Growing up with alcoholic parents may affect you later in life

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Growing up with alcoholic parents may affect you later in lifeDo you remember feeling confused by a parent whose behaviour swung between neediness, anger and fun-loving exuberance? Did you often find yourself having to cover-up or lie on the behalf of an intoxicated parent? Did you take on more responsibility at home because of a parent who wasn’t able to?

Those who If you have lived with substance-addicted parents,you are familiar with these experiences. While not everyone raised in an alcoholic family carries consequences into their adult lives, certain behaviours can indicate a problem.

Everyone reacts differently to living in a family affected by alcohol abuse. This may mean that you have a greater tendency to develop emotional problems and possibly substance abuse problems. Even if you don’t develop a drinking problem of your own, as an adult child of an alcoholic you have a greater likelihood of marrying a problem drinker. If you are concerned about this, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Do you:

  • Over criticize yourself and your work
  • Have an excessive need for control
  • Seek approval and affirmation
  • Strive for perfection or correctness
  • Feel uncomfortable without a routine
  • Tend to be extremely loyal to others even when it isn’t deserved
  • Have difficulty asserting your own needs

If this sounds familiar to you, there are ways to seek help:

  • A counsellor – can help you recognizing unhealthy behaviours learned through living in an alcoholic home. They He/she can help you develop adaptive coping skills, and strengthen your ability to assert your needs and express your feelings. You can access Online Counselling Resources here.
  • Group support, such as Al-Anon, where you can share with others who have had similar experiences, can also be beneficial.

An Employee Assistance Support Program (EAP) gives you access to free counselling. Check with your employer if you are eligible for an (EAP).

You don’t need to let your past control your future!

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