It's COA Awareness week!
On her latest article published on Huffington Post, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton examines the plight of children of dysfunctional parents as they grow to adulthood. Often their past trauma remains hidden until well after they mature and because it is buried, continues to negatively affect their relationships and how they feel about themselves.
"COAs grow up to be adult children of alcoholics ACoAs. And they carry these unresolved emotional burdens with them into their adult lives and relationships. Their disowned pain emerges, months, years or most commonly decades later in a post traumatic stress reaction as the COA, now the ACoA stands stupefied in front of an inner world that feels confusing and unknowable. It’s scary to look inside when what's inside has been so long in the making.
The addictions field should be giving very special attention to this hidden population if for no other reason, because they are statistically more likely to become addicts themselves (Cutter 1987). ACoAs also evidence higher levels of specific and generalized anxiety and lower levels of differentiation of self than their counterparts who grow up without parental alcoholism. (Maynard 1999) Scratch the paint off an addict and you will more often then not find a COA who is self medicating their unresolved, childhood pain with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work or a combination of a couple of these.”
Read the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-tian-dayton/the-invisible-children-it_b_8970102.html
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children