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The Impact of Being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic

Are you wondering what’s the impact of being an adult child of an alcoholic? To find answers read on…


Did you grow up in a home with an alcoholic parent or have a difficult childhood leading to anxiety, low self-esteem or relationship issues.

Some of the most common traits of adult children of alcoholics include:

Conflict Avoidance

Alcoholics are often angry, aggressive and irrational. So, as a result, adult children of alcoholics tend to avoid conflict. This leads to ‘people pleasing’ behaviour and a tendency to not ‘rock the boat’ as a safety mechanism.

Fearing Losing Control

Did you grow up in an unpredictable environment? If so, feeling the need to maintain control for two reasons is common. Firstly, for fear of provoking anger. And, secondly, to avoid feelings of upset and anger. This experience results in a strong desire to control your own behaviour. As well as people and situations that cause anxiety when this isn’t possible.

Co-Dependent Relationships

Many adult children of alcoholics develop unhealthy relationships in later life. Moreover, finding themselves attracted to emotionally unavailable people or those with compulsive issues. Sometimes needing to rescue other people which can lead to co-dependent relationships and neglecting their own needs. In addition, their self-esteem depends solely on the approval of their partner.

Fear of Authority

A parent figure is usually an example figure of authority. However, when their behaviour is unpredictable or threatening this leading to the child developing a fear of authority later in life. Furthermore, causing issues at work or other social situations.

Low Self Esteem

If you’ve been subjected to degrading behaviour this can produce low self-esteem in adult life. If you haven’t received praise or support as a child, it’s often hard giving or accepting praise in an adult relationship.

Further Help for ACOAs

In conclusion, if you’re an adult child of an alcoholic and identify with some of the issues mentioned above I’m more than happy to help you. I’ve helped many clients whose childhoods are impacting on the way they feel today.

If you’d like to talk about any of the issues raised here please do get in touch.

Further Reading on Issues of Adult Children of Alcoholics

What’s Causing Low Self Worth?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treatment

How to Escape Toxic Relationships

Drinking problems

Why do I Seek Affairs with Married Men?

Is Fear of Intimacy Impacting on your Relationships?

Online Hypnotherapy


My techniques guarantee that you remain in control at every session. These techniques, developed over 25 years, are so effective that many issues can be addressed in as little as three sessions and my location in the very heart of London means you can book sessions to work around work.

adult child of an alcoholic or acoa issues
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