Alcoholism is one of the most common issues or problems that a lot of people are facing nowadays. In fact, there are already millions of people worldwide who suffer from alcoholism or alcohol addiction. But what exactly is alcoholism and what are the effects of alcoholism on children?
Understanding the Meaning of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is defined as the addiction to the consumption of any alcoholic beverages or liquor. This is also a type of mental illness and compulsive behavior that results to the dependency in alcohol. According to Silverstein, there are three criteria given by the American Psychiatric Association that are listed for physicians in order to diagnose this type of mental condition. These criteria include physiologic problems like hand tremors and blackouts; psychological problems such as obsessive desire to drink and as well as behavioral problems that causes a disruption to the social or work life or a person. Aside from these facts, alcoholics could also be of any age, background, income level or social or ethnic group. However, some studies show that alcoholism very often affects highly educated people.
Nevertheless, alcoholism is always considered a problem. In fact, this is even known as a family disease since it does not only affect the alcoholic person, but as well as the significant people around him or her. Alcoholics may have children, wives or husbands, brothers or sisters, parents end even other close relatives. An alcoholic cannot only disrupt his or her own life but it can also cause a huge impact in the lives of his or her family. What’s even worse is that these harmful effects could last a lifetime. According to the U.S. Department of National Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s or SAMHSA’s National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, there are already almost 80 million American adults who are or have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. Alcoholism affects many Americans from Indiana to California, and they’re not limited to those who actually do the drinkingBecause of this, alcoholism is already recognized as one of the issues responsible for many different family problems.
Effects of Alcoholism in Children
Although this can affect any member of the family, alcoholism has more profound consequences on children. Most of us think that the harmful effects of alcoholism on children could be dismissed due to their age, which is more likely to recover. However, studies have shown that the effects of a parent who is considered an alcoholic on a child are long lasting and can even cause a huge impact on the child’s adulthood.
There are actually different problems that can occur to a child with an alcoholic parent or member of the family. This however, depends on the child’s age when he or she was exposed to the alcoholic behavior of his or her significant person. Younger children can become confused about their home life as well as the role of their parents or other older siblings. Most often, these kids turn out to be more fearful, untrusting and unable to emotionally connect with others even towards adulthood. In case the child of an alcoholic is older, he or she can experience self esteem issues, fear, depression as well as guilt that they are to be blamed for the situation. Some of these older children can become quiet and keep their issue to themselves while others can try to lash out and most often get trouble in social or public places like in school. Studies have also shown that children of alcoholics most likely get trouble in school due to their lack in motivation as well as difficulty in relating to their friends or teachers. In other words, the stress their experience at home can cause the children to have difficulty in performing well in their classes.
Unfortunately, despite the facts that support the negative effects of alcoholism, many alcoholics still resist to believe on the impact their actions can cause children. Most of them think that being alcoholic can only affect their own lives, but if truth be told, alcoholism can greatly influence the direction of the lives of children that surround them.
Aside from the obvious changes in the children’s behavior, physical abuse from the alcoholic parent or elderly can also be a problem to children. This is one of the reasons why most children of alcoholics suffer at home which can also lead to emotional and verbal abuse and can result to neglect. This can be very traumatic. So basing on the fact that children frequently lives in fear and do not have any parents to rely on can definitely show that they are also affected by the actions or the doings of their alcoholic parents or older siblings and relatives. Because of this, alcoholism is truly a disease that can affect the entire family. These are some of the facts with regards to the effects of alcoholism towards other people, most particularly the children.