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What long term effects does parental alienation have?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2021 | Divorce

Parental alienation hurts every party involved. As the alienated parent, you likely feel as though you have lost a child. For many alienated parents, this loss feels as traumatic as a death. 

But your child will suffer from the repercussions, too. Not only that, but parental alienation may ripple through their childhood and into their adult life. This can affect their personal relationships and even the jobs they can hold. 

How children react to PAS

Psychology Today looks at the impact of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) on your child’s present life and future. Unfortunately, the damage that begins in childhood can continue into adulthood. For example, your child may start to form unhealthy coping mechanisms. Many children who suffer from parental alienation also struggle with feelings of blame, guilt and self-doubt. They can turn their anger and confusion inward or outward. If they turn it outward, this can manifest in a hostility toward peers or figures of authority. 

Children may also undergo changes in personality. For example, many children who were once sunny and bright may become dour, depressed or anxious. Some develop anger management issues as well, and may fall prone to temper tantrums and other emotional outbursts. 

Long-lasting damage of PAS in adults

As adults, the damage from PAS often manifests in personal relations. Many adults who formerly suffered from PAS state that they have difficulty maintaining and building strong ties. This is particularly true when it comes to romantic relations. Many state they have trouble trusting others and feel a constant sense of paranoia. Some even suffer with mental health disorders due to PAS, like depression and anxiety. 

As the impact is so vast and far-reaching, you want to tackle the issue as fast as possible. If you notice signs of parental alienation, you want to bring it to the attention of a legal expert so you can explore your options.