Home Addiction How to Help Your Friend or Family Member Without a Fight – Cathy Taughinbaugh

How to Help Your Friend or Family Member Without a Fight – Cathy Taughinbaugh

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This is a guest post by Daniel Hochman, MD on what to do if you are concerned about substance use.

In this article, we review real-world answers to people who have trouble talking to loved ones about their drinking and substance use. As, I understand what goes on in the minds of both sides.

Understanding the psychological dynamics of playing makes it easier to help friends and family, and even connect emotionally. This article presents proven concepts and concrete examples to help you create a plan that works and feels right.

use simple words

Sometimes less is more. Using words like “addiction” and “alcoholism” may seem important in diagnosing problems, but these words can create unnecessary obstacles. Instead, we encourage you to point out your problem using a certain normal language.

When talking to patients with alcoholism, it is often misunderstood that the term “alcoholic” is used. Words can create friction and defense from the start. The problem with using heavy terminology in this area is that it means different things to different people. Unless you are specifically studying or treating addiction, it is best not to use these terms.

Whether a person drinks five drinks a night or has an occasional binge isn’t as important as whether drinking is causing the problem. Instead of getting hung up on definitions, it’s better to focus on the concerns at hand. Let’s explore this idea further by moving on to some examples.

use facts instead of opinions

Now that you’re ready to use normal language, you may be wondering what to say. The key is to stick to the facts. Now is not the time to insert opinions or judgments about your loved one’s actions. The more you try to turn the conversation into an addiction, the more it becomes sidetracked and defensive. Avoiding conflict is not the only thing that matters. It’s about wanting to influence our words.

An example of what not to say: “You are a liar and an alcoholic!” Because it uses opinions and judgments, not hard facts.

The idea is to focus on details that are hard to refute and not attack their character.

Then explore how to build on these examples.

come from a place of interest

It’s a common mistake to think that pointing out a loved one’s addiction is enough to persuade them to change their behavior. Arguing about what constitutes an acceptable level of drinking or use can lead to pointless conflict. Instead, focus on why their behavior worries or upsets you. target.

Shifting focus from addiction to shared values ​​and concerns can make a big difference in how they respond to you. You can move forward towards better results. You should focus on why it is scary or sad for you.

It is important to be specific and factual when voicing your concerns. You can’t know what your partner is interested in, so it’s fairer to focus on your own concerns. Below is an example of a specific statement regarding your concerns and the reasons behind them. I’m worried about the distance between us shrinking. “

Using specific, regular, and personal language helps clarify concerns and avoid unnecessary traps. Let’s move on to the next topic. It is the effect of addiction on your relationship.

they need to work

Your loved one’s destructive behavior has probably relegated you to the role of a tireless helper. But here’s the good news. No need to do all the heavy lifting for them. Think of it like a gym. Lifting weights for someone doesn’t help them get stronger, right?

Doing too much for them can actually hinder their growth and progress. Your role is to make it easier for them to work on themselves. And if you find it too difficult to see them struggle and end up helping them too much, it might be worth thinking about your own discomfort. This is a very common theme.

Plan healthy activities together, help schedule doctor appointments if you’re scared, and send links to resources based on what you’ve discussed together.

Depending on the distance, doing none of these is fine. If you get resentful or burned out as a helper, it’s a good sign that you’ve gone too far.

make it easy to get started

Many family members and friends try to intervene, demand that their loved ones get better in a month, and try to confess their addiction to everyone. Instead, think of ways to help them take one small step at a time. Just like things spiral downwards, they can also spiral upwards.

Everyone is unique, so you may already know what works for them. The idea is not to show them that they will quit their addiction by tomorrow, but that the process is fun and rewarding.

invite them to a psychological approach

As a psychiatrist, it is important to address the underlying issues when your loved one is trying to overcome an addiction. It is important to recognize that it is often due to underlying pain such as boredom, unhappiness in life direction, trauma, and depression.

Psychological discovery should be interesting and enjoyable. Some examples include having heart-to-heart conversations with people you admire, reading books or listening to podcasts on emotions and behavior, and trying mindfulness and meditation practices.

Additionally, I created a program called self healing It guides people on a thought-provoking and effective journey to build the psychological tools they need for change. This is intended to make it easier for friends and family to offer their loved ones something they might actually be interested in. This is a completely private, on-demand program that is cheaper and more effective than traditional rehab programs.

Whatever you think of, make this an exciting step to make them willing to say yes. It leads to growth.

Daniel Hochman, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist and creator of an innovative online addiction recovery program. SelfRecovery.orgHis therapeutic philosophy has cut through the confusion about addiction and has helped thousands of people finally solve the addiction puzzle.

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