Family is seen as being a primary influence in most people’s lives from the time of birth. A child grows, has experiences and learns new skills appropriate to their age level. The hopeful expectation is that as the young person transitions to adolescence and adulthood, he or she will mature into a well-adjusted individual with good mental health. However, when this is not the case, many will turn to experiences and events from early life that could have played a role in the development of a disorder. One question that might be asked is whether or not there’s a relationship between adoption and addiction, and if being adopted has a significant influence on an individual’s mental health.
Adoption and Addiction
The reality is that studies have shown that adopted children are more likely to have met with mental health specialists. Disorders specific to childhood are also more common in adopted children. One common disorder that is present in children is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This includes symptoms such as excitability, trouble focusing and memory problems. Another is oppositional defiant disorder, which often begins in early childhood. This can cause children to be aggressive, easily annoyed and antisocial. The chances of having either of these disorders is doubled in adolescents that had been adopted in infancy.
Adopted children can experience learning disabilities that make it harder to focus in class and they can find it more challenging to accomplish high skill level assignments.
An adopted child is more likely to experience emotional difficulties, as well as social or intellectual struggles. Difficulties that these children experience can extend beyond the home and into the classroom. Adopted children can experience learning disabilities that make it harder to focus in class and they can find it more challenging to accomplish high skill level assignments. This demographic is also more likely to receive a suspension from school. Those that are adopted have also been shown to have lower than usual grades on math and science tests.
Suicide and Substance Abuse – Higher Risks
Beyond adoption and addiction, there are also mental health problems for kids. There are higher risks amongst the adopted for disruptive behavior and acting out. Anxiety and depression also occur in higher rates. When the child grows up, they are more likely to have difficulties with misuse of alcohol and illicit drugs. Rates of suicide are higher and the individual also has greater odds of developing an eating disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is especially common amongst children adopted at older ages, along with separation anxiety disorder. For example, a child might avoid school because of social anxiety or difficulties with their studies.
With all of these different mental health trends in this demographic, one can wonder why these children are more susceptible. One factor could be that the mother used drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy. The disorder could be due to family genetics or perhaps the child was previously a victim of abuse. Children in foster care could be especially susceptible to mental health complications. The age at which adoption occurs and whether or not the child has contact with the biological family can also effect the likelihood of mood disorders.
It is important that adopted children have a home environment with stability where positive attachments can be formed. It is also important that parents step forward and speak with a professional if they are concerned about mental illness. Thankfully, many parents of the adopted are quite proactive and happily willing to seek solutions for their child, since raising children has already been established as a valuable experience to them. By seeking professional assistance sooner in development than later, the odds can only be improved that the child can go on to lead a relatively normal and healthy life. Morningside Recovery addresses mental health issues in a family and can help such children gain better self-esteem.
How Do I Get Help?
Are you worried about the complications of adoption and addiction? Morningside Recovery offers the full-spectrum of comprehensive addiction treatment in Orange County, CA. Our facilities hosts many programs, including dual diagnosis treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and addiction therapy services. Take that first step on the road to recovery and make better choices, every day. Call 855-631-2135 now.