One in five adult Americans have normally lived with an alcohol dependent family member while growing up.

In general, these children are at greater danger for having emotional issues than children whose parents are not alcoholics. Alcohol addiction runs in households, and children of alcoholics are 4 times more likely than other children to emerge as alcoholics themselves.

A child being raised by a parent or caregiver who is struggling with alcohol abuse may have a range of conflicting feelings that need to be addressed in order to avoid future problems. Because they can not go to their own parents for support, they are in a difficult position.
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A few of the feelings can include the following:

Sense of guilt. The child might see himself or herself as the primary reason for the parent's drinking.

Stress and anxiety. The child might worry perpetually about the situation in the home. He or she might fear the alcoholic parent will emerge as sick or injured, and may also fear confrontations and physical violence between the parents.


Embarrassment. Parents might give the child the message that there is a horrible secret at home. The ashamed child does not invite buddies home and is frightened to ask anyone for help.

Inability to have close relationships. Due to the fact that the child has normally been dissatisfied by the drinking parent so she or he often does not trust others.

Confusion. The alcohol dependent parent will change unexpectedly from being loving to upset, irrespective of the child's conduct. A consistent daily schedule, which is very important for a child, does not exist due to the fact that bedtimes and mealtimes are continuously shifting.

Anger. The child feels anger at the alcoholic parent for drinking, and might be angry at the non-alcoholic parent for lack of moral support and proper protection.

Depression or Hopelessness. The child feels lonesome and powerless to transform the circumstance.

The child tries to keep the alcohol dependence private, instructors, relatives, other adults, or buddies might suspect that something is incorrect. Educators and caregivers should understand that the following conducts might indicate a drinking or other problem at home:

Failing in school; numerous absences
Absence of friends; withdrawal from friends
Offending conduct, like stealing or physical violence
Frequent physical complaints, like headaches or stomachaches
Abuse of drugs or alcohol; or
Aggression to other children
Threat taking actions
Depression or self-destructive ideas or behavior

Some children of alcoholics might cope by taking the role of responsible "parents" within the family and among friends. They might become controlled, prospering "overachievers" throughout school, and simultaneously be mentally separated from other children and instructors. Their psychological problems may show only when they become grownups.

It is essential for family members, caregivers and educators to realize that whether or not the parents are getting treatment for alcohol dependence, these children and teenagers can benefit from instructional programs and mutual-help groups such as programs for Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon, and Alateen. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can detect and address problems in children of alcohol dependent persons.
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The treatment regimen may include group therapy with other children, which lowers the withdrawal of being a child of an alcoholic. The child and adolescent psychiatrist will certainly often deal with the entire family, particularly when the alcoholic father and/or mother has stopped drinking, to help them establish healthier methods of connecting to one another.

Generally, these children are at higher threat for having emotional issues than children whose parents are not alcoholics. Alcohol dependence runs in family groups, and children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to develop into alcoholics themselves. It is important for caretakers, educators and relatives to understand that whether or not the parents are getting treatment for alcohol addiction, these children and adolescents can benefit from mutual-help groups and educational programs such as solutions for Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon, and Alateen. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can identify and address problems in children of alcoholics. They can also assist the child to comprehend they are not responsible for the drinking issues of their parents and that the child can be helped even if the parent is in denial and declining to look for aid.

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