Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Personality disorders in young Americans

I came across this story today on http://www.livescience.com/health/081202-ap-personality-disorders.html posted by Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press 02 December 2008 08:28 am ET that "Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs, researchers reported Monday in the most extensive study of its kind.
The disorders include problems such as obsessive or compulsive tendencies and anti-social behavior that can sometimes lead to violence. The study also found that fewer than 25 percent of college-aged Americans with mental problems get treatment."

I read this and thought OMG...FINALLY someone has presented some form of documentation that young adults are affected by something perhaps in their childhood that triggers problems that will show in their adult life. I looked for the word "parental alienation" and did not find it, but it does not take some scientist, psychologist or researcher to tell a target parent that their child will most likely face some problems in their adult life due to the actions by the alienating parent. I read this: "For many, young adulthood is characterized by the pursuit of greater educational opportunities and employment prospects, development of personal relationships, and for some, parenthood," the authors said. These circumstances, they said, can result in stress that triggers the start or recurrence of psychiatric problems. "

Perhaps I missed something in this article that suggested experiences in their childhood could bring this on. So I will surmise that these disorders could be triggered from their expediences in childhood.

I think for most parents that have a child the scenario goes likes this; you enter the hospital to deliver your child and go home 1-3 days later depending upon the delivery method. You are given some information on how to care for a newborn, but most of your "knowledge and or experience" comes from personal experience and instinct. I think many draw upon their own childhood on how to raise a child. If you were brought up by the help of siblings because your parents both worked, this may be they way they were brought up. If other family members were a major influence on the upbringing, than this again may be from experience. If discipline that could border on abuse was an influence then this may be a way the parents raise their child. I think that we do as we know and that is how the cycle of abuse and or disorders keep repeating. I do believe that the cycle of abuse can be broken.

As I attempt to understand my own personal situation, I can now realize there were several red flags that I ignored. I did not understand when I was younger that the way a child treats a parent means something significant. My ex's father was very demeaning to his wife and his children disrespected her as well. It was put in such a way that it was done jokingly at her expense and she also laughed at these so called jokes. I would also find her at times crying in the basement. She would always apologize for being " so sensitive". I was not mature enough to realize that this was emotional abuse. I would become angry for her, but then his father would be very loving and all seemed well. Again, I would not realize that this a cycle of abuse by a domestic abuser. I never saw physical abuse, so therefore, I did not realize that the controlling behaviors and emotional distress was abuse. Later, I would realize that this behavior repeated itself and I was the one who was the brunt of jokes and I would be demeaned. I also learned to accept that I as being "too sensitive".

Children or young teens that see this behavior learn to accept this as normal and can repeat it because they learn through actions that this is normal. It is not normal. So yes, parenthood can trigger the stresses that are indicative of a personality disorder. They go home with the "knowledge and experience" from their own childhood and repeat the cycle of abuse.

Parental alienation is abuse! Stop the abuse!


  1. In my opinion, you're 100% right that Parental Alienation is abuse and it needs to stop.

    Children who are victims of PA suffer their entire lives and not just during the alienation itself, but throughout their adulthood, and definitely throughout their parenting.

    I say this not just as a stepparent who's forced to watch it with her stepchildren, but I also say it as an adult that was alienated as a child.


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