The holiday season is often extremely stressful both for people with drug or alcohol addiction and also for their families. Individuals with addictions experience fear and shame as they feel they’re constantly deceiving or disappointing their family members. Their family members experience the pain of witnessing their loved one suffer—or worse, they may be directly harmed by the actions of their loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction. Consequently, both individuals with addiction, as well as their families, should consider whether the winter holiday season may actually be the best time of the year to go for inpatient drug or alcohol rehab. When you think about it—starting addiction recovery during the holidays makes a lot of sense.
Drug and alcohol addiction are conditions that affect not only the substance user but the people close to them as well. The dynamics of addiction and family members can result in a range of harmful interactions and outcomes that make addiction a family disease. Family members of individuals with addiction often struggle with addiction themselves. However, even if an individual grows up in a family with addiction and doesn’t develop an addiction themselves, they’ll still be more likely to struggle with trauma, mental health, and developmental disorders. Furthermore, the many family roles in addiction can produce codependent or enabling behaviours that perpetuate the addiction.
So, you know someone with drug addiction or alcoholism and you want to help them, but you have no idea where to start? We understand that approaching such conversations constructively can be very difficult in the best of times—and even more difficult currently, with increased stress levels and social tensions due to COVID. This article … Read more
If you’re wondering, “am I a Sex Addict?” then the first thing you might want to think about is what you want to call it. The label “sex addict” has an enormous stigma attached to it—perhaps even greater than the stigma associated with substance use disorders. People labeled “sex addicts” often feel intense shame resulting both from their own perception of the stigma and also from how it causes other people to perceive and interact with them. As always, the additional distress, low self-esteem, and low self-efficacy caused by shame make it much harder for people to effectively work towards recovery and get better.
The development of dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) was motivated by one psychiatrist’s desire to create a comprehensive toolkit of highly effective practical skills for people to manage even their most intense and uncomfortable emotions. In a similar way, if one were to boil it all down, the essence of all the work we do at EHN Canada is helping people learn skills to effectively manage their out-of-control emotions.