Ways to Cope When a Loved One is Addicted
Addiction affects every aspect of a person's life and the lives of loved ones. It is a complicated disease and can be hard for family and friends to understand and cope with its effects. Addiction interferes with relationships and can make loved ones feel helpless, hopeless, and alone.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is "characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences." Drug abuse and addiction increase a person’s risk of developing severe mental and physical illnesses that can be life-threatening. The toxic effects of the drugs themselves can also cause psychological and physical illnesses.
A person who struggles with addiction may limit their time around loved ones. They may frequently be absent from family gatherings, special events, and holidays. Addiction is isolating and can make you feel guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, making it difficult for your loved one to come around.
Strategies to Help You Cope
Learn as much as you can about addiction. Addiction is a complex disease that makes physical and physiological changes to the brain and affects how the central nervous system works. Stopping drug or alcohol use is very difficult because a person will go through uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawals.
Look into your local support groups. Groups such as Al-Anon or CoDA have other loved ones who have watched their family or friends go through addiction. You can meet other people who struggle in similar situations. Join an online forum or a group on social media that relates to addiction. Ask questions and get advice or from others.
Set boundaries and follow through with consequences to show your loved one what is off-limits. This will help them to respect your rules and space. Plan expectations ahead of time and follow through with consequences. Boundaries ensure that you are not enabling your loved one's behavior. Boundaries can be scary. However, if there is no follow-through on ramifications, your intentions are quickly dismissed as frivolous, your credibility is shot, and your word is like quicksand.
Encourage your loved one to get help and offer support and compassion. Many who struggle with addiction also suffer from an underlying co-occurring mental health disorder. Never use shameful words or a negative tone when talking to your loved one. Keep communication with your loved one open, positive, and supportive. Try to use language that does not condemn and avoid getting angry or raising your voice. When you communicate from a place of compassion, you might get a better response from your loved one.
Healing Relationships after Addiction
Family and friends suffer a range of emotions, including guilt, anger, frustration, and helplessness. We cannot control another person's behavior, and healing relationships after addiction will take time. Recovery does not happen overnight, and neither does the repair of damaged relationships. A person in recovery will need help and support in their recovery journey, but they might be hesitant to independently ask for it. They might feel guilty for their behavior. Being there for your loved ones, and offering your time to them is one of the best things you can do to heal and repair that relationship.
Loved ones and supporters who were affected by addiction make the recovery process more comfortable. Many relationships can be damaged by addiction, but your effort to improve interactions with your loved one is a significant part of their sobriety. Mending broken relationships can be critical in developing a fulfilling life after addiction.
Addiction is a disease that affects the individual and the lives of loved ones. A person cannot be forced into treatment and recovery but can be influenced to get help with love, support, and encouragement.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction shatters the spirit of those who suffer from it, as well as their family and friends. Broken relationships need time to heal, so be patient throughout the healing process. At Achieve Medical Center, we work to make each patient comfortable with our empathetic team of professionals.
We compassionately provide comprehensive mental health and wellness services to children, adolescents, and adults. We offer treatment to individuals based on their own unique needs and circumstances and believe in holistic treatment that encompasses healing for the mind, body, and spirit for total health and wellness.
Our neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive approach that can help you manage symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, ADHD, sleep problems, addiction, disordered eating, trauma, and other mental health disorders. We also offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy as a psychiatric treatment for those suffering from mood disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, and addictive behaviors.
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction or a mental health disorder, you are not alone. Addiction and mental health disorders can make you feel isolated, scared, and helpless. Treatment is available, and you deserve a fulfilling, healthy life in sobriety and improved total wellness.
Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be challenging. You may feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, or other wide ranges of emotions. However, there are ways to cope and encourage your loved one to seek help. The most crucial step in coping is taking care of yourself. Look into support groups such as Al-Anon or CoDA to meet other individuals who have been impacted by others’ substance abuse. Educate yourself on the disease so you can approach your loved one from a place of understanding. When addressing treatment, ensure you are coming from a loving and caring place. If your loved one needs help with addiction or co-occurring mental health disorders, Achieve Medical is here for you. We work as a team to help you identify strategies to manage mental health symptoms so you can live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. We also deliver a personalized plan tailored to your needs, so you can achieve total wellness that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit. Achieve Medical offers same-day appointments in person, as well as telemedicine appointments. For more information on the services we provide, call us today at (619) 375-3977.