How does parental alienation syndrome affect your child?

As a parent going through divorce, you still want what is best for your child. But unfortunately, the strain and anger of a divorce can sometimes blind people. This often happens in the case of parental alienation.

Parental alienation hurts you, but it hurts your child, too. They may suffer from parental alienation syndrome (PAS), which has potential lifelong consequences.

The toll of abuse

Psychology Today looks at the impact of parental alienation syndrome in the long and short term. In the short term, PAS victims often display similar traits to emotional or psychological abuse victims. This is unfortunately due to the fact that parental alienation often utilizes the same tactics that other forms of abuse use. It is common for alienating parents to manipulate or gaslight their child, which leads to:

  • Uncertainty
  • A lack of self-confidence
  • The inability to properly process emotions
  • Poor coping mechanisms
  • Lashing out at authority figures
  • Difficulty connecting with peers

Of course, you cannot overlook the damage done to your relationship, either. It is often traumatic to a child to lose a parent in this way, even if they do not recognize it at the time. Many adults who suffer with PAS cite extreme feelings of guilt and regret toward how they treated the alienated parent.

Adult PAS sufferers

Speaking of adults with PAS, many still experience hardship even decades after a divorce. PAS sufferers struggle to make and maintain relationships. They often state the cause comes from trust issues established in youth. They still have poor coping mechanisms, which often grow more dangerous with age. It may include drinking, drugs or gambling addictions. They suffer from a higher rate of depression, anxiety and stress disorders, too.

Due to this extensive damage, you want to act quickly if you notice signs of PAS. Consider contacting a legal professional to learn what you can do next.