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Parental Alienation is Child Abuse

Parental alienation is a term used to describe a situation where a child is turned against one parent by the other parent, often in the context of a high-conflict divorce or separation. This can have a devastating impact on the child and the targeted parent, as well as on the entire family.


While parental alienation is not recognized as a psychiatric disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it is widely acknowledged as a serious form of emotional abuse that can have long-term psychological effects on the child. It involves manipulating a child's perceptions of the targeted parent, often through negative comments or actions, to the point where the child no longer wants to have a relationship with that parent.


Parental alienation can take many forms, including denigrating the targeted parent in front of the child, making false allegations of abuse, and restricting access to the child. In extreme cases, the alienating parent may even try to convince the child that the targeted parent is dangerous or unloving.


The effects of parental alienation can be devastating for children. Children who are alienated from a parent often experience anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They may also have trouble forming healthy relationships with others, both in childhood and in adulthood. Additionally, children who are alienated from a parent may experience a loss of identity and struggle with feelings of guilt and shame.


It's important to recognize that parental alienation is a form of child abuse. By turning a child against a parent, the alienating parent is causing emotional harm and depriving the child of the love and support of both parents. Parental alienation is also a form of psychological abuse that can have long-term effects on the child's mental health.


If you suspect that your child is being alienated from you, it's important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. A therapist can help you work through the complex emotions that come with parental alienation and provide guidance on how to repair your relationship with your child.


Parental alienation is a serious form of emotional abuse that can have long-term effects on the child's mental health. It's important for parents, mental health professionals, and the legal system to recognize and address this issue to protect the well-being of children and families.



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