Adult Children of Alcoholics and other Addicted Personalities (“ACA”)

There is a body of evidence which would indicate that if one of your parents is addicted to something, there is a 50% chance that you will inherit their Addictive Personality trait.  Both parents addicted: 75%!   More, addictive personality traits can skip a generation and be inherited by you as a grandchild, while your parents were unaffected!  While this might be a frightening finding, it does not mean that the “inheritor” will become addicted to anything.  It does mean that the Adult Child will have a likelihood of engaging, or will likely have been detrimentally influenced, either engaging in an addictive behavior for some period, or defensively shutting down any urge to engage at all.  You may wonder if you are an "inheritor" and there are several Addictive Personality Tests that you can take to help you make that assessment. 

In either case, have you noticed any of the following?

    •  An exaggerated sense of responsibility for others
    • Difficulty making and maintaining healthy relationships
    • An excessive need to control oneself or others
    • Recurring feelings of isolation, loneliness and sadness
    • An inability to recognize and assert one's own needs
    • Excessive sensitivity to criticism
    • A nearly phobic aversion to alcohol, drugs or other temptations
    • Your own addictive urges or engaging

Often it doesn't feel safe to grow up in an addictive family.  It’s painful, if not traumatizing.   Further, we carry that pain into our adult lives (if you haven't yet, you might want to read tmy page on "CoDependance").  Neglect is common, as is psychological, and often physical abuse.   Working with these ACA related issues in therapy, often in conjunction with a related support group,  addresses the specific traumas associated with growing up in an addicted family.

In the Lansing, Michigan area, please feel free to email or call me with any questions or comments at the address below.

Peter Roseman Psy.S.
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