Why Is Denial Common Among People With Addiction
As a person on the outside, it can be extremely difficult to understand how an addict can’t see the damage they are doing. However, people who have an addiction are not able to think clearly. The addiction is in control and it causes the person to be obsessive about getting high or drunk no matter what the consequences are.
Additionally, there may be past trauma or mood disorders that are clouding the persons judgment. If someone is struggling with bipolar disorder or trying to push away painful memories, theyre obviously going to have a harder time thinking rationally and understanding the importance of addiction treatment in Agoura.
Here are some of the most common reasons why addicts are in denial:
Do: Take Care Of Yourself
Indulging in self-care is not selfish, especially when youre helping someone dealing with addiction. You cannot let the addiction of your loved one derail your own life. Continue with healthy activities, like hobbies and social outings, and take care to look after yourself. Therapy or counseling is part of that process, but indulging in activities that arent centered around your loved one is necessary. Determine what it is that you need to keep yourself well and indulge in it.
How To Approach An Addict In Denial
Although there are addicts who come to the conclusion that they need help on their own, this is unfortunately not always the case. There are many circumstances where addicts are in denial of their addictions, thinking or convincing others and themselves that they can stop at any time if they wanted to. As a friend or family member trying to convince your loved one that they have a problem, you may need to source for outside help to open their eyes to the issue.
You May Like: Is My Kid Addicted To Video Games
Also Check: How To Come Out Of Alcohol Addiction
Denial: The Primary Roadblock To Addiction Recovery
Getting a loved one to go to drug and alcohol rehab isnt always easy. Some people may not be ready to admit that they have a problem, let alone spend 30 to 90 days in a rehab center.
Denial is one of the main roadblocks that can keep a person from enrolling in addiction treatment and moving forward with their life.1 So what does this look like daily? How can we help our loved ones overcome their denial and accept the help they need to get better?
About Alcohol Abuse And Alcohol Use Disorders
Drinking becomes problematic when it affects a persons life to the point where they can no longer control their alcohol use. They continue to drink despite negative impacts it has on their life. When someones drinking progresses to this extent, a person may have an alcohol use disorder.1
An alcohol use disorder is a chronic, but treatable condition that can develop in association with certain cognitive changes and physiological adaptations that can make it additionally difficult for a person to stop drinking even if they want to.
You may suspect that someone has an AUD if they meet at least two of the following criteria outlined by the American Psychiatric Association :1
Consuming more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men may be considered unhealthy.2 Remember, only a physician can diagnose someone with an AUD. However, being aware of the signs of an AUD can help you prepare for your conversation with the person you suspect has a problem with drinking alcohol. To learn more about addiction, how it manifests, and its effects on society, view our addiction statistics page.
Recommended Reading: Why Do You Get Addicted To Nicotine
When Needed Consult A Professional
There is nothing wrong with seeking out professional help. There is also nothing wrong with admitting you dont know where to start. This is why there are people out there who are dedicated to helping others in these types of situations. If you feel so overwhelmed by the idea of confronting your loved one about their addiction then speaking with an addiction professional may just be the boost of confidence you need to get the job done.
One of the most difficult things a person can go through is to see someone they care about destroying their life. It may be extremely uncomfortable to bring up these sorts of topics but it is better than never saying anything at all. It may take a long time for the person to finally come around and see what you are saying is true but at least you will know you have done everything you could to help.
How Do You Help An Alcoholic Family Member In Denial
The risks of alcoholism are well-documented and understood by most of the population, yet addiction continues. Even when the links between alcohol abuse and specific negative consequences are clear, some people will continue to drink and insist it isnt a problem. Denial is a force as strong as addiction for some people, and its the weapon they use to protect themselves from a painful reality.
Also Check: Why Do People Get Addicted To Meth
Realize You Might Not Get Through To Them Right Away
Realizing and accepting that there is a problem can take time. This can be an extremely difficult process. Even if you are not able to get someone to admit they have a problem right away know that you have at least planted the seed for them to realize what is going on. There may even be a good chance that on some level the person already knows they have a problem but are not yet willing to admit to it to others.
When All Else Fails Dont Use Guilt
Its very easy to mix up the thought of an ultimatum, and lecturing or guilting an addicted individual into ceasing their vice usage. Under no circumstances should you attempt to guilt them into quitting their addiction. Phrases like How could you do this to me, or anything that will garner guilt and/or shame from the addict is a surefire no-go.
Don’t Miss: Why Do People Have Addictive Personalities
Love Over Anger For An Addict In Denial
In both a surprise and planned intervention, love is your best tool. In an intervention, you use letters and other tools to illustrate both how much love you the addict, but also how much the addict has harmed themselves or others. Demonstrating love for the addict compared to anger for wrongs has shown to be more effective to getting an addict into treatment compared to anger or vitriol which will send the addict out of the intervention and back to using.
Things To Stop Doing If You Love An Alcoholic
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Are you wondering how you can cope with a drunk mother during the holidays, or how you can help her? Have friends told you that you are an enabler for your spouse? Do you find yourself suffering the consequences of a loved one’s alcohol problem?
It can be hard to hear that you need to change yourself when a loved one is living with alcoholism. After all, it’s their problem, isn’t it? Unfortunately, you can only change yourself, and the only way you can interrupt and change the current course of your interactions with people with substance use disorders is to change your reactions.
Those who live or have lived with active alcoholics or anyone struggling with addiction find that they have been deeply affected by the experience. Many times, the frustration and stress can be caused by your own actions and choices.
By adjusting your approach and your attitude toward the problem, you can place it in a different perspective so that it no longer dominates your thoughts and your life. In some ways, knowing that you can change your approach and attitude is empowering.
You no longer need to continue doing some of the things you do in your dance with a person with an addiction. Here are 10 things that you can stop doing that may help relieve the pressure.
Also Check: How Do You Help Someone Addicted To Drugs
How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction
Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.
How To Confront An Addict In Denial
The truth is that it is possible your loved one has been thinking about seeking help and deep down they might be craving it. In addition, maybe they have just been waiting to see if anyone cares about them. So, you should really take the first step and figure out how to talk to someone on drugs. This will help you find the strength to reach out to your loved one.
You can also offer your loved one resources, including contact information and schedules for local support groups. You could also suggest that your loved one seek professional substance abuse counseling or addiction rehab. There are also inpatient and outpatient programs available for people who have addictions. You could recommend one to your loved one as a solution to their addiction issues. If they are nervous about getting treatment, you could volunteer to go with them so they dont have to go alone.
Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, denial is part of the process. Overcoming denial is a step towards sobriety. Watching someone suffering from an addiction can be frustrating, stressful, and difficult. Knowing how to talk to drug addicts can help a person express themselves to a loved one who has an addiction. Although you should remember if you have a loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction, it is a good idea to express your concerns to them when they are sober. Dont place blame on your loved one. Stay positive and speak with them regarding their addiction.
Don’t Miss: How To Fight Marijuana Addiction
How Do I Tell If Im In Denial Of Addiction
Your brain uses denial to protect you from unpleasant feelings. So, the only way to recognize if you are experiencing denial in addiction may be to get out of your own head for a second. This is easier said than done, but heres a simple exercise that could help:
Think back on the last week or month. At any time, can you recall making excuses for your behavior while under the influence? Excuses like, it was just that one time. Or, I didnt really mean those things I said. If so, was it an isolated incident or do you see a pattern?
Now ask yourself another question: Have your friends, family or co-workers expressed concern or made comments about your drug use? If you answered yes, did you respond with a negative, defensive or angry reaction? If so, this is could be a classic sign of addiction denial. Remember, denial is a coping mechanism that your brain uses to protect against painful emotions. Comments from your friends could make you feel exposed, vulnerable or under attack.
How To Help Someone In Denial Of Addiction
One of the most important tips on how to help addicts in denial is to remain supportive of the individual without enabling their behavior. If you realize a loved one is avoiding the topic of their addiction or flat out denying their problem, its time to sit them down and have a one-on-one conversation. When conversations fail, our intervention services at Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago can help. Our drug intervention in Illinois brings the individuals loved ones together to discuss the need for addiction treatment and to work on repairing broken relationships. Interventions conducted at our facility are led by certified intervention specialists who create a safe and judgment-free environment where families can encourage their loved ones to seek out addiction treatment.
Banyan Chicago offers numerous addiction treatment and therapy methods that can help your loved one recover. Call us today at to speak to a team member about our alcohol and drug treatment in Chicago.
You May Like: How To Stop Screen Addiction
How To Recognize An Addict In Denial
It is very common for people struggling with addiction to be defensive about the problem when a friend or family member broaches the subject with them. Partly, because of the vulnerability that comes with letting other people into your business. But mainly because they feel their friends or family will not see them the same way again. But little do they know that denial will do nothing but complicate the problem for them. As their friend or loved one, it is your responsibility to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction and point it out to them. Here are the common signs of addiction to look out for in persons in denial.
- Solitary consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs at odd hours, such as in the morning.
- Concealment of alcohol or drugs in odd locales at home, at work, and everywhere else.
- Excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol to get the same high effect
- Legal violations resulting from substance abuse
- Avoiding social interactions or hobbies to spend time drinking or using.
- Infrequent periods of sobriety
- frequent outbursts over addiction-related discussions
Find The Right Intervention Program For You And Your Family
At Family First Intervention, we recognize that not all intervention programs are designed or created equal. There are many wonderful interventionists who will come out and talk to your loved one. How many actually prepare the addicts family for their recovery? How many actually support the family after the intervention when the real trials and tribulations will occur. The answer is, not many. Most interventionists treat an intervention as a rehearsal and 12 Step call in an attempt to talk your loved one into accepting treatment.
Addiction affects the family and just about anyone else the substance user comes into contact with. Addressing only the substance use addresses only a small part of the problem. We know that not every family that calls will be ready to move forward. We also know that not every family member will be on the same page nor will they be ready to hear that they would greatly benefit from changing themselves. The intervention company should put your needs first and meet you where youre at as a family. One of their many goals should be moving your family into their own recovery and reducing your reactivity to the substance user.
Read Also: What Are The 4 Stages Of Addiction
What To Know About How To Confront A Drug Addict
When youre confronting someone about drug use, they may see what youre saying as a criticism or an unnecessary concern, and they may lash out at you.
While learning how to confront a family member on drugs or another loved one is difficult, its also necessary.
The following are some specific things to keep in mind when youre confronting someone about drug use and addiction:
Other tips for how to confront a drug addict include:
- Try to listen to the addict as well as talking about your feelings. Sometimes when people are confronting an addict, they think they have to do all of the talking, but it can be helpful also to listen. This will allow the addict to feel like they can trust and confide in you.
- Try to be consistent when youre learning how to confront an addict. You will probably find yourself confronting an addict over and over again until they finally accept treatment, and when doing so, you want your message and delivery always to be the same.
- Set boundaries and define consequences. The key phrase to keep in mind when learning how to confront an addict is often tough love. This means that when youre confronting someone about drug use or learning how to confront someone about drug use, you keep in mind unconditional love, with strict boundaries at the same time.
You May Like: How To Cope With Addiction
What You Need To Do
Remaining calm is the best thing you can do when talking to your loved one. Being non-judgmental is also critical talk about how their behavior affects you. In terms of timing, always approach your loved one when they are sober. Just after they wake up can be ideal, as they havent yet had time to use.
Dealing With Denial In A Loved One
Denial is a very common behavior among addicts and a very serious one, as it can prevent a person from receiving the addiction treatment they need. In knowing how to deal with denial, you can help a loved one overcome a primary barrier to lifelong recovery and get them into an outpatient treatment program.
Direct Strategies For Dealing With Denial
Denial is a powerful coping mechanism used by people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. They use denial to avoid understanding and addressing the feelings and thoughts that motivate using. The addict believes, subconsciously, that drinking and doing drugs does less damage than working to understand the pain and motivations that lie underneath. Those who question whether or not things are really fine are met with anger.
Although it can feel impossible to convince a loved one that substance abuse is a problem, there are many strategies you can use to help him recognize his addiction. Its also important to continuously stress the long term consequences of denial, which may include:
During your final attempts to reach your loved one, you must be prepared to hear some unpleasant truths about your own life. Your loved one may attempt to justify his behavior with your past actions. Be prepared to set limits strive for a rational discussion of the problem and avoid a shouting match at all costs.
Refute each excuse with a calm and rational response, and dont be afraid to acknowledge when your loved one is correct. You can try leaving your loved one with a book or website that talks about the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. Independent information given with no emotional attachment can sometimes convince a loved one to get help.
Also Check: How To Avoid Addiction To Drugs