Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 12/17/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Millcreek of Pontotoc Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Millcreek of Pontotoc Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Causes & Effects of Reactive Attachment Disorder

Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder and get help for your child, teen, or young adult.

Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder

Learn about reactive attachment disorder

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a rare, but serious mental health condition that occurs when an infant or child is prevented from establishing a healthy attachment to parents or caregivers. More specifically, when a child’s basic needs for comfort and affection are not met, it prevents him or her from being able to develop loving, caring, and stable relationships. In many cases a child with reactive attachment disorder has been a victim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

In order to feel safe and develop trust, infants and young children need to be surrounded with a stable, caring environment. Additionally, their basic emotional and physical needs must be regularly met. A child who is ignored or is not met with any emotional response from a caregiver does not rely on care or comfort from a caregiver and will therefore not have any type of attachment to those caregivers.

Underdeveloped attachments can potentially damage a child’s development and lead to a number of different behavioral problems in the future. With adequate treatment, children who have developed reactive attachment disorder will be able to go on to develop more stable and health relationships with caregivers and other individuals.


Reactive attachment disorder statistics

Due to the rarity of reactive attachment disorder, along with the fact that it is scarcely seen in clinical settings, its true prevalence remains unknown. Psychiatrists have noted that, even within the population of children who have been the victims of severe abuse and neglect, less than 10% go on to develop RAD.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for reactive attachment disorder

Since reactive attachment disorder is so rare, it is not understood why some children develop this disorder, while others do not. Therefore, specific causes and risk factors that lead to the development of this disorder is not conclusive. However, the following factors have been noted as likely to impact the development of reactive attachment disorder:

Genetic: While there is no specific genetic link tied to the onset of RAD, research has identified the role of genetics in the development of other attachment disorders, and so many professionals in the field have hypothesized that genetic influences impact the development of reactive attachment disorder as well.

Physical: The way in which infants and their mothers or other primary caregivers interact has an impact on how the brain develops. When emotional interaction is lacking or nonexistent, an alteration in brain development occurs which can, in turn, affect the molding of one’s personality. This affects how a child views and experiences interpersonal relationships, which can further determine whether or not the onset of RAD will occur.

Environmental: It is widely believed that the onset of reactive attachment disorder is ultimately the result of the environment in which the child grew up. As a child being denied a healthy, emotional, and affectionate relationship with a caregiver can greatly hamper successful mental health development.

Risk Factors:

  • Being socially neglected
  • Growing up in an institution or children’s home
  • Frequently changes foster home or caregivers
  • Having inexperienced parents
  • Being forcefully removed from an abusive or neglectful home
  • Having a mother who suffers from severe postpartum depression
  • Experiencing other kinds of traumatic losses or significant changes with a primary caregiver
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder

When a child has reactive attachment disorder there are a wide variety of signs and symptoms that are displayed depending upon specific circumstances that occurred during the early development stage. Examples of various symptoms that may present can include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Does not make eye contact
  • Refusing to interact with peers
  • No interest in playing interactive games
  • Does not seek comfort or shows no response when comfort is given
  • Failure to smile
  • Participating in self-soothing behaviors, such as stroking one’s arms or consistently rocking back and forth
  • Turning or leaning away from someone who is trying to show affection
  • Does not engage in social interaction

Physical symptoms:

  • Looking joyless
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Failure to smile
  • Sad and listless appearance

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Cognitive delays
  • Language delays
  • Other developmental delays
  • Delayed responsiveness to stimuli

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness
  • Experiences difficulty or is incapable of being comforted
  • Constantly feels unsafe
  • Feeling “empty” inside
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Extremely low self-esteem
  • Inability to trust others
  • Lacks a sense of belonging
  • Feeling unwanted
  • Chronic anxiety

Effects of reactive attachment disorder

If left untreated, reactive attachment disorder has the ability to continue for several years, which increases the possibility for the development of lifelong consequences. Examples of these negative effects may include:

  • Inability to form interpersonal relationships with others
  • Having control issues
  • Underdeveloped conscience
  • Having a strong aversion to any kind of physical touch
  • Lacking the ability to have genuine feelings of empathy towards others
  • Delayed physical growth
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Delinquent or antisocial behaviors
Co-Occurring Disorders

Reactive attachment disorder and co-occurring disorders

There are a number of conditions that have been known to co-occur with reactive attachment disorder. Some of the specific disorders that have been cited as occurring alongside reactive attachment disorder include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Pica disorder
  • Rumination disorder
  • Communication disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders

I feel so much happier and healthier after getting help at Millcreek of Pontotoc.

– A former patient