Addiction is a disease which brings bio-psycho-social consequences in addict’s life. This is such a dangerous disease which not only influences an addict’s life but more importantly for those who live with an addict. The addicts who are unconsciously and happily accepting all the disadvantages their disease causes to them but those who are around the addict can consciously observe what the hell of problems an addict carries into their life. Unknowingly the family members and loved ones who survive with an addict get trap into a variety of problems but they don’t know how to come out of this vicious circle.
Different families come across with different sort of problems but these issues arise in more or less similar areas of life. This article is based on such issues which the disease of addiction takes along for the caregivers of an addict.
Mehwish Mursaleen is MPhil in Clinical Psychology and pursuing her PhD in similar field from Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi. She has provided mental health services to people having different psychological problems coming from different age groups and backgrounds. Her research work is based on IQ, Emotional Intelligence, Academic achievement and Aggression in adolescents. She also has published case studies on CBT for depression and panic disorder. Her interests are in the areas of counselling, psychotherapy, and psychological assessment.
Editor: Wakeel Murad
Behavioural Consequences which a family bears:
Families of addict persons report that addicts are quite volatile and hazardous. They do appear to be idealistic and lively but this is a very short-lived moment. They accuse and defy elders all of a sudden while the person is not ready to deal with such a situation. The family members remain undecided whether they should allow any guest to visit their home because the addict might start behaving awkwardly anytime. Suppose, if a spouse is an addict, the partner cannot expect any support or ease from him. Moreover, the partner has to perform all of the responsibilities and take up the addict’s responsibilities along with taking care of him. Side by side they have to be prepared for any damages, crisis, mishap or harm brought about by the addict. They constantly worry about recovering the damages to assets, interpersonal relationships, and those self-harm the addict does to himself. Additionally, they have to bear all those economic crises, legal issues, coercive behaviours, disloyalty, and many other power show-offs by addicts. Their unpredictable aggressive behaviours always threaten the close ones and they don’t even can take any step to correct the addict because any of their efforts go in vain.
What a spouse of an addict feels:
It is such a terrible experience no one can imagine. They become lonely, worried and irritated. They try to conceal these problems from others and even feel threatened to discuss anything with companions, colleagues, and even close family members. They feel ashamed of themselves and start feeling responsible for even addict’s bad behaviours. They lose their self-confidence due to addict’s deceptions, exploitation, abusive behaviour and irresponsibility. They start losing hope for their ability to change the addict even after constant efforts and they don’t expect any security and trustworthiness from their partner. All this increases their sense of loneliness and dejection. Irrespective of the drug of choice, more or less every addict acts in a way which is quite predictable.