Parental alienation has an immediate negative impact on your child. Unfortunately, the damage does not just end there. In fact, your child could suffer from the effects of parental alienation for years to come.
But how does parental alienation manifest in children in the long term? Does it manifest differently in adult sufferers?
Shift in personality
Psychology Today looks into parental alienation syndrome and its impact. PAS is a direct result of parental alienation, in which a parent goes out of their way to divide the family. They do whatever it takes to drive a wedge between you and your child. This includes abusive tactics like manipulation and gaslighting.
In the long term, PAS sufferers often experience a shift in personality. Many may grow glum and depressed, withdrawing from their peers. Others lash out instead, developing a cantankerous personality. They butt heads with authority figures and their fellows alike.
Formation of poor coping mechanisms
PAS also has a big impact on coping mechanisms as they form. PAS sufferers often develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. As mentioned, they may lash out and blame others. They may also learn to internalize their negative feelings. Directing self-blame and guilt inward can inflict heavy mental damage.
As children of PAS grow, these issues carry on into adulthood. Many adult PAS sufferers struggle to establish and form healthy relationships. They often cite an inability to trust as one of the primary hurdles hindering their progress. They also turn to worse coping mechanisms like drugs, alcohol or gambling. Many suffer from higher rates of anxiety and depression, too.
Due to the severity of the impact of PAS, you want to nip it in the bud as soon as you notice it. Consider contacting a legal expert to learn more about what you can do to protect your child.