One of the most frustrating things about watching a loved one with an addiction is the fact that this person will deny he or she even has a problem. Denial is a common occurrence among addicts who are not ready to accept that the addiction is causing negative problems in their lives. The affected individual may be afraid to admit the problem because of fear that they would have to stop doing what they are doing.
Some will know deep down that what they are doing is not right while others will be completely oblivious to the harm their addiction is causing to themselves and those around them. The frustrating thing for friends and family members is that it is impossible to make an addict see that he or she has a problem if this person is unable or unwilling to do so. So is there anything you can do if your loved one is practising denial?
You have probably begged, pleaded with, and shouted at your loved one in order to try to get him or her to accept the issue and seek help. By now, you have probably realised that this will do no good. But what you cannot do is give up. If your loved one’s addiction is causing problems within the family unit, it cannot be ignored. However, you need to avoid getting angry with the affected individual as this is a futile exercise.
Stay calm and discuss how his or her behaviour is affecting other family members. Let him or her know that you are hurt and disappointed. You need to remember that it can be very hard for someone with an addiction to admit that he or she has a problem. The shame and stigma attached to this illness often prevent people from asking for help.
Consider an Intervention
Intervention is a great tool that can be used to help those with addiction come to terms with the illness. If your loved one continues to deny the problem exists yet everyone else can see the signs, an intervention may be your best option in terms of getting the person into treatment.
Interventions are effective when carried out correctly, so in many cases, family members will seek professional help with this. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to have a professional facilitator present, especially if you believe that the intervention is unlikely to get out of hand.
If your affected family member has never shown signs of aggression or violence, then conducting the intervention yourself is a good idea. It is important to get as much information as possible beforehand to ensure that the process runs smoothly. There is plenty of info available online, and there are many free referral services where you can speak to qualified counsellors and therapists for advice and information.
What to Think About
When planning an intervention, there are a few things you will need to consider. It is important that you consider the participants carefully. Do not invite every family member to attend if there are some who could cause an issue with the addicted person. Not all family members get on very well, so only invite those who the addicted individual respects and admires. He or she will be unwilling to open up and be honest in front of someone they clash with.
Do a dry run beforehand so that everyone who will be in attendance knows what to expect. If you simply ask people to attend and do not tell them what to do on the day, things could easily go awry. Another point worth mentioning is that it would be wise to have a treatment space already reserved for your loved one before the intervention takes place. This means that he or she could begin treatment immediately if the intervention is a success and the person will have less time to have a change of heart once the intervention is over.