People struggling with addictions often feel very misunderstood. There are so many misunderstandings and confusions out there surrounding people who are struggling with addictions. Many people don’t understand the true nature of addictions, and they struggle to understand those battling addictions. These misunderstandings cause them to judge addicts, and this may cause them to not lend the support that their addictive friend or family member may need. This leaves the addicted person feeling misunderstood, hurt, and alone.
To help make some ground on the subject, let me explain some things that many people misunderstand about addictions.
Here are 5 things to understand about people struggling with addictions:
1. Addiction isn’t a sign of poor self control.
It is a common misconception to think that addicted people just need to “keep it under control.” That if they were better able to control themselves, they wouldn’t have their addiction. This is not true. There are many different causes of addictions, ranging from life experience, to physical reactions, to mental and emotional causes. Lack of self control does not cause addictions, and addicts cannot overcome their addictions merely by “getting them under control.”
2. Many different types of people are affected by addictions.
Some people have the delusion that only certain races or classes are affected by addictions. The truth is, people from all walks of life are susceptible to addictions. No matter what someone’s social standing, ethnicity, or income, there are many different people that are struggling with addictions, all with different situations and life experiences.
3. People struggling with addiction need love and support.
When you have a loved one who is struggling with an addiction, this is not the time to leave them alone to fend for themselves. This is an extremely important time in their life when they will need your love, support, and encouragement. This is not a time to judge them. Please don’t leave them alone to fight this battle. They are going through an extremely difficult time in their life, and in order to get through it they will need all of the support and help they can get.
4. An addict must address all causes of their addiction to overcome it.
As discussed in number 1, there are many different causes of addictions. To be able to work towards recovery, an addict must address all of the causes of their addiction, be it physical, mental, and emotional. No two addictions are the same, just like no two people are the same. So, no two roads to recovery are the same. But it doesn’t matter what the circumstances, causes, and decided recovery routes. No matter what, the addicted person must get to the roots, all of the roots, of their addiction in order to be able to work to overcome it.
5. An addict who seeks professional help isn’t weak.
Somehow in our society it has become a thing that is looked down on when someone seeks professional help for these type of problems. If someone is physically sick and they go to a doctor, they are commended for being responsible and working to take care of the problem. But when someone with an addiction or a mental/emotional sickness seeks professional help to assist them in becoming well, somehow it is viewed as a sign of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
The truth is, it takes great courage for an addict to seek the help of a support group, counselor, or treatment center to help them with their addiction. They understand that there is going to be a long road towards recovery, and they are brave to face that obstacle and seek the help they need.