Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)

Children growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family find themselves as adults strongly impacted by the dynamics and stresses of that family. Whichever roles they adopted as children, this has lead them to have "gaps" or psychological voids which have resulted from inconsistent parenting and lack of appropriate and emotional support. These voids are integrated into the child’s social development and create major problems in adulthood. Not only will these gaps create living problems but they may result in the predisposition of the children to marry and/or become alcoholics themselves. These gaps and voids are those which most often predispose children to experience emotional problems.

As adults, certain "symptoms" are often exhibited which the adult child is not even aware of. As listed by Janet Woititz, Adult children of alcoholics:

  • guess at what "normal" behavior is.
  • have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
  • lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
  • judge themselves without mercy.
  • have difficulty having fun, or relaxing.
  • take themselves very seriously, and have difficulty allowing their needs to be met.
  • have difficulty with intimate relationships.
  • overact to changes over which they have no control.
  • constantly seek approval and affirmation.
  • usually feel that they are different from other people.
  • are super-responsible or super-irresponsible, have difficulty relying on others, and do not know how to follow – or do not know how to lead.
  • are extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
  • are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsiveness leads to confusion, self-loathing, and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend a excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Janet Woititz, Adult Children of Alcoholics @ Amazon

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