Imposter Syndrome and Adult Children of Alcoholics

Imposter syndrome may sound like something out of science fiction movie, but imposter syndrome and adult children of alcoholics tend to go together. In this condition, no matter how successful they are, people might feel as if they’re never good enough. The condition is not limited to homes where alcohol or addiction were prominent. But this abuse, addiction, and imposter syndrome often relate to each other.

The Neverending Struggle to Be “Good Enough”

In households with alcohol abuse or addiction, children are often parentified, which means they assume the responsibilities of the parents because one or both parents is/are impaired by alcohol or drug use. As they grow, the children carry their pain into adulthood. This pain may not be addressed when they are children, as too much else is happening. After all, these children feel as if they are entirely responsible for taking care of their families. They put themselves last. As adults, they may not be well versed in how to satisfy their own needs. Adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) often have mood problems, with lapses into depression. They are their own worst critics and frequently display more than a little bit of perfectionism. Even when faced with small problems they want to solve those problems Now, right now! A adult who was a parentified child can be an intense person. Yet the characteristics related to the imposter syndrome can contribute to external success. A hard-driving attitude, ambition, a desire to make everything perfect, and an eye for detail are often considered marketable skills. Imposter syndrome tends to affect women somewhat more than men. A person suffering with this condition feels as if they are not whom they project. They feel as if they will be discovered and found somehow lacking. People with imposter syndrome discount their own skills and talents, which are often impressive. This feeling of being a fake can arise from a need to project an air of competence at far too early an age. The rewards and the advancements this person earns in adult life could create a sense of dissonance. They might feel dread, anxiety, and fear, as if their abilities will one day fade, leaving them exposed before the world. Again, that’s a perception of reality, but this perception can generate a great deal of fear and anxiety. To alleviate these fears, therapy can be effective. It can help people deal with their unresolved issues surrounding their families’ alcohol problems. It can also help them address the anxiety, fear, and dread of imposter syndrome. This assistance can help people address and improve their past, present, and future.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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