The Family Denies the Addiction
This behaviour prevents recognising the consequences of addictive behaviour that affect the whole family, such as when the addict loses their job and blames it on others or bad luck.
The Family does not Express Intense Emotions
The problem is that emotions cannot be selectively suppressed. Either you feel all there is to feel or you stop feeling altogether. Thus, when trying to suppress the intense emotions, all the others end up being suppressed. This makes it difficult to know what you are feeling and to identify your emotions. For this reason, it is not uncommon for anger to feel like anxiety or stress and for depression to feel like irritability. But as emotions are needed to guide us, make decisions and relate to others, when you have trouble knowing what you feel, it can create all kinds of problems including in relationships with people beyond the family.
The Family Tries to Control the Addict
The Family Reverses the Roles
The older son or daughter often ends up assuming the role of an alternate parent, taking care of their siblings and their own parents. All of this means that children must deny their age-specific needs to become adults too early.
The Family and Confidence and Privacy Problems
For this reason, it is not uncommon for children to become adults who perceive relationships as stressful and destructive, with problems experiencing intimacy with other people.
The Family has Behaviours that Promote Addiction
The addict can continue with the addiction without really serious consequences, because their partner “takes care of cleaning the dishes” and providing the family with what they need. Thus, the addict’s family falls into a trap that perpetuates the addiction.
The Family and Codependence in Adults
To overcome these problems and to be able to maintain healthy and normal relationships in adulthood, the family often needs help.