Years ago I listened to Dr. Murray Banks talk about Mental Hygiene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyOl0-qbDSU He shared that mental illness is not heredity. The thing you may get is pretty peculiar parents which can precipitate using insanity as a means of survival.
Finally most states recognize that addict parents are a challenge for a child.
I am sharing the exact wording then I will share an expanded definition….
Parental substance abuse is an element of the definition of child abuse or neglect in some States.
For summaries of statutes and a more complete discussion of this issue,
see Information Gateway’s Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/drugexposed/
Circumstances that are considered abuse or neglect in some States include:
- Prenatal exposure of a child to harm due to the mother’s use of an illegal drug or other substance
- Manufacture of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or on the premises occupied by a child
- Allowing a child to be present where the chemicals or equipment for the manufacture of controlled substances are used or stored
- Selling, distributing, or giving drugs or alcohol to a child
- Use of a controlled substance by a caregiver that impairs the caregiver’s ability to adequately care for the child
I work in a high school, students on more than one occasion have discussed with me their parents drug use. Sadly, I was not in a position to be able to help them. People often don’t realize how wide spread the problem is either. Too often society points out that minorities and lower economic groups and declare, “They are the problem.”
WRONG – I’ve read a variety of studies that clarify that drug abuse by parents crosses all cultures and all social/economic boundaries. An addicted parent can severely damage the physical, emotional well-being of a child. More than one person with CPTSD has it because of a parents addiction. Addiction is an equal opportunity home wrecker.
The parental addictions that are not legislated can be more encompassing.
Parents that are addicted to legal drugs….medications, alcohol, and other over the counter or prescribed products.
I was exposed to a mother that was addicted to dieting. I was told that when I was in high school that I was too fat at 125 lbs and needed to lose at least 10 lbs. My father could strike fear in our hearts by simply saying, “Your mother started a new diet.”
For me, I struggle with reading fiction. I will read obsessively. I severely limit my fiction reading because I will read rather than eat, sleep, go to work or take care of children. I still enjoy an occasional fiction story but mostly I keep it to editing my sister’s wonderful books.
I also discovered that I cannot play some video games. I was spending hundreds of dollars and huge chunks of time to be able to win the next level or challenge. I still play games but they are games that I can walk away from not the ones that suck me in and rule my world.
In my studies, I learned that there are ‘addictive’ personality traits where it could be an addiction to many different things….this is a short list to get you thinking about how parents or your own obsessive behaviors may be impacting your life….
Goal setting, gambling, efficiency, sports, TV programs, Church, Service, pornography, social media, exercise, thrill seeking, friends, family…..
Some people may be shocked to see things like friends and service and church in my list…. but good things taken to an extreme can be just as damaging to relationships and healthy living.
Mirriam Webster dictionary might help understand why these could be on the list of addictions: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addicted
: having an addiction: such asa : having a compulsive physiological need for a habit forming substance (such as a drug)
- addicted to heroin
b : strongly inclined or compelled to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly
- addicted to chocolate
- addicted to (watching) soap operas
I will be the first to agree that some addictions are more destructive to quality of life than others. I decided that for myself I watch out for signs of putting a less important things above the things I value most.
Resolving issues of addictions starts with what are my values and where do I wish to spend my time. Yes, I still play video games and enjoy social media, but I also make sure that they are not substitutes for living and achieving my life dreams.
If you believe that you are in the grips of an addiction, seek help. Loosening addictions grip usually requires help from others, sometimes professional counseling. There are special clinics for drug addicts and other addictive behaviors. Break the chains that bind you. Your life and happiness is dependent in finding a healthy balance of activities.