For many of us, our entire childhood was swathed in dysfunction. Being the child of an addict is complicated, and we can't always verbalize how so. Even if we've had enough therapy to buy our psychiatrist a boat, we still may not even know we are dysfunctional.
Adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs) can and often do suffer from some features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are the direct result of living with the traumatizing effects of addiction.
The recognition that mental health problems are finally understood to have the same if not more impact on quality of life, job performance and relationship health is an idea whose time has finally come.
This false self is also sometimes seen as the "idealized self" or the self through which we operate because our true self just somewhere along the line (usually quite young) felt too weak, inadequate or overwhelmed to function and gain approval in the situation in which it finds itself.