Childhood disorders are often a catalyst for an entire family to begin attending therapy. After all, many mental health conditions are linked to dysfunction within the family. Disinhibited social engagement disorder is a condition that may have roots in family, but it can also affect the entire family. If you have been thinking about attending therapy for this condition, it would serve you well to first understand it.

What Is Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder?

Most parents teach their children to be afraid of strangers. One of the struggles with disinhibited social engagement disorder is that children with the condition are not afraid of strangers, even in a healthy way. They may appear overly friendly toward strangers, perhaps going into their homes or cars when prompted.

For instance, children tend to reach out to those they know and trust for comfort when they are injured. A child with disinhibited social engagement disorder might actually reach out to a stranger instead of a loved one. To a caregiver, this does not make any sense. The child may not see anything strange with this.

Additionally, children with this condition may struggle to communicate in a way that demonstrates social boundaries. This could result in communicating ideas not always appropriate in a social context.

What Causes Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder? 

One way researchers believe children may begin exhibiting this mental health condition is as a result of neglect during formative years of childhood. Children may not have had access to nurturing, loving caregivers when they needed them. Repeated changes of primary caregivers can also prompt this condition. Ultimately, this can make building connections with other people very difficult.

The result of this condition may be that a child struggles to determine who is trustworthy. Some children will close off from everybody, but this condition encourages children to open up to those they shouldn't. Children with disinhibited social engagement disorder may crave kindness and warmth.

How Is Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder Treated?

Family therapy is just one way to address the symptoms associated with disinhibited social engagement disorder. With family therapy, children and caregivers can learn to relate in a healthy manner. Caregivers can learn to nurture children as needed.

If you have questions about this condition, consider discussing treatment options with a psychotherapist with experience in this area. Disinhibited social engagement disorder may sound frightening, but it is a condition people can live with in a happy and healthy manner.