Monday, July 6, 2009

How does co-dependence affect children?

It is interesting how co-dependence affects children. Here is a great example from Claudia Black's great book, It Will Never Happen To Me.

"Joan can't count on her mom to be attentive about what she has to say after coming home from school. Joan's mom doesn't smile after hearing something funny which happened to Joan at school, nor is her mom very sensitive to her sadnesses. Usually, Joan's mom is preoccupied with what happened last night, or what didn't happen last night, as a result of dad's drinking."

It Will Never Happen To Me, p.35

I am seeing a teen right now in my private practice who is the "good girl" but who is suicidal, anorexic, and significantly depressed. She says that her mother is "stupid" because her mother states that she "complains too much". The teen says that dad drinks every night after work and he and mom fight. The teen says that she goes up to her bedroom and turns up her music so she doesn't have to hear the fighting.

The teen reports she went to her doctor who said she was depressed and recommended antidepressants. She says she wanted to "talk with some" so the doctor referred her to me. She says mom doesn't want to bring her because mom says it is a "waste of time."

I offer to see Mom but the teen declines saying that Mom will "yell at me if I tell you what is going on at hom. It will just make her mad."

I say, "It sounds like there is anyone you can trust?"

She nods and her eyes well up.

I am struck with how substance abuse is not only a family disease but it is transgenerational.

And so it goes..............

This is article #6 on substance abuse the Family Disease.

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