Thursday, September 1, 2011

RAD is not an 'adoption disease'

Being involved in the "RAD community" for a bit over a year now, I can tell you one thing: adoption, adoption, adoption.

Having experienced RAD in our home and recognizing my own severe attachment troubles I can tell you another thing: that whole adoption thing is bullshit.

WHATTTT?????   Did I just say that with the intention to peeve every single one of my RAD-living friends?

No.  I didn't.  I said it because it's true and it needs to be said.

Cause there are a LOT of kids in the world who are living with their biological parents, whom they've always lived with, which are living with RAD and not being given the proper care for their relationship struggles.  Instead, they're being diagnosed as Bipolar or ODD or even with Aspergers Syndrome.

Now, firstly, let me hit the ground running and say I am not a psychologist.  I would never be one, no matter how much the human brain and human emotions excite me.  'Cause I don't want to be dealin' with the folks who are laying in bed with big pharma.  I won't go all the way there today.  But, again, my BIG HUGE ANNOYING BUT NEEDING TO BE HEARD DISCLAIMER is that I am not a mental health professional in any way, nor do I intend to present myself as one.

Good, we have that out of the way.  Whew!

But in my experience, I've seen it already.  We spent 3 years with doctors and counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, even a nearly week-long stay in a 'facility'.  And never was RAD brought up.  It was brought up by a daycare worker 5 years ago, but I knew nothing more than the word and it held no 'gusto' for me until much, much later when I remembered her mentioning it.  So why is it that we now know we have a solid RAD 'case'?

Because 100% of the 'signs and symptoms' are present.

Because the conversations I have with other RAD Moms are ones in which they understand the full extent of the behaviors in our life.

Because after bringing it to the psychiatrist his response was "We keep the RAD diagnosis for kids who have been in and out of foster care for years or have endured a lot of abuse or severe neglect.  We can't medicate for RAD anyway, so let's just keep exploring the mood disorders."  Yeah, so what I was talking about before... in bed with big pharma...

We've brought the idea to a marriage counselor we were seeing (who ended up to be a quack anyway, so we stopped seeing her quickly, but the point is the same.  This is a 'mental health professional'.)  We were sharing some of our marital stresses and one of which was the extreme behaviors we have going on in our house sometimes.  After sharing a pee incident (let me get a "what what!" from my fellow RAD parents!) she looked at Jon and I in awe and said something incredibly rude and unprofessional.

When searching for an attachment therapist in our area we saw they were all also specialists in the field of 'adoption issues'.

So if we can go back to the psychiatrist's explanation of why he won't consider that diagnosis, he said it was because Zane didn't endure foster care, abuse, or severe neglect.  My immediate thought from that is that there is a distinction between RAD and PTSD.  Why then would a psychiatrist not even consider RAD in a biologically parented child who doesn't have PTSD?  Further!  Here are the symptoms of childhood PTSD:

  • worry about dying at an early age
  • losing interest in activities
  • having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
  • showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions
  • having problems falling or staying asleep                  
  • showing irritability or angry outbursts
  •  having problems concentrating
  • acting younger than their age (for example, clingy or whiny behavior, thumbsucking)
  • showing increased alertness to the environment
  • repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma

Many of these symptoms are also present in the diagnosis of RAD.  Most of them are present in my child.  Who has not been abused, severely neglected, or lived in foster care.

So it must be with that whole big pharma fellatio business, eh?

Energetically speaking, it is completely logical that a fetus, developing in the womb of a woman who is not attached to said child is experiencing trauma simply by their lack of connection.  Moreso, for said infant to be born to a woman who lacks the ability to emotionally and energetically attach to them.  THAT IS TRAUMA, Y'ALL.

Done and done.  Period.

So, there's a big buzz going around that RAD is being removed from the next installment of the DSM.  Wonder why they're removing it?  Oh, that's right...  ALMOST EVERY SINGLE TASK FORCE MEMBER FOR THE DSM-V IS IN BED WITH BIG PHARMA.

I'm not making it up!

I'm not theorizing!

Go here.

Click on each name.  Look at their professional disclosures.

Yeah.  That's a LOT of financial blow jobs, dontcha' think?

Since RAD is not a medicated disorder, it is being eliminated.

Now, not only are people adopting babies and not being given proper support, but there have got to be thousands upon thousands of children in our very country who, like Zane, are born to their biological parent and raised by their biological parent and are not being supported in getting healthy.

All because big pharma isn't paying anyone to help these kids.  

Fortunately, we have found our voice.  We have a family counselor who agrees and sees it.  She's not an attachment therapist, but she validates us and she cares for Zane and she keeps her ears peeled for anyone in the business in our area who can work with Zane.  Currently he is seeing someone who can help discern what's going on for Zane and giving him his own place to go and talk honestly.  No one has been willing to do this for Zane before.  No one.  Disturbing...

And there ARE ways to heal these relationships.  There ARE methods to managing the emotions and behaviors with this 'disorder'.  Not all children will heal.  For some, it just is their life story to not.  But there are a hell of a lot of kids on this planet who can be healed -RIGHT ALONG WITH THEIR PARENTS- and need to be healed and deserve to feel better.

After all, in my personal view of the whole thing, RAD is not a disorder or a disease.  It is a symptom, itself, of the underlying cause which is a lack of emotional and energetic attachment to other humans.

It certainly is not some disease caused by being adopted. 


  1. thank you for this. We have a bio child who most likely has RAD (still not diagnosed) our case we KNOW why (trauma from being kidnapped by her other bio parent and kept away for a year, just before she turned three)... but it is still nice to read about someone with a RAD child when there is not an adoptive situation.

    In fact, in trying to find help for our child, I've learned a great deal and gained a lot of insight with regard to problems I've witnessed with my firstborn (now 19) who had a traumatic birth, was a result of an accidental teen pregnancy (mine), spent the first 2 weeks in the NICU, and had inconsolable colic for MONTHS. Researching all of this to help our 8 year old was a big light bulb moment with respect to the 19 year old!

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog & AMEN!! I have a 12yr old BIO child who's been dx'd RAD, along with some alphabet soup & I'm so tired explaining that YES, my BIO kid can quite possibly have RAD. Thank you for putting this out there, you've made one RAD mama happy tonight!


  3. came across this. I have been struggling for years to get my son help. I have heard countless times that my son couldn't have RAD despite having all the criteria, simply because he has a supportive loving bio mom.

    Ok, lets dismiss the fact that the first year of his life was lived with his loving mom, and abusive, destructive father who would scream and beat said mom every time the baby cried.

    The mind is a tricky thing, we don't fully understand how it works and we can't rule out a disorder just because it doesn't present cookie cutter exact.