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Stereotypes Of Alcoholics & The Ways Children Learn To Forgive Addicted Parents

Alcoholism is a highly stigmatized disease. The TV show "Shameless" provides an untrue stereotype of what a male alcoholic looks like, however, it provides multiple true instances that children undergo while trying to forgive their diseased parent. Additionally, "Shameless" sheds some light on the rather dark side topic: Alcoholism.

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Shameless Season 1 Promo

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Although there are typical stereotypes of what an alcoholic looks like, the show possesses accurate insights on forgiveness styles that children undergo. The show depicts accurate representations on what it is like to live with a parent and undergo the interpersonal communication concept of "Forgiveness." According to research, there are typically three ways that grown children (aged 18 and up) learn to recognize their parents disease, and most importantly, forgive.

1. Stop and Reframe

Via (Breashears, 2015)

The "acceptance" and "recognition" stage. A child simply stops and recognizes their parent(s) have a serious problem---in fact, they begin to recognize their parent possesses an actual addiction or disease.

2. Recognize own personal well-being and mental health

Via (Breshears, 2015)

This is typically the "moving on" stage. Grown children learn to move ahead in their life. They make a conscious decision to not dwell on their parent(s) addiction/mistakes and recover their own personal/mental health. They focus on what it is important in their own life. Also, this could lead to future benefits like children pursuing a career or their own family. (As seen with Lip Gallagher in Shameless.)

3. Consideration of Recovery

Via (Breshears, 2015)

After the recognition stage, children realize it is an addiction and their parent needs help. Consideration of recovery aids this motivation to urge their addicted love one to seek recovery and therapy.

1. Could bring family closer together

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Families could grow closer and stronger due to overcoming family hardships. As well as, possibly, make amends with family members emotionally harmed by the addiction.

2. Grown children become more aware of addiction

As mentioned earlier, with the step of forgiveness of recognition. These grown children recognize the illness and realize they, themselves, want to live a life that is more prosperous and addiction free.

Help for those with an alcohol addiction and therapy for those with addicted loved ones.

NACA / Via nacoa.org

National Association for Children of Alcoholics seeks to eliminate the adverse impact of alcohol and drug use on children and families.

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