Monday, March 28, 2016

Why it's important that the whole family must receive help!

We finally talk about it! Research and media increasingly address the fact that addiction is a disease which often affects the families; it can ruin close relationships or disrupt an entire family.
Instability inside the family 
For the person with addiction, the alcohol/drug primarily comes in first hand. It may be that the person doesn't take responsibility for his/her actions or responsibilities in or outside the home. This may lead to major conflicts and instability within the family. 
Mistrust, lies and theft 
Lying is often common for a person with an addiction, and the intention is almost always to hide their addiction. They might even steal money or other things from people in their surroundings. This obviously creates anger and disbelief, since the relatives feel let down.
Economic problems 
It is common that the addict doesn't take responsibility for his/her work, school, shopping etc. It may often be the case that the person instead relies on their families for financial support. 
Conflicts between the family members 
Abuse can lead to strong negativism in the home. The anger and sorrow that the family members feel may turn into aggression against each other, instead of the person with an addiction. Fights, accusations, insults and yelling is common between family members in a house where a person with addiction lives.  
Shame and denial 
Even the relatives may feel ashamed because of their loved ones addiction, which may lead to them denying the abuse, both to themselves and to others. In the worst case, they may also begin to use alcohol or drugs, in an attempt to deal with the painful feelings. 

It's important for you as a relative to have all these things in mind. Maybe you're in a similar situation as to the ones described above. Maybe you live in a destructive family situation, where arguing and fights are common, and you're not even sure about the reason to it all; as mention above, it is common that relatives to people with addiction live in denial. Think about how your current living situation looks like, comparing it to what you've just read. Maybe it can help you sorting out your and your family members lives.  
Get in touch with a support group where you can meet others who live in a similar situation as your own, or have experienced the same thing. Prioritize your own needs and the needs of your family members! Prioritize your children! One suggestion is to seek professional help, such as therapy, financial adviser, medical center, etc.We cannot solve all the problems ourselves

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is my loved one and addict, or am I just overreacting?

Many families are constantly bearing this question.

The main thing is not to focus on the label "alcoholic" or "addict". It is rather about how the persons behavior affects their own lives.

If you've noticed that there might be problems due to alcohol/drug consumption, in areas such as the persons work, health, relationships, finances, self-confidence, self-respect, the law or similar areas, you're not overreacting. People with an addiction are usually unwilling to talk about their problems, or even admit to themselves or others that there is a problem.

Below are some suggestions on what you can do to get some answers to your questions and concerns!

1. Learn about how a person with an addiction may behave 
2. Observe the person's behavior carefully for a few days or weeks, without saying anything about it.
3. Talk about the person with other family members or friends. Have they also noticed something that deviates from the persons normal behavior?
4. Seek professional help! For example: alcoholism/drug counseling, doctor, social worker, etc. Tell them about the things you have observed!    

Important! Make sure that you or other family members can not come to physical harm! Come up with a safety plan in case you don't feel safe, or if something should happen. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

10 years...

Friday, March 11, 2016

How can I help someone realize that they have a problem?

Do you feel as you are doing everything you can to help your loved one out of her/his abuse? That you're constantly talking to the person about it, but nothing happens?

You have probably tried all the different strategies there is... However, here are some suggestions on what might actually work. Try it, and see how it turns out. Stick to what works better. The rest is just unnecessary energy.


- Giving "lessons"

- Threatening ("if you do not ...")
- Yelling 
- Accusing ("You always do this," "It's your fault that ...")
- Setting ultimatum, and after that, giving the person a second chance, even though he/she broke the promise
- Trying to hold a conversation when the person is under the influence of alcohol/drugs


Use positive communication and "I-statements". For example: "I/we care about you" or "I/we want you to get help, for your own sake." Instead of "you are always wasted/high on Christmas Eve," you can say, "I would be so happy if we were celebrating a white Christmas this year".

There is a risk that people suffering from addiction will deny/avoid their problems. If they admit that they've got a problem, it means that they have to take care of it.  

Set limits!  
These limits shall, among with other things, be about what you accept when it comes to your home (either your own home or the home you share together with the person), your finances and your relationships with other people. Hold on to these limits! Leave the person alone and make something better of your time in case if he/she is under the influence.

And, if you've tried everything and you still feel that nothing is happening, or that things are getting worse, seek professional help!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

What is the relatives view on addiction?

As long as a person lives in denial, he/she will always try to protect/hide the addiction, especially from the close ones. All attempts from you as a relative to communicate might turn against you (you may be called "hysterical" or that you have a "lively imagination").

If you are constantly told that you're are crazy, you may finally begin to distrust your own judgment, resulting in a situation where your loved one is able to continue with his/her addiction, without consequences. It will be even more complicated if you're economically dependent or if you have children with the person.

Many family members who have gone through therapy explains how a big part of their lives revolves around the addict, and that their own needs always come in second hand, even during the therapy (if their loved one is present during the sessions). This is further complicated when a relative is used to tolerate and accept many things which are actually not okay, leading to a "normalization" of things that actually are "abnormal".

What many families are experiencing is that they:
- Tolerate things that they otherwise would never tolerate.
- Sacrifice their own time, and in the same time expecting to receive something in return.

- Do things for others, things like the others ought to do for themselves
- Act against their own believes (ex. nags, begs, blames or shout).
- Set ultimatum that they will not keep.
- Make great efforts to build up a "facade"

- Create a strong, irrational conviction, like "if only X does this, everything will be fine".
- Fight hard to remain calm.
- Accept a life of drama and chaos.

A big help might be for you to talk to other relatives/families who are in the same situation as yourself. This might make you manage to express your feelings, and thus clarify the situation, realizing what's actually "normal" to accept. It may also help you to realize that there are so many others who are going through the same thing as yourself! - Den ständigt växande länkkatalogen - Den ständigt växande länkkatalogen