Why I Believe Addiction is Genetic and Runs in Families
I know a family fairly well. I met two of the family members when I was a girl in elementary school. Nice kids. Nice family. Catholic (like me), attended church (but not fanatical), popular (leaders, not followers) and just an overall nice Brady Bunch type. Then something strange happened to the youngest son in the family. He became a drug addict, dealer, petty criminal and occasionally a jail-bird. He was a very handsome young man but he covered himself in tattoos. Along with his black clothes and black hair it gave him an intimidating look. For years this man was in and out of jail. I don’t believe he ended up in the pen, but no doubt he was a jail-bird. watch family of drug addicts
Fast forward about 13 years. My former friend (let’s call her Katie), his sister, is married and has (gulp) triplets. Katie is a lot like her parents: nurturing, loving, patient, devoted to her husband and children. An awkward bit of marital trouble, in which her husband stole and lost $45,000.00 of their life savings due to a gambling addiction, set the marriage back however Katie, ever the trooper, forgave her husband and kept her family together. Is is likely her bond with the Catholic church had a strong influence. So far we have seen 2 addictive personalities in these otherwise healthy families. watch problem gambling video catechism of the Catholic church
Fast forward about 16 years. The triplets (two boys and a girl) are in their mid-teens. The girl, like her maternal uncle, is now a drug user, breaking curfews, and generally boyfriend-hopping (we know what that means, don’t we?). The boys have not ventured down that path, so why it is that the girl in particular has an addictive personality and not the boys is anyone’s guess. Perhaps that’s one of the mysteries of genetics for you. Mind you she also has a father who was a gambling addict: two strikes against her? Eerie, how there is absolutely a generational progression in terms of addiction, be it drugs and alcohol, sex addiction (whatever), gambling or what have you. Actually the jury’s out where sex addiction is concerned but having read a detailed explanation about SA which might be included in the 2013 DSM-V, I’m starting to think there is such a thing, and like any addictions in families, is probably genetic. watch the genetics of addiction
I’ve never seen such a pattern in a nice, functional family before. Mind you, good families might be a little too concerned about keeping up appearances. Perhaps that is the reason why children rebel? I have a friend whose family seemed like a dream when we were growing up. In later years although she admitted her parents were good people and she was close to most of her siblings, but when she was young she had to be perfect. Appearances mattered to her parents. If she did anything wrong she was made to feel like a black sheep. So rigid were her parents that in her early teens she wanted to attend psychotherapy although her parents would never have considered such a thing: that would have damaged their perfect facade. Sometimes good people hurt their children without even knowing it. Perhaps dysfunctional comes in many different guises. watch dysfunctional families and the shame cycle
True every family has its secrets but over the years I am beginning to realize that good people can have “bad” kids, so to speak. It would appear that sometimes good people raise undesirable kids, criminals and perhaps even psychopaths. I’ve heard that psychopaths are born and not produced. They are simply a “bad seed”. I don’t know that I am totally convinced genetics is always at fault where such an extreme personality disorder is concerned, but I am willing to believe that there is a percentage where this bizarre genetic construct is indeed to blame. watch families of psychopaths: you’re either useful or in the way.
Another mystery and failing of the human mind.
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