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California parents should split the joys and troubles of parenthood even after a divorce. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and that is not always possible. In some cases, families may naturally drift apart.

In others, a co-parent may attempt sabotage through underhanded, manipulative means. This is where you may run into an issue known as parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Psychiatric Times looks at the impact parental alienation (PA) has on children, along with the syndrome that may stem from it. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) occurs when one parent implements manipulative tactics. They do this to drive a wedge between family members. In particular, they target the other parent – the alienated parent – and their own children.

In the past, professionals did not acknowledge PA as a legitimate mental condition. But this is changing over time. Though PA is not listed as a formal diagnosis, the concept gets described in the DSM-5. PA is also included in the society guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Experiencing loss due to PA

PA has a massive impact on you as the alienated parent, as well as on your children. For you, experiencing the loss of a child even in a metaphorical sense is often excruciatingly painful. For your child, they have a higher chance of growing up with trust and relationship issues. Children who experience PA suffer from a form of child psychological abuse. This may also manifest later in depression or substance abuse.

The sooner you notice and identify PA for what it is, the sooner you can tackle it. This may allow you to mitigate some of the potential long-term damage it may cause if left unchecked.