is found to be consistent with the case study since we learned the 14-year-old girl was neglected early in her life which contributes to her current mental health disorders. She was removed from her biological mother’s care at age 2 for neglect as she was left unsupervised many times and between ages 5 and 7, she was verbally, emotionally, physically abused and witnessed domestic violence while in the care of her biological father. The patient’s biggest challenges are emotional challenges relating to her ability to establish trust and to feel emotions such as love for others.

I found one study where children who were neglected by their biological families and had Reactive Detachment Disorders underwent interventions with foster parents. The foster parents were encouraged to form attachments to the children in their care and they were also encouraged to commit to the children for a long-term period (Humphreys et al., 2017). The study revealed those children with Reactive Detachment Disorders who were placed in the high-quality foster care showed fewer signs of their Reactive Detachment Disorders after the study ended eight years after the trial began (Humphreys et al., 2017). This study would help support the theory that nurturing or external factors can help contribute to human development.

The 14-year-old female should also be monitored for her vulnerability of developing an eating disorder. Early trauma and a lack of parental care can increase the risks of eating disorders (Tasca, 2019). Because of affect dysregulation and perfectionism, those with attachment disorders can become vulnerable to eating disorders (Tasca, 2019). Individual cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are beneficial for those with Reactive Detachment Disorders (Sadock et al., 2014). The patient would benefit from consistency and support from the current adoptive family she has remained with for the past four years. The goals of treatment identified in the study are supportive for this patient’s symptoms relating to her Reactive Detachment Disorder and goals are to learn to trust others and allow her to feel safe and have positive interactions with her family and others.


Humphreys, K., Nelson, C., Fox, N., & Zeanah, C. (2017). Signs of reactive detachment disorder disinhibited social engagement disorder at age 12 years: effects of institutional care history and high-quality foster care. Development and Psychopathology, 29(2), 675-684. doi: 10.1017/S0954579417000256

Sadock, B., Sadock, V., and Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, 11th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Tasca, G. (2019). Attachment and eating disorders: a research update. Current Opinion in Psychology, 25, 59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.03.003

Per APA and graduate studies standards, all references must be 5 years or newer and posts are required to have in-text citations and references (1 point will be deducted from each post that do not meet the standards).

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