Addiction is a family disease that affects not only the addict but the family as well. Being the wife of an addict comes with a great deal of understanding, support, patience and self-control.
In addition to this, addressing the various affected aspects of one’s life is highly essential like low self-esteem, self-confidence, low tolerance levels towards his/ her family. The child who is raised by an alcoholic caregiver can have various conflicting emotions that need to be acknowledged to avoid further developmental issues.
It is interesting to note that a child hailing from a family of parents abusing drugs or alcohol can possess similar personality traits as them. Some of the traits include:
Fear of losing control
They possess an overwhelming need of putting things in place at all times and being able to have control over everything and have the need to control everything around them and within themselves as well.
Fear of facing emotions or feelings-
Adult children of alcoholics tend to bury their feelings and emotions and don’t let anyone in, they fear getting hurt. Ultimately they fear all emotions including the positive emotions as well. They build a void for themselves which they fail to fill. Since childhood these children have the inability to express their emotions freely especially anger and sadness, their inability to express these emotions makes them ill- equipped to deal with these emotions even when they become adults.
They have a high need for taking responsibilities and a constant need to be validated for every action of theirs. Most children burden themselves with unachievable goals and crowd themselves with responsibilities of every kind. These children are over-sensitive towards other’s needs, their self-esteem comes from other’s judgments and thus they constantly look for approval from other people.
Adult children of alcoholics have a fear of authoritative people, apart from the above mentioned traits. They cannot take criticism well and fear authoritative figures, they are found constantly seeking approval of others whilst losing their own identity. The fear most of the children of addicts possess causes them to isolate themselves and build a wall making it almost impossible to get through.
Getting healed – for the alcoholic and the child
As a part of the treatment programme designed for the clients in drug or alcohol abuse treatment centres the clients are given a reality session to understand the several of areas of them being affected. Gaining awareness of their families being affected gives an addict a better outlook and provides him with a better insight to his addiction. When an addict enters the recovery path , it is essential for him to understand the importance of a holistic personality development. He is prone to denial and prone to paying the blind to several issues his family and him have been facing. As counsellors, it is very essential to let the client see these affected areas for himself.
A rehab provides alcoholics and addicts with such counsellors who are trained to help such individuals therapeutically. In addition to the holistic development the importance of improving family dynamics is important since it is a primary factor for any patient’s recovery. Family sessions for patients along with sessions for the family as well should be the focal point of the therapy progress in a client’s recovery process. Children hailing from such families need to be attended to with extra care for them to lead normal lives. This can happen when they can participate in a healthy therapeutic collaboration with their parent and the counsellor.