Psychiatrist Explains the Impact of Growing Up In An Alcoholic Home

Growing up in a household with alcoholism casts a long shadow on individuals, leaving behind the hidden struggles of those raised in such environments.

Dr. Amen’s expertise underscores the importance of confronting this trauma head-on, offering a path to healing and resilience for those who have navigated the complex aftermath of growing up with alcoholism.

Here’s what you need to know about this often-overlooked aspect of mental health and well-being.

The Role of Therapy

man counseling dp365167172
Image Credit: romanchazov27/Deposit Photos.

The trauma experienced by adult children of alcoholics stems from growing up in an unpredictable environment.

“So treating adult children of alcoholics, I find it’s trauma, right? It’s chronic trauma from growing up in an unpredictable environment that EMDR and cognitive behavior therapy can be incredibly helpful,”

Treating adult children of alcoholics requires addressing the underlying trauma of growing up in an unpredictable environment.

The effects of this childhood experience can manifest in emotional instability, low self-esteem, and challenges in forming healthy relationships.

To effectively address these issues, therapy becomes essential. Doctor Amen emphasizes the potential benefits of two therapeutic approaches: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

EMDR aims to reprocess traumatic memories, helping individuals heal from past experiences. Conversely, CBT focuses on modifying negative thought patterns and behaviors, enabling individuals to develop healthier coping mechanisms and responses to triggers.

Preventing the Cycle

woman and daughter dp312312396
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi/Deposit Photos.

For those who grew up in alcoholic homes and consciously chose not to drink, it becomes crucial to educate their own children about the risks associated with alcohol consumption.

“If you grew up in an alcoholic home and you don’t drink because you saw the trouble, it’s very important you teach your children,”

Teaching children about the potential troubles and consequences of alcohol use empowers them to make informed decisions as they navigate their lives. By promoting open and honest discussions about alcohol, parents create a safe space for their children to share their thoughts, concerns, and questions.

Through this proactive approach, parents aim to break the cycle of alcohol-related issues that may have affected their own upbringing.

By providing their children with knowledge and understanding, they equip them with the tools to make responsible choices, fostering a healthier family dynamic for future generations.

Early Education

woman therapy dp35273497
Image Credit: pressmaster/Deposit Photos.

Doctor Amen emphasizes the importance of early education within the family context. He shares his own approach to addressing alcohol-related family history with this client.

“What I did with mine, because there’s alcohol in their family history, is when they’re about nine or ten years old, I’m like, you have this in your family. If you drink, you might have a big problem. If you don’t drink, you’re never going to have a problem,”

Having open and age-appropriate discussions about alcohol can be a powerful way for parents to instill awareness and responsibility in their children.

Addressing the family history of alcohol and its potential implications, parents can help their children understand the risks and consequences associated with drinking.

Starting these conversations at a suitable age, around nine or ten years old as Doctor Amen suggests, allows parents to communicate in a manner that their children can comprehend and absorb.

Emphasizing that choosing not to drink can prevent potential problems helps children understand the importance of making responsible decisions.

Seeking Support

Psychiatrist Reveals The Impact Of Growing Up In An Alcoholic Home
Image credit: TikTok/@docamen.

Growing up in an alcoholic home can be isolating and emotionally challenging. Therefore, seeking support from support groups, therapists, or other individuals who have undergone similar experiences can be immensely beneficial.

It is worth noting that finding a community of understanding individuals can provide a sense of validation and guidance on the journey toward healing. The video solicited varying reactions from the users of the platform.

One viewer shares their proactive approach to teaching their child about alcoholism, stating,

“This 100%. My husband & I didn’t have it in immediate family but we both had extended family with alcohol/drug abuse. We taught our son this early on.”

Another commenter opens up about,

“I come from a long line of alcoholics. I married an alcoholic. I’m pushing 50, and I feel like I’ve wasted my life.”

A third viewer shares a similar experience,

“My mother always had that conversation with us. There is alcoholics on both sides of our family. We have always been careful drinkers.”

More from Viral Chatter

grim reaper ss488843971
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Death, an inevitable part of life, often stirs deep-seated fears and anxieties within us. These fears, while universal, are uniquely personal and vary greatly from person to person.

Here are six of the most common fears associated with death, offering a glimpse into our shared human experience and the apprehensions that accompany our mortal existence.

Disturbing Truth About Gender Expectations and Mens Mental Health Stigma in Modern Relationships

couple fighting dp36128543
Image Credit: AndreyPopov/Deposit Photos.

Recently, social media has been abuzz with various trends, and one that has gained significant attention is the ‘boyfriend ick’ phenomenon.

This trend involves people sharing moments when they feel repulsed or turned off by their partners. While it may seem like harmless fun, a thought-provoking video sheds light on the deeper issues that lie beneath.


sources dp124084358
Image Credit: vtmila/Deposit Photos.


This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. It was inspired by this video:

@docamenLet me know if you want a Part 2♬ original sound – Daniel G. Amen, MD

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.