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Adult Children of Alcoholics and HPD

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Adult Children of Alcoholics and HPD

Postby goodbyenormajean » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:34 am

I'm just wondering if you can be both. I def. have traits of both.
What do you guys think of this list? Does this strike a chord with any HPD’s? Can you have both? I’m just wondering because this sounds a lot like me too. I’m either both or one or the other. Except for the responsible part a lot of the symptoms seem the same. So confusing….help!


Alcoholism is a progressive family "dis-ease" that affects not only the alcoholic, but also every other member of the family. Children growing up in this environment negatively affected and as such tend to have a particularly difficult time in life. Children of alcoholics are at greater risk for having E-motional problems than children whose parents are not alcoholics. Seventy percent of children of alcoholics develop a pattern of compulsive behavior as an adult such as alcoholism, overeating, or drug abuse. Many have suffered some form of neglect, witnessed domestic violence, or been abused, physically, mentally, E-motionally, and spiritually.

The family legacy of alcoholism often reveals itself in common characteristics shared by adult children of alcoholics:

Control Freaks Children of alcoholics often have an overwhelming need to control everyone and everything in their environment. This fear-based survival technique resulted from growing up in a chaotic environment. Their life experiences have taught them that if they don't control everything, it will automatically get worse. They also tend to overreact to changes over which they have no control.

Heightened Sense of Responsibility Children of alcoholics are often "the responsible ones." At one point or another, most came to believe, that it is either their fault that problems exist in the family and/or their responsibility to "fix it." From an early age on, the burden for taking care of the family is placed upon their shoulders.

Care Takers Because of their heightened sense of responsibility, most children of alcoholics believe it is their "role in life" to take care of everyone else. They tend to be attracted to people they can rescue and take care of. You will often find them working in the "helping professions."

Perfectionism Children from alcoholic families learned to be "perfect" in order to get some sort of "positive attention." Conversely, they also learned that if they weren't "perfect" there would be hell to pay.

Low Self-Esteem Children of alcoholics rarely, if ever, see themselves reflected back in a positive light. Generally, no matter how hard they try, no matter what they do, they always seem to fall short of "perfection" in their parents' eyes and as such... in their own eyes.

Lack of Self-Worth Children of alcoholics not only feel "less than," but that their wants, needs, thoughts, feelings and accomplishments don't matter. They believe they are unworthy, unlovable, and simply no good – more often than not, because this is how they were treated while growing up in an alcoholic family.

Stressed, Depressed, and Anxious Because healthy stress management, coping, communication, and problems solving skills are generally lacking in alcoholic families, children of alcoholics tend to have a much harder time dealing with the variety of life's adversities. They suffer from much higher rate of stress related "dis-ease," mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and other serious psychopathology.

Feelings of Guilt Because of their low self-esteem, and low self-worth, children of alcoholics tend to feel very uncomfortable with and guilty about standing up for themselves and their rights. It is much easier for them to just give into the demands of others and/or carry the burden of shame and guilt for all the problems.

Critical Self-Appraisal Because children of alcoholics rarely receive positive praise all they know is how to be critical of themselves. They can recite long lists of what's "wrong" with them, but struggle to find one positive thing to say about themselves.

Seriousness Children of alcoholics tend to be very serious in their approach to life and often lack spontaneity, playfulness, and joy.

Difficulty with Intimacy Being intimate requires releasing control, opening up, and being vulnerable to someone else. This is very difficult for children of alcoholics for their early life experiences clearly taught them that to do so would only result in them getting rejected for being who they really are and what they really feel. Another basic survival skill growing up may have been the need to hide their true feelings and not express them in order to protect themselves from being hurt.

Avoidance of Feelings Children of alcoholics avoid talking about or expressing their feelings, especially those related to traumatic childhood experiences. They are often E-motionally crippled, stunted in their E-motional growth and maturity, unable to feel or express feelings because of their frightening, painful and overwhelming nature.

Fear of Abandonment Because children of alcoholics fundamentally believe they are unworthy of love and therefore unlovable, they are extremely afraid that once someone finds out "who they really are," they will once again be rejected and abandoned, left all alone in a cold, harsh world.

People Pleasers In order to avoid fears of rejection and abandonment, many children of alcoholics will do almost anything to hang on to a relationship with someone who appears to care for them, no matter how bad or abusive it may be. Indeed, most adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.

Approval Seekers Children of alcoholics will go to almost any lengths to win the love and approval they so desperately long for, and never got, from the people that mattered most to them when growing up - their "family."

Perpetual Victims Children of alcoholics tend to feel powerless over their life circumstances; that life has dealt them a raw deal, and there is nothing they can do about it. Many are stuck in the role of "victim" and as such are perpetually victimized.

Alcoholism and Family Dysfunction...The Beat Goes On Children of alcoholics tend to do and become what was done to and modeled for them. As such, most wind up continuing the cycle of alcoholism and family dysfunction in their own families and lives.



Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/14265 ... z16AdrbMqZ
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Re: Adult Children of Alcoholics and HPD

Postby mistaben » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:59 am

yep see alot of that in my life.
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Re: Adult Children of Alcoholics and HPD

Postby AliceWonders » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:11 am

Most definitely! You're not HPD because you born that way- you're HPD because you became that way due to circumstances in your environment and various traumas/tragities in your life.

If you've just been recently diagnosed (and I seen your intro thread that you said it was a recent diagnosis) than it's natural that you're looking for not just causes, but also an 'out' by that I mean another 'something it could be' rather than what your diagnosis says it is.

I did the same thing myself whenI first heard my diagnosis 3 years ago. I was orginally diagnosed bipolar, until he saw how quickly everything was happening and all my self esteme and discosiative issues, and then it lead to BPD & HPD- I wasn't ready or willing to except that fact, so I completely discounted it and just thought, OK I'm bi polar and that makes sence- I guess....

But I had that 'out' in my diagnosis, so I didn't need to look for it on my own, had I not had the extra (false) diagnosis I'd have been doing the same thing I'm sure. It's very hard to come to terms with this. It took me 3 years of ups and downs to finally admit- yes I DO have a personality disorder. I hate to say it even now in all honesty.

There are many different aspects behind the causes of PD's but they're not gonna be something that will say 'you're this' and not what your diagnosis has determined.

I'm wondering, how were you diagnosed?
Who diagnosed you and how long have you known the diagnosis??

It IS a very difficult thing to come to terms with & I really feel for you in this hun....

Take Care
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth~Oscar Wilde

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together~Eugene Ionesco

Once you chose hope anything is possible~ Christopher Reeves
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