We don’t get a say in how our parents raise us, in where we grow up, and in what we’re exposed to as children. At a young age, we don’t have the brain development to make sense of what is happening around us, and we’re even less likely to heal from those events if support isn’t sought after. Growing up with parents or relatives with alcoholism often has a much bigger impact on us than we realize. We may not recognize it at the time, but the actions we witness performed by the adults around us become translated into our own script for how we view ourselves, others and the world.
Our environment plays a big role in how we’re socialized to adapting to difficult situations, how to communicate with others, and more. If you grew up around alcoholism, it’s time you learned about how this may be affecting your long-term health – and what you can do to combat some of these risks.
A 2015 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review assessed a total of 3,215 articles related to this very subject – and researchers found that the most common outcome of growing up around alcoholism is adolescent drinking. When we’re exposed to it as a young child, it becomes viewed as a “normal” thing to do – and it can eventually become part of our coping mechanisms as we get older. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) explains that if we grow up around alcoholism, we’re likely to experience the following:
- Experience higher chronic stress levels
- Adapt to “fight, flight or freeze” responses
- Higher risk for depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD
- And more
Previous studies have shown that growing up around alcoholism can cause children later on to experience trust issues – especially from being around denial, lying, and parents or family members who kept secrets. Self-judgement can occur if children have low self-esteem or feel that they’re different from their peers and can also become people-pleasing if they experienced harsh criticism from family members who drank a lot.
If you’re in addiction recovery right now, you may be uncovering some of the ways that your childhood impacted you. There are many components that fit to bring about addiction, but our environment is certainly one of them.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.