Addicts don't always appear to open up to loved ones, and this can lead family and friends to think the addict doesn't care about anything.
But they do care. If you could read the mind of a loved one fighting an addiction, these are some thoughts he or she may want you to know while on the path to recovery:
1. 'We aren't trying to hurt you'
You may have noticed that trying to talk with an addict can be difficult, especially if you're trying to provide a supporting role. While you may start to feel frustrated, it's important to understand that your loved one isn't trying to intentionally hurt you by not talking.
You have to be careful not to misinterpret silence. To you, silence may come off as a hostile move. But the reality is, most addicts simply have trouble expressing their true emotions. Addicts may feel guilty that their vices are already causing you emotional pain, and using you as a shoulder to lean on – of sorts – may add to those negative feelings.
The solution is to realize that you can only do so much. Try communicating with your loved one, though when you aren't making any progress, don't try to force the issue. If you try too hard to break the silence, you may burn yourself out. Eventually, your loved one will open up.
2. 'We aren't evil'
Addicts want you to know they aren't evil people, explained The Mighty, and addictions are more complicated than some people may think. In fact, the National Institute of Drug Abuse classified addictions as chronic diseases.
Our society often portrays addicts as lesser individuals – they aren't. Your loved one is still a person who has emotions. You need to treat an addict as a human who just happens to be fighting a severe illness.
Provide support whenever possible for your loved one because it shows you still care and want to see him or her make a full recovery.
3. 'We need help'
Overcoming an addiction is a difficult battle. The NIH said addictions often cause changes to someone's brain, which makes relapses all too common.
Addicts want your help, though they may not always explicitly say so. Your loved one may feel ashamed for developing an addiction and this causes him or her to assume you won't be there.
Don't let those feelings linger. You should make an effort to help an addict in his or her recovery process. Unsure of how to help? Read a previous blog post detailing the ways you can support a loved one fighting an addiction.
Additionally, if you know someone who is dealing with addiction, call Fairwinds Treatment Center. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of addiction by using a Dual Diagnosis approach. In using this tactic, Dr. El-Yousef and his staff of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists work to first diagnose the underlying reason behind a person's disorder. Upon understanding the cause, they can then treat the condition and its symptoms.