It can be incredibly painful to watch your loved one slowly destroying themselves and your family and it can lead to a range of family issues.
It can be incredibly painful to watch your loved one slowly destroying themselves and your family. As you have probably discovered addiction can lead to a range of family issues.
Am I helping or enabling?
The first, entirely natural reaction of a parent is to try and help. You probably feel guilty and assume that you must have done something wrong. You will probably try to help by giving your loved one extra love, care or financial assistance and you might set rules in an attempt to control the problem.
However, too much help can lead to “enabling” an addict. In reality enabling only prolongs the addiction and can actually make family issues worse. By helping to pay a fine, rent, petrol and even in some cases, buying drugs, you are preventing your loved one from experiencing the full consequences of their addiction. You are actually absorbing some of those consequences yourself, in order to prevent your loved one from feeling the full pain. Of course it is done with the best intentions, but you are enabling their addiction to continue.
What to do
You have probably found there is a lack of information and support for families and have heard many different opinions as to what the best course of action is.
Here is a list of suggestions:
- Talk openly and honestly about the problem and your concerns
- Be loving but do not enable
- Support and encourage your loved one to get professional help
- Remember it’s not your fault and addiction is a disease
- Maintain your boundaries. You are also an important person who deserves love and respect.
- Do not allow yourself to be treated like a doormat
- There is no benefit in lecturing or bringing up the past. The problem is now.
Fixing family issues
At The Hader Clinic Queensland, family therapy is an intrinsic part of our treatment model. We actively encourage family members to get involved as early as possible in the recovery process. Family involvement improves the chance of success.
To find out more about our family program, our family interventions or to simply speak to us to find out what your options are, please call us on 1300 856 847.
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