Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The ACOA Trauma Syndrome


Dr. Tian Dayton blogs on The Huffington Post about Adult Children of Alcoholics and her new book, "The ACOA Trauma Syndrome"

Some highlights of the blog post:

"Adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs) can and often do suffer from some features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are the direct result of living with the traumatizing effects of addiction. Years after we leave behind our alcoholic homes, we carry the impact of living with addiction with us. We import past, unresolved pain into present-day relationships, but without much awareness as to how or why."

"If unresolved pain is left unattended, if it stays buried and denied, it develops a sort of psychic half life, it seeps and leaches into our emotional and psychological underground and gives root to new complexes and conditions. If however we're willing to simply face, feel and share it, miraculous things happen. We learn to think about what we feel rather than run from it. And in thinking, we make sense of what was senseless. We become whole again."

From the book: 

"Trauma is actually fairly common; most people grow up with at least four adverse childhood experiences (Anda 2006). It is not necessarily the trauma that creates lasting problematic effects, but how we deal with it (or don't deal with it) when it occurs and afterward. Much can be done to ameliorate the effects of adverse childhood experiences. Supportive people, places to go that feel safe, and moving shock into some form of consciousness so pain does not remain hidden and unspoken can take a situation that could be traumatic and turn it into something that might be less damaging and potentially even character building."

"Recovery from the ACoA trauma syndrome is all about reclaiming the fragmented parts of self that are trapped in another psychological and emotional time and place and bringing them into the here and now. It is translating hidden emotion into words so that feelings can be processed, new insight and meaning can be gained, and experiences can be knitted back together with new understanding into a coherent and present-oriented picture of the functioning self and the self in relation to others. It is learning to live in the present rather than in the past or future." 

See the entire post here:

 Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children