When parents go through a particularly difficult divorce, a child could deal with a number of potential hurdles, including the possibility of parental alienation. This creates problems for them in the current time, and can also create problems for them in the future.
Unfortunately, many studies about parental alienation focus only on young children. Despite this, adult children claim to suffer from impacts of this problem well into their adult years.
Manipulation during parental alienation
The Psychiatric Times looks into how parental alienation affects adult children. First, many parents implement abusive tactics in their attempt to “win” their child over to their side. These tactics can create mental problems for years to come. As an example, gaslighting commonly sees use when parents try to convince a child that their other parent is no good. Other manipulative or coercive tactics also see use.
Unfortunately, this means these tactics can have a similarly lasting impact as any other form of abuse. Specifically, victims of abuse may find themselves struggling to create and maintain healthy relationships. Many report difficulties trusting other people, even their peers or those close to them.
Lasting repercussions in adults
Adult children who suffered through parental alienation typically suffer from a higher rate of depression, anxiety and trauma-related stressor disorders as well. On top of that, many suffer from additional problems like addiction, either to drugs, smoking, gambling or more.
This lasting potential damage serves as one of many reasons why you should treat signs of parental alienation seriously from the offset, and why adult children who suffered through it should have access to needed medical care.