Adult child of alcoholic

Adult child of alcoholic
Adult child of alcoholic

What will the child of an alcoholic be when he grows up? Maybe he, too, will become an alcoholic, or maybe just a person who has big problems in communication, work or relationships with the opposite sex.


Did you know that in the USA there are groups to help not only children, but even grandchildren (!) Of alcohol addicts? Alcoholism is an extremely serious disease, in which, contrary to popular belief, not only the drinker himself is involved, but also his relatives and friends. And don't be surprised - even their descendants. Alcoholism is the number one problem for too many Russian families, so we continue our series of articles devoted to this topic.

It is very difficult for those close to the alcoholic, as well as for himself, to get rid of the unconscious "indulgence" of this addiction, from the constant pulling of the alcoholic out of the troubles that he himself has done, control and attempts to cure the "child." Precisely a "child", because a 40-year-old alcoholic is treated like a small child, which only contributes to the further development of addiction. But we will talk about this next time, and today we will try to draw a psychological portrait of an adult child of alcoholics. This will be one of the "common" options, but in a single person, some features may be present, but some may not.

Let's call him Ivan. He doesn't know what is normal. Yes, he is able to distinguish a normal person from an unhealthy one, but only if the violations are not too pronounced. If not, he is in constant doubt: do he have normal relations with friends, with colleagues at work, with his wife, with children? Are his feelings normal if they do not correspond to his idea of ​​how a person should feel in a given situation? He cannot be one hundred percent sure of something. Ivan almost never finishes what he started. This is not happening on purpose, it just happens. Often he catches himself thinking that for some reason he lied, when it was easy to tell the truth. And Ivan does not feel sorry for himself at all, because he must always be perfect, he simply has no right to make not the slightest mistake, not a single mistake. He is generally very serious about himself. This is probably why it is so difficult for him to be in a cheerful company, laugh and rejoice. Therefore, people who are next to him often feel awkward. In fact, Ivan would be happy to have some fun, but he doesn't really understand how to do it, and is afraid to show it. To himself, he says that all these amusements only take up time, and he does not really need it, etc.

Ivan has always felt awkward in dealing with the opposite sex. This despite the fact that he is a healthy, young and sensual man. The problem is that it is very difficult for him to "let" another person into his world, to let him in too close - this applies not only to sex, but also to relationships in general. He is not able to share his feelings with someone, since he himself does not always understand what is happening to him. And it happens that they overwhelm him so much that he can neither cope with their intensity, nor share them with someone else, because Ivan is always looking for approval. This is so important to him that he is ready to go to great lengths for this.

When something happens that he is not able to control, he becomes really bad. He is very afraid of any change. And Ivan also feels that he is not like other people, this causes him suffering, which he seeks not to show.

Everyone considers him to be a very responsible person, and only he alone knows how irresponsible he can be. Ivan is proud of one of his main qualities - loyalty.It is not always easy for him to accept the position of those to whom he is loyal, but he is ready to change his mind, because, as always, he does not believe that he is right. And also he very firmly follows the chosen path, he does not consider "branches" and other roads. He is focused on the immediate gratification of his desires and is not able to wait. If this happens - he begins to feel that everything that happens - can disappear, and it will be unbearable for him.

Another trait of many children of alcoholics, unfortunately, is that they themselves are prone to addiction. This will not always be a dependence on a substance, their tendency may be manifested in the fact that they will look for a "dependent" relationship - a dependent partner or a person who has obsessive forms of behavior. They are very afraid of being rejected, unnecessary, therefore they are often in search of service for the benefit of others, sufferers, to whom they could devote themselves. They are more willing to take care of others than themselves. They feel selfish, feel guilty if they are trying to defend their interests. They do not like being in a calm state for a long time - they passionately (and, of course, unconsciously) seek excitement and experiences.


They do not distinguish between two completely different feelings - love and pity. That is why they, as a rule, “love” those who need to be pitied, supported, and encouraged for anything. Low self-esteem is combined with a desire to look great in the eyes of others.

Interestingly, even when they are not addicted to any substance, their behavior is very similar to that of addicts. They are afraid that they will be abandoned, so they try to keep the relationship at all costs. Their feelings are suppressed, and it takes a lot of time and effort from them to learn how to manifest them.

Why do we need to know the psychological traits of children raised in a family of alcoholics? If we are talking about our loved ones - in order to better understand them and build more careful and effective relationships with them. If this is ourselves, it is better to understand ourselves, to outline the boundaries of our capabilities and our weaknesses. People who had a cloudless childhood hardly exist. Moreover, if a person grows up in an environment where there is absolutely no stress, no barriers or obstacles, he will not be able to become a healthy and strong personality. But everyone can turn their weaknesses into their strengths.

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