Do you ever wonder why you display particular behaviours or feel a certain way? Were you raised in an alcoholic home? If so, please read on.
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) is the term used to describe adults, who as children were brought up in an environment where the parents or caregivers were alcohol dependant. During childhood the parent/s were often emotionally or physically unavailable due to prioritising alcohol and causing basic needs such as food/shelter, physical safety and emotional security to go unmet. Physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse can be a common occurrence for these individuals and be detrimental later in the adult life. Carrying with them the psychological scars incurred by a chaotic, unpredictable childhood, ACoA can go on to develop maladaptive beliefs about self, others and the world and form unhealthy coping strategies. These could be anything from drug and alcohol issues, gambling addiction, eating disorders and other impulsive behaviours. In fact research has shown that these people are 3-4 times more at risk of becoming alcohol dependant also.
Feelings of guilt and shame, insecure, low self-esteem, low self-worth, rejection/abandonment and anger are all common in ACoA along with difficulties maintaining relationships. Sound familiar? The good news is life doesn’t need to be like this. Something can be different. You can change the way you think, feel and behave and go on to live a happier and more fulfilling life. Awareness is key. You may have already become aware of how growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home has impacted on you, but for some the chances are they have not made the connection at all. Help is out there through talking therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is evidence based and can help to treat a number of mental health issues. Start the emotional healing process……..you were not to blame. You didn’t choose the life you were born in to.
This article was written by Ann-Louise Cheshire, a qualified and experienced Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, based in our Glasgow City Centre Therapy Room, in Hope Street. If you would like to know more about how CBT could help you, please do not hesitate to contact us today