Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's Not Your Fault

It's not your fault. Family members want to know what they can do to help their loved one. What is the one thing they haven't found out yet that is the answer for creating a positive outcome for their son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister. In the struggle to help their loved one family members gradually put more and more of their own emotional wellbeing into the hands of the addicted person. who has no control over their own wellbeing. The family members world begins to shrink and is more and more focused on the addict. This situation causes tremendous levels of pain and anxiety for the family members.
The answer to the question of how can they help lies in what the family members think is going on. What the family members think is true about addiction, what they perceive their responsibilities are, and what family members are emotionally willing and able to do in response ti the addiction in their family.

For example the idea that addiction is a disease process that neither the addict nor the family member have any control over may be very confusing to the family member. Many family members do not understand what that means or are not really convinced that it is true. Every major health organization in the world agrees that addiction is a disease but, unless the family member is able to understand this and act on it the information doesn't help them. Family members will say things like, "how can it be a disease, they do it to themselves?" What the family members are seeing is actually the compusive behavior and drug seeking of the addict that is the result of changes in the brain caused by the disease process of addiction.

You would think that people with lung cancer or emphyzema would stop smoking but many do not because of their addiction to nicotine. The brain is altered because of the chronic drug use and fools the addict is thinking that their drug of choice, whether it is Ice, Alcohol, Nicotine, Cocaine is what makes life worth living, not family, friends, job. This is why the addict will endure all type of hardship, create chaos, lose everything around them because they are chasing the thing that they think is good for them. I never met an addict that wanted the pain that they caused for themselves but they can't stop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very informative.
My husband is an alcoholic.
I tell him I go to meetings because
of my father's addiction,
but I go for several reasons.
Anyway, he keeps saying
"anyone who has any addiction
makes a choice, and it IS their
fault. Nobody else is responsible"
So, needless to say, this was helpfull. He says no addiction is a disease. Thanks again for the info.