The Effects of Growing Up with an Alcoholic Father

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Growing Up with an Alcoholic Father – How a Child is Affected

It is common for an addict to think that their abuse only affects their life. In fact, everyone who interacts with the person or relies on them on a regular basis can be greatly affected by their abuse. Growing up with an alcoholic father is one such situation where long-term damage can be caused to a child by the father’s abuse of alcohol. It is a situation that is more common than most people think: as many as one in five adults in America lived in the same house as an alcoholic relative in their youth, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

One of the biggest concerns with growing up with an alcoholic father is the future problems that it can create in the child’s life. For such a child, there can be no visible support in their life because the person they would turn to for help is the cause of the issues.

What Are Some of the Effects of Growing Up with an Alcoholic Father?

There are many problems that can arise in a child’s life as a result of a parent with an addiction. They are as follows:

  • Anxiety – The stress and anxiety that growing up with an alcoholic father can cause a child can be far-reaching. They may live in constant fear that something bad is going to happen to their parent such as them becoming sick or injured. The child may also fear violence in the household caused by the abuse of alcohol.
  • Confusion – Children require consistency in their life. An alcoholic parent’s behavior is often very inconsistent and changeable – one minute they may be happy and the next they can be furious. This can create confusion in the child’s life.
  • Depression – Because the child is helpless to change the situation and may feel alone with their problems, depression is common.
  • Problems with relationships – Children look to their parents to learn how to have close relationships. When one or both of the parents are addicts, the example they set for their children is lacking. The child may find it difficult to trust other people, causing problems in their relationships.

Effects of Alcoholic Parents on Adults

The effects of alcoholic parents on adults after having been through the issues with their parents in their youth can be long-lasting and lead to many undesirable effects. The child of alcoholic parent syndrome can lead to the child becoming an alcoholic in their later adult life. A person is much more likely to become an addict if someone in their family is one.

When left untreated, the emotional disturbances and trauma that commonly occur to the child can lead to many problems in their adult life. This is because the trauma occurs during a child’s crucial developmental stages that can cause their behavior and thinking to be altered.

In the child of alcoholic parent syndrome, flashbacks of the disturbing times can be a problem. It can be set off by someone close to you drinking too much and can immediately bring the person back to the emotional memories of their past.

Furthermore, healthy relationships can be difficult to form even late into adulthood. The person’s fight-or-flight is almost always active because of the trust issues they developed during their youth.

Through the rehab centers found on Better Addiction Care, you can find help for alcoholism and therapy to help your child overcome the issues created by the substance abuse. Call them at (800) 429-7690 today for more information.

Sources:

http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-Of-Alcoholics-017.aspx

https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/helping-children-addicted-parents-find-help