Adult children of alcoholics and addicts don’t get as much attention in the treatment world as they deserve. That’s not because they’re not important, but simply because the presenting member(s) of the family and any kids at home tend to be far more prominent. When we can, we encourage adults who came from an alcoholic or addictive home to participate in the other party’s treatment, or to seek some counseling themselves. However, like many codependents still close to the problem, they often tend to blow the whole thing off and comment that they’re OK, it’s (him)(her)(them) with the problem.
That is simply denial. The pressures of living in a home with a drunk or active addict always impact the kids, and simply growing up does not guarantee immunity to the emotional turmoil that carries over from childhood.
I rarely recommend blogs, because they tend to be written by non-professionals and, since I don’t usually have time to explore them in depth, I’m never quite sure what might pop up. Guess what normal is turned out to be an exception. It’s well-written, and has a lot of good stuff. If you’re an adult child of an addict or alcoholic, you owe it to yourself to give it a look. If you’re an addict or alcoholic, it might do you good to learn a bit about the effects you may have had on others. You may even learn something about yourself. And, if you’re a professional, it’s worth a look…because. Here’s a teaser.
It turns out it’s not so simple to distinguish between depression and plain old adult child of alcoholics syndrome. (Throw in anxiety disorder, and the differentiation is even murkier.) If you’re trying to diagnose yourself this dark, cold, depressive season, as I know a lot of us are, there’s a lot to consider. And once you’ve considered it all, you may just need a brain vacation, not medication!