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Addict in the Family

For many people, this is just a normal part of life. As stressful as it is, it is far more common than one might think. This is due to the fact that having a relative who is an addict of any sorts is usually seen to be embarrassing to the rest of the family. While hiding shame is a common reaction to family trauma, it does not actually help anyone get the help and support they need from their friends, community and others.

Many of your friends and associates might be going through a similar problem right now without you even knowing. They might even be addicted to gambling, drinking, prescription medication, illegal drugs, prostitutes, or any number of vices, and you don’t even know it. Obviously gambling addicts are embarrassed about their behavior and try to keep it a secret, but all too often the problem becomes so obvious it is no longer able to be hidden.

It doesn’t matter what kind of suffering your family member is going through, it is likely they will hide it as best they can from you as well. This can cause more pain in the long run. When people find they can be honest about their problems and ask for help and support, studies have shown it plays a huge role in their recovery from addiction.

If you have a family member or close friend going through this sort of mental trouble at present, you should try to be understanding and talk to them about the issue. If they feel they can open up to you without judgement you can support them through these difficult times. Whereas if you react in a way they do not appreciate, causing conflict, it can push them away so they will isolate from you further.

It doesn’t matter what kind of addict you are dealing with, all of them need support, love, guidance and the knowledge that someone cares about them. Often, they may lash out at people who try to help them, but please don’t take this personally. They do this because they are ashamed of their own behavior and don’t want to have to face the honest truth about themselves.

Addict in the Family

Isolative behavior can be a common response when an addict is going through a very rough time in their addiction process. Many addicts will lock themselves away from the rest of the world as they destroy their own lives alone. The best thing to do when this is happening is to constantly let them know you care, and keep trying to get through to them. Unless of course they are becoming violent or aggressive to the point you are afraid of them, and then you should involve the authorities.

If you can get close to them and talk about things openly and honestly, it will be a bit part of their healing. They may treat you as though they don’t care about you and don’t want to talk to you, but this is just because they feel guilty about their behavior and would rather nobody know about it. Don’t give up on them and be persistent when trying to reach out, hopefully, eventually they will open up to you and/or your other family/friends who are trying to help, then you can begin the healing process.

Therapy may be required and constant, on-going support is a necessity. If an ex-addict feels like they cannot cope with the stress in their lives they will often revert back to their old ways, because it makes them feel stability. They know exactly how the gambling or drugs will make them feel, and they miss the certainty of that during difficult times. Should this happen, it is integral that they have someone they can talk about their problems with and look to for support. If they have nobody who can offer them an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, it is very likely they will relapse.

Thanks to the team at Virtual Assistant Thailand for their assistance in writing the above post, on behalf of GIDI Therapy.

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