How Does Your Addiction Affect Your Kids
Your drug addiction is bound to leave a permanent mark on your life. Of course, you know that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Your addiction will suck up the life of everyone in your family including your kids.
Like a spouse, the children too are introduced to a world where a parent is battling an addiction that makes him or her emotionally unavailable when they need them. The relationship takes quite a hit and results in profound psychological abnormalities in the child forever.
We Take A Look The Symptoms That The Child Might Show Growing Up With A Parent Who Is An Addict:
A lot of kids see their father as a hero. However, when the child is forced to witness the father passed out or go through irrational mood swings, things change considerably. A parent, who needs to be responsible for the kids, might not be able to cater to their needs. This might force the kids to be responsible for themselves as well as the parent.
Getting the younger siblings ready for school, fixing them lunch along with helping the addict parent out become daily tasks.
Stunted Emotional Growth
What the children witness in their homes while growing up is also reflected in their personalities as adults. Since they are afraid of the uncertain, they tend to take things in control which might leave very little room for their healthy emotional development. Another classic example can be their relationships being totally co-dependent. They do not know the concept of unacceptable behavior and naturally forget to draw the line.
Critical Of Themselves
Domestic violence is common in homes of addicts. Once the communication between a parent and a child is broken down and the roles are blurred, chances of physical and sexual abuse increase manifold. These kids grow up with low self-esteem and are constantly critical of themselves.
Research suggests that such kids are more likely to involve with substance addicts again which might lead to more physical and sexual abuse. This leaves a permanent mark on the personalities of these kids who tend to lose trust in further relationships.
Once things start getting bad at home, it is only a matter of time when the world outside gets a hint of that. Fearing this, the kids naturally keep away from bringing friends home or making friends entirely. They are afraid of their image to the outside world.
Another worry that always drives them is to be taken away from their homes. They fear someone might find out and call Child Services and they will be taken away from their parents.
Higher Risk Of Anxiety Or Depression
Kids with an addict parent that have been subjected to physical or sexual abuse may witness sleep disorders, flashbacks, anxiety or even depression. Eating disorders and suicide attempts were found to be much more in common in the children of addicts than the rest of the population.
Even something as witnessing abuse can be harmful to their brain which can permanently cause behavioral problems. Since the ability to parent in an addict is considerably affected, the children remain to be emotionally vulnerable even after they grow up.
More Likely To Develop Addiction
Remember things can always get worse. Carrying the baggage of growing in an emotional void, the children of addicts are unlikely to form strong relationships and might turn to a bottle instead of a friend in the time of need.
Even after keeping the genetic factor aside, these kids are at a higher risk of developing an addiction than the rest of the world.
It is evident from these points that your drug addiction will have severe life spanning effects on your children. Their personalities are damaged due to constant behavioral problems which eventually also take a toll on their relationships. If they take up alcohol or drug addiction too, the third generation of your family might be looking at the same risks that your child had to go through. It is crucial for your kids along with your spouse to be a part of your rehabilitation program to ensure they overcome the effects of your addiction effectively.