Most people have familiarity with parental alienation as an issue that primarily affects divorcing families with young children. Many of the modern studies dissecting these issues focus on this selection of the population.
But more studies lately have shown that children who once experienced parental alienation often grow into adults who still suffer from lingering signs of the abuse.
Child psychological abuse effects
The Psychiatric Times discusses the potential long-term damages parental alienation may cause. First, it is important to understand parental alienation as a form of abuse, which many courts classify it as. They deem it child psychological abuse, and many alienating parents will use the same abusive tactics such as gaslighting and manipulation in order to get their way.
Of course, abuse in all forms will have a lasting impact on the victim, and parental alienation is not an exception. More studies show over time that victims who suffer from parental alienation as children will show signs of the damage well into adulthood.
How it impacts adults
For example, many of these individuals suffer from trust issues and struggle to make and maintain meaningful connections with peers. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and paranoia, which can potentially contribute to the higher rate of depression and anxiety these people also face. They see a higher rate of stressors and trauma-based disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, as well.
On top of that, many of these victims suffer from self-destructive behavior, addictions and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Together, these problems can have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life long after the occurrence of the divorce itself.