Parental alienation serves as a major form of trauma for young children going through the divorce of their parents. Many studies focus on the immediate impact parental alienation has, along with potentially lingering effects.
However, as these studies expand, one thing becomes increasingly clear: the lingering effects may last much longer than anyone could anticipate. Adults who underwent parental alienation in their childhood might still suffer to this day.
The effects of abuse
According to Psychiatric Times, some courts classify parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse. This is due to the use of abusive tactics such as manipulation and gaslighting, which alienating parents often turn to in an attempt to “win” their child or ruin their relationship with the opposite parent.
It is well documented that abuse in childhood has long-lasting effects that manifest well into adulthood. Looking at it from that angle, it makes sense that parental alienation also has the same long-lasting impacts.
Lingering symptoms in adult life
Adults who experienced parental alienation in their youth seem to have a higher rate of depression, anxiety, and stress or trauma-based disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder. They also have a higher rate of struggling with addictions of all sorts and self-destructive behavior.
Many also report struggling when it comes to making meaningful connections with peers and other individuals. They find it hard to trust others due to the damage their trust underwent in their youth. This can lead to feelings of paranoia and loneliness, which often contribute to the above issues.
More studies continue to roll out focusing on the impact of parental alienation throughout the years, which could help victims find understanding and paths to seek compensation in later life.