Individuals who grew up with a parent who misused alcohol are familiar with everyday feeling unpredictable. Inconsistency, unreliability, arguments, and chaos are common in homes where one or both parents have an alcohol addiction. Children of alcoholics often do not have their emotional needs met, leading to specific difficulties as adults. Children of alcoholics also often lack guidance and positive examples of building healthy relationships or taking care of themselves.
The effects of growing up in an alcoholic home can lead well into adulthood. Many adult children of alcoholics even turn to drugs or alcohol themselves in order to cope with the residual feelings. As an adult, it’s vital to recognize struggles caused by events experienced in childhood and work through these issues, so they no longer dominate everyday life.
While these characteristics seem negative, it’s important to note these are not ingrained in someone’s personality, nor do they make someone a bad person. These characteristics are the natural result of trauma experienced, and with proper therapy and self-drive to change, these traumas can be healed and put in the past. Several positive traits are seen in children of alcoholics, such as resiliency, maturity, empathy, responsibility, and being driven. Many support groups and mental health therapists can help people learn to cope with conflict in new and constructive ways.
Here are certain steps you can take when you have a parent that is suffering from alcohol abuse or addiction disorder:
Alcoholism is a complicated and insidious disease, one that develops from a variety of contributing factors and affects every individual in a variety of different ways. Not only does alcoholism destroy the life of the sufferer, but it negatively impacts the lives of all of his or her loved ones. When there is alcoholism in the family it can be especially devastating for the children of the man or woman who is grappling with the disorder.
It is important to understand that if you are currently living with a parent who has been suffering at the hands of alcohol abuse – or if you no longer live at home and still have an alcoholic parent – you are not alone. Of course, this does not make having an alcoholic parent any easier. It is not uncommon for those who have alcoholic parents to feel overwhelmed, helpless, constantly worried about the safety and health of their parents, frustrated, depressed, and anxious.
If you have been living with a parent who has been suffering from alcohol abuse or dependence, there are several steps you can take. Either to gently encourage change or to help yourself better cope with the situation. Remember there is nothing you can do to force someone who is in the throes of alcohol addiction to seek the help they need. There are certain steps you can take to try, and certain steps you can take to offer support, but ultimately your loved one will need to become willing to seek help.
At CBT Kenya, we specialize in the treatment of alcohol abuse disorders of all severities. If someone you love has been suffering at the hands of serious alcohol addiction, we are available to help. We have licensed psychologists who will be able to help you stage an intervention for your loved one. Please feel free to give us a call at any time of the day or night for a long list of applicable resources. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping in any and every way we can.