Homesickness, the loss of a birth parent, unrequited love, broken heartedness, and post traumatic stress disorder are deeply rooted in the mind of the patient, but difficult for anyone other than a psychologist to diagnose. The insecure patient stifles their normal curiosity because they sense the adopted parents’ anxiety, and feel a pattern of tension and an ominous pressure against voicing their feelings. Many adoptees hope to heal the wound caused by the separation by reliving the life that was lost at the time of separation to provide a more solid base for their lives, but fearing to know why they were abandoned by the birth parents, and knowing that the adoptive parents would feel their interest in the birth parents was disloyal, the adopted child experiences a dread of the truth.
Severing the connection with the birth mother is a stressful incident that traumatizes the primitive instincts of the adopted child; an occurrence that may lead to a severe psychological condition referred to as the the primal wound. When the effects are chronic there is substantial evidence from many sources that the non-relative adopted child is more prone to higher levels of anxiety and emotional difficulties. There has been consistent evidence of morbidity of various types in adopted adolescents and adoptive families are more likely to seek help for their distress. Evidence in the statistical record highlights an abnormally high percentage of adoptees exhibiting anti-social behavior. On the behavioral level, examples include problems in human bonding, attachment disorder, antisocial behavior and oppositional defiant disorder as indicative warnings trending toward an antisocial pattern. Adopted child syndrome is a term most commonly used to explain behaviors in adopted children that are claimed to be related to their adoptive status. Other terms used to diagnose and describe the behavior of orphaned, fostered and adopted children are genealogical bewilderment, oppositional defiant disorder, selective mutism, and other anti-social behaviors.
Post traumatic stress disorder, adopted child syndrome, and the primal wound don’t technically qualify in medical terms as syndromes because the signs and symptoms are psychological and subjective, the observed condition and the cause and effect aren’t clear, and the relationship is not measurable. In medicine, a syndrome is based on clinically quantifiable terms where the cause and effect have a clear relationship that is noticeable. A symptom is defined as a feature which is noticed by the patient. A sign is a condition noticed by others. High blood pressure and diabetes resulting from physical or medical conditions may produce fatigue, nausea, malaise, anorexia, mental disorders, and quantifiable weight loss, but these medical conditions may also be signs of chronic fatigue syndrome and deep rooted psychological issues.
When diagnosis of the signs and symptoms and the underlying cause and effect are judged to be of a subjective nature they may not be accurately diagnosed because they cannot be measured in medical terms. The patient suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, the primal wound, sorrow, grief and bereavement may be ignored because the signs and symptoms are psychological and not medically quantifiable. Adopted parents faced with diagnosing feelings, emotions and behaviors in their adopted child classified as social withdrawal, apathy, inability to experience pleasure, antisocial behavior, defects in attention control and failure to thrive have difficulty identifying symptoms that cannot be measured directly. For that reason, they may fail to recognize the signs or the severity of the cause, and when the patient avoids telling others about their symptoms, the relationship between the two remains unclear. When stress and anxiety rise to a high level, the patient may eventually exhibit destructive behavior directed toward self, family or society—only then is the problem accurately diagnosed.
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