What Causes Attachment Trauma?

Attachment trauma is a type emotional trauma that can occur when a child does not form a healthy attachment to a caregiver. This can happen when the caregiver is abusive, neglectful, or absent. Attachment trauma can also occur when a child is separated from a caregiver, such as through divorce, death, or adoption.

Checkout this video:


Attachment theory is a conceptual framework that attempts to explain the dynamics of long-term and close relationships between humans. It focuses on the emotional bonds that develop between people and the resulting behaviors. The theory has its roots in psychoanalysis, but attachment theory is primarily focused on relationships in infancy and childhood.

Attachment trauma occurs when there is a disruption in the development of secure attachments. This can happen when caregivers are unavailable, inconsistent, or abusive. Attachment trauma can have lasting effects on development, leading to difficulties with trust, intimacy, and emotional regulation.

What is Attachment Trauma?

Attachment trauma is a form of psychological trauma that occurs when a young child is separated from a parent or other primary caregiver. This can happen when the child is placed in foster care, adopted, or if the parent dies. It can also occur if the child is placed in a daycare or if the parent is incarcerated. The child may also experience attachment trauma if the parent is abusive or neglectful.

Attachments are an important part of human development. They provide children with a sense of security and safety. When these attachments are disrupted, it can cause intense fear, anxiety, and grief in children. Separation from a parent can also lead to feelings of abandonment and worthlessness. Attachment trauma can have a lasting effect on children, causing problems with relationships, mental health, and physical health.

Causes of Attachment Trauma

Attachment trauma can be caused by a number of different things. It can be caused by physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. It can also be caused by witnessing violence or experiencing a traumatic event. If you have experienced any of these things, you may be suffering from attachment trauma.

Lack of love and attention

The most common cause of attachment trauma is a lack of love and attention from primary caregivers. This can happen when parents are emotionally unavailable, neglectful, or abusive. It can also occur when children are placed in foster care or orphanages, or if they experience major disruptions in their early caregiving relationships. Children who don’t form strong attachments to their parents or other caregivers may be more likely to develop attachment trauma.

Physical abuse

One type of attachment trauma is physical abuse. Although this is not the only type of abuse that can occur, it is certainly the most visible. Physical abuse can leave bruises, cuts, and broken bones. It can also cause damage to internal organs. The long-term effects of physical abuse can include chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is one of the most common causes of attachment trauma. Attachment trauma can occur when a child is sexually abused by a caregiver or other adult. The child may feel betrayed, abandoned, and isolated. Attachment trauma can also occur if the child witnesses someone being sexually abused.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is any behavior that inflicted emotional damage on a child. It can include verbal abuse, such as name-calling and belittling words, as well as actions that cause a child to feel worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Emotional abuse can also involve withholding affection, love, or attention.

In some cases, emotional abuse may also involve inducing fear in a child orthreatening them. This could be done through intimidation tactics such as making angry faces, destroying property, or harming pets. Emotional abuse may also involve manipulation or brainwashing techniques designed to make the child doubt their own perception of reality.

Some signs that a child has been emotionally abused include low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, isolation from peers, chronic stomachaches or headaches with no medical explanation, bedwetting, and acting out in violence or aggression. If you suspect your child has been emotionally abused, it’s important to seek professional help right away.

Effects of Attachment Trauma

Attachment trauma can have a lasting effect on an individual. It can lead to difficulties in relationships, problems with self-esteem, and a general feeling of mistrust. Attachment trauma is often the result of neglect or abuse. It can also be caused by a major life event, such as the death of a parent.

Difficulty trusting people

Most people who have experienced attachment trauma have a hard time trusting others. They may feel like they can’t rely on anyone, and that no one will be there for them when they need them. This can make it difficult to form close, intimate relationships. It can also make it hard to work with others or cooperate in group projects.

Attachment trauma can also lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness. This is because the person may not feel like they can connect with others on a deep level. They may feel like they are different from everyone else and that no one could possibly understand what they’ve been through.

Fear of abandonment

One of the most common effects of attachment trauma is a fear of abandonment, which can cause sufferers to experience intense anxiety in relationships. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as feeling constantly jealous or insecure, being unable to let anyone get close, or lashing out angrily when someone tries to leave. If you have attachment trauma, you may find it hard to trust people or feel like you are worthy of love and care.

Relationship problems

Attachment trauma can occur when an individual experiences a traumatic event within a close relationship. This type of trauma can disrupt the bond between the two people, and can lead to lasting problems in the relationship. Attachment trauma is often the result of abuse, but it can also occur after a divorce or other major life change. Symptoms of attachment trauma include feeling isolated, detached, and disconnected from others. People who have experienced attachment trauma may also have difficulty trusting and forming close relationships.

Emotional problems

Attachment trauma can cause a number of emotional problems in children. These problems can last into adulthood if the trauma is not dealt with.

Some of the emotional problems that can be caused by attachment trauma include:

-Eating disorders
-Substance abuse


The conclusion is that attachment trauma can be caused by a number of different factors, including early separation from a primary caregiver, abuse or neglect, and witnessing violence. While it is not always possible to prevent attachment trauma, there are things that can be done to help heal the damage it causes.

Scroll to Top