Alcoholism And Addiction: Dealing With Denial

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The power of denial is very strong. This is especially true when it comes to those addicted to alcohol or drugs. An addict can come up with a million excuses for why they use, and some of them sound real enough for them to believe it themselves. Unfortunately, you can’t force a person to start treatment or call a counseling center until they’re ready. But there are things you can do to help.

First, understand that denial runs deep. The addict may blame everything but the booze on their quality of life: depression, poor health or unsupportive relationships. Simply understanding they’re not in denial on purpose may help. Having said that, agreeing with them or staying silent only feeds into their delusion. Avoid excessive criticism, but don’t become an enabler.

Learn the difference between detachment and self-protection. Tell the addict you will be there to support them when they’re ready to get help, but don’t cling to them too tightly in hopes that you can “save” them. This is detrimental to your own mental health. If you need some help processing your emotions, find a support group or a women’s group in your area.