• When it Comes to Parental Addiction: Children are the First Responders

    Posted: September 12, 2017, 1:29 am

    Children experience a great deal of emotional pain when they watch the parents they love, look up to and need in order to feel safe and secure exhibit the kind of behavior that is part of addiction.Children experience deep...

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  • Denied Grief: When the Heart Hurts in Silence

    Posted: May 29, 2017, 1:52 pm

    “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of...

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  • The Unconscious and Sexual Acting Out The Use of Psychodrama in Treating Sexual Addiction

    Posted: March 9, 2017, 3:02 pm

    It is the body’s natural mandate to act; we are beings designed for movement and expression; it’s how we get around the world, communicate our feelings and thoughts, eat, sleep, cry, wail, kiss, dance and sing! We are...

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  • Children Learn What They Live -The Recovery Version

    Posted: February 13, 2017, 10:06 am

    If children live with parents who are high,They learn that people are unpredictable and unreliable.If children live with denial,They learn to mistrust what they feel and sense.If...

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  • Children Learn What They Live: How to Help a Child Who’s Living with Parental Addiction

    Posted: February 12, 2017, 8:56 am

    Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D long ago wrote the popular poemChildren Learn What They Live paraphrased here:If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.If children live with hostility,...

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  • It’s COA Awareness Week: So Let’s Look Into What Happens to Children of Addiction When They Grow Up?

    Posted: February 9, 2017, 5:28 pm

    Much attention and most governmental funding streams have been and continue to be focused on the addict. The addict has the problem; the addict needs to get better. The country is still however, only beginning to catch on...

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  • The Innocent Victims of Addiction

    Posted: September 28, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Recently a video went viral of an increasingly occurring, very heartbreaking scene.A little girl is tugging on her mother who has passed out in the aisle of a dollar store.The mother’s face is...

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  • Why Don’t Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA’s) Get the Help They Need?

    Posted: September 9, 2016, 6:07 pm

    “There is a growing and increasingly powerful recovery movement in our country, supported and often driven by the stories of people in “long-term” recovery, but its focus is almost 100% on the addicted family member...

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  • It’s Alcohol Awareness Month: So What Does It Do to Your Insides to Live With an Alcoholic?

    Posted: April 11, 2016, 4:40 pm

    April is “Alcohol Awareness Month.” On the surface this appears to be about alcohol, its use and abuse, it implies that we need to learn more about why a person might drink alcoholically or, by extension use other...

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  • When Growing Up Hurts: How Parental Addiction Impacts Kids

    Posted: February 15, 2016, 11:59 am

    Who we are speaks louder than what we say. Our facial and body language, the quality of our touch and the emotion and intent emanating from our expressions communicate more to the small child than words ever could....

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  • The Invisible Children: It’s COA Awareness Week So Listen Up, This Matters

    Posted: January 18, 2016, 1:47 pm

    Great strides have been made in bringing the shame of addiction out of the shadows and getting America and the world to believe in recovery. However, the biggest, little secret remains the countless kids who are being hurt...

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  • Daily Affirmations for the Holidays

    Posted: December 18, 2015, 4:22 pm

    There Is Music in the AirThere is music in the air. There is joy in the streets. There is a lilt in people’s steps. Even through the exhaustion, the over doing it and the gift giving mania, people are still reaching...

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  • Daily Affirmations for the Holidays 2

    Posted: December 14, 2015, 6:58 pm

    The Spaces in BetweenSome of my happiest holiday moments aren’t necessarily the big events or the parties or even the holiday itself. They are the spaces in between. Walking down a decorated street hearing holiday...

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  • When Adult Children of Alcoholics Become Moms

    Posted: September 1, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Growing up with addiction is often traumatizing and can lead to post traumatic stress. If PTSD related issues remain unresolved, they can become a hot button in parenting. Even though the alcohol or drugs are no longer...

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  • The Making of The Who: A Tale of Mod Cool, Drugs, Addiction and Recovery

    Posted: March 19, 2015, 8:40 pm

    I was recently blown away by a fascinating documentary, to be released by Sony on April 3rd, revealing the brilliance and daring of the two young men — Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert — who discovered The Who and brought,...

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  • Adult Children of Alcoholics and Trauma

    Posted: February 13, 2015, 5:05 pm

    PTSD is a much-talked-about-syndrome these days. Soldiers who experience battle muster psychological defenses to get through. However, when they return home the pain that they couldn’t allow themselves to feel then comes...

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  • The Importance of Modeling the Behavior You Want to See

    Posted: February 11, 2014, 6:16 pm

    I work in the field of addictions. Most of the addicts I treat report having discovered alcohol or drugs at a very young age, 11 or 12. Teenage years aren’t easy, but when a teenager discovers that alcohol or drugs take...

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  • A Child Near You May Need Your Kindness: Living With the Drama of Addiction

    Posted: February 7, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Feb. 9-15 is National Children of Alcoholics (COA) WeekWhen you live with parental addiction, a little kindness, can go a long way. When you are sad, or lonely or feeling unwanted, the smallest gesture from someone who...

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  • 100 Million Bill Pulls Mental Health Out of the Shadows

    Posted: January 21, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Long ignored and misunderstood as a driver of billions of dollars in lost revenue and absenteeism among workers, mental health and addiction may, because of efforts over the past few years, finally be seen as real rather...

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  • Using Drugs to Belong, Drinking to Manage Depression: Chiara de Blasio Tells Her Story of Substance Abuse

    Posted: January 16, 2014, 1:27 am

    Nearly a million people have watched Chiara de Blasio describe her journey of recovery on YouTube since the video was released over the holidays last month. Chiara wanted to speak out to help all those who are suffering in...

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  • An Attitude of Gratitude: What This One Little Emotion Can Do for Your Life

    Posted: December 26, 2013, 11:55 am

    It’s the holiday season, and everyone talks about being grateful. For those among us who find it easy to feel grateful, here’s research to back up your natural inclination. For anyone who might need a little prodding,...

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  • How Modern Lifestyles Activate Ancient Stress Responses

    Posted: October 23, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Do you feel fried, get easily irritated, or sink into negative states of mind faster than you used to? Do you want to collapse and cocoon at the end of the week? If so, consider what might be going on with your stress...

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  • How Being an ACoA Impacts Our Adult Intimate Relationships

    Posted: September 6, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Growing up in a family where there is parental addiction shapes how we learn to live in intimate relationships. Anxiety levels around the kinds of behaviors that surround addiction and the inevitable relationship despair...

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  • The Role of Love in Mental Health

    Posted: May 24, 2013, 2:21 pm

    I love words like attachment and attunement, attending and caregiving. I suppose it’s because they put me in touch with what I know to be at the center of everything, and that is love. Why is it so much easier for us to...

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  • Why We ‘Self-Medicate’ Our Own Depression or Anxiety

    Posted: May 9, 2013, 2:34 pm

    This is mental health awareness month. Which means, in my experience, that it is still, to some extent at least, alcohol awareness month. Many people who suffer with undiagnosed depression or anxiety reach for alcohol or...

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  • 5 Easy Stress Busters

    Posted: May 2, 2013, 8:22 am

    How does environment and behavior actually become biology? Our mind’s response to stress sends out body signals as to whether or not to rev up or ease up. We were probably not designed for the kinds of constant stressors...

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  • Forgiveness Is a Verb: It Takes Work

    Posted: March 26, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Life includes pain. About this we have no choice, it comes with the territory. What we do have choice around is how much we suffer. Life is full of ups and downs, but feeling wounded occasionally doesn’t necessarily...

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  • New Year’s Resolution: I Will Become a Positive Thinker

    Posted: December 31, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Is happiness a choice, or a fleeting experience that occurs only when all our stars are all perfectly aligned? Can we lose happiness as easily as we find it, or are there attitudes we can adopt that will counter feelings...

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  • When the Holidays Hurt

    Posted: December 12, 2012, 10:57 am

    Sugar plums aren’t the only things that dance through our heads during the holiday season. For those among us whose holidays have been shaken up by loss or family rupture, addiction or illness, the holidays can remind us...

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  • The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: What Is an ACoA?

    Posted: September 19, 2012, 12:38 pm

    Old pain that gets imported into new relationships is the hallmark of the ACoA trauma syndrome. The past we thought we’d neatly left behind once we got tall enough, old enough or smart enough intrudes onto our present...

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  • Resilience, Recovery and Optimism

    Posted: September 5, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Troubled families can make their children feel powerless and bad about themselves. Growing up with one or more parents who abuse alcohol or drugs certainly makes one a card-carrying member of this not-so-exclusive club, as...

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  • Adult Children of Alcoholics

    Posted: August 28, 2012, 7:32 am

    I am adult child of an alcoholic, an ACoA. Until 1980, I had no idea that this was a category or that I was not alone in this strange feeling that I lugged along a past that was somehow burdening my present. I was...

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  • A Mother’s Letter to Her Daughter on “Having it All”

    Posted: August 3, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I am a mother of a daughter....when I was raising my daughter and my son, it was in that period when we were breaking glass ceilings and challenging and stretching the conventional roles of women.We were sometimes...

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  • Miss Wisconsin Talks About Growing Up WIth Addiction

    Posted: April 22, 2012, 11:03 am

    Mariah Haberman, recently crowned “Miss Wisconsin” is using her platform as a pageant winner to talk about what it is like to grow up in an alcoholic family. And she is speaking out about the “protective...

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  • Hats Off to Sober St. Patrick’s Day

    Posted: March 18, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Few events deliver more than they promise, but yesterday’s “Sober St. Patrick’s Day” was a rich and vibrant celebration of Irish flair, creativity and extraordinary spirit, that did. Talent was literally everywhere...

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  • Sober ST. Patrick’s Day: Celebrating the Real Beauty of the Irish People

    Posted: February 26, 2012, 12:35 pm

    “The immigrant’s heart marches to the beat of two quite different drums, one from the old homeland and the other from the new,” says former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese. “The immigrant has to bridge these...

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  • Bobby Kristina: A Child of Addiction (COA)

    Posted: February 13, 2012, 11:27 am

    Whitney Houston was found underwater and unconscious. In a previous interview with Dianne Sawyer, Whitney Houston exhibits many signs of denial that are typical of addicts.She says: “I don’t like to see myself as...

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  • ACOAS: How Did Growing up with Addiction Affect You?

    Posted: February 12, 2012, 6:22 am

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TianDaytonTraumaSurveyACOAs: Click above to find out which negative and positive qualities you may have developed growing up with some form of addiction in the home. (2-3 Min)The kind...

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  • How to Become an Optimist in 2012

    Posted: January 1, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Optimist’s, according to research tend to be healthier, are more active, eat more fruits and vegetables and spend more time actively with others. So who wouldn’t want to be one? The question is, can optimism be...

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  • What I Have Learned as an ACOA

    Posted: December 24, 2011, 6:54 am

    I have learned that each new day is just another day on my spiritual journey Even a holiday I know how to look around at any moment and allow the sheer aliveness of it to move me and remind me of the beauty and privilege...

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  • A Walk in the Sun

    Posted: November 12, 2011, 6:57 am

    Take a walk, you’ll be glad you did! You have a natural and very effective antidepressant right inside your body! The soothing body chemicals that nature embedded into our DNA, to help us to regulate our moods, don’t...

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  • Reduce Anxiety and Depression with Guided Imagery

    Posted: August 1, 2011, 7:37 am

    Can guided imagery really make you less depressed, less anxious and improve your general outlook on life? Apparently the answer is YES. Research on guided imagery in chemotherapy patients, has consistently shown that it...

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  • The Black Hole: Trauma and Addiction

    Posted: July 27, 2011, 3:31 pm

    It has long been understood in the vernacular of the addictions field that an addict, whose life has become “unmanageable” through excessive use of drugs and alcohol may be trying to drown emotional and psychological...

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  • Positive Thoughts on Apps-Do They Help?

    Posted: July 21, 2011, 8:41 am

    What we think about all day really matters to our health and outlook. Positive thoughts may do more for us than we may realize. Consider this: Harvard studies prove that negative thoughts actually cause us to...

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  • Sex Addiction: A Progressive Disease?

    Posted: May 16, 2011, 9:32 am

    It is such a sad story. Once again, a major political figure, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is taken away in handcuffs for alleged sexual crimes. And then the usual comments follow. From some, indignation: “This could not be...

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  • Charlie Sheen: Not Emotionally Sober

    Posted: March 3, 2011, 6:53 am

    Charlie Sheen is now sober, that is he has tested free of drugs. But his behavior is raising eyebrows because it is increasingly apparent that whatever the hair or blood tests say, he does not appear to be emotionally...

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  • What is an ACOA

    Posted: February 11, 2011, 8:56 am

    In 1980, when the term adult child of alcoholic, ACOA was coined, ACOAs literally came out of the woodwork, testifying in droves to confusion, resentment and hurt that the child within them still hung onto. They reported...

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  • Researchers Say:Adults Need to Play More!

    Posted: February 1, 2011, 7:24 pm

    Almost every species of animal engages in some form of play. Play helps all species, animal and human alike, to learn the adaptive behaviors that increase their chances of survival. But play can help us to “survive”...

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  • If the Holidays Don’t Feel Good to You

    Posted: December 21, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Not everyone finds the holidays easy. Holidays are a time when we affirm family ties, bonds of friendship and love of life. But for those whose family rituals may have been interrupted by painful family dynamics, holidays...

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  • It’s Complicated: Lessons on Marriage from Hollywood?

    Posted: December 7, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Is it possible that Hollywood is growing a conscience? Hollywood who, for some time now, has been exporting some of America’s worst values, seems to be sending out something that is entertaining and does what good...

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About the Author

Tian Dayton PhD

Senior fellow at The Meadows, psychologist, psychodramatist, author Emotional Sobreity,ACoA Trauma Syndrome, Forgiving and Moving On, Huff Post blogger, speaker... Read More