If you have a loved one suffering with dual diagnosis, your first priority is offering support for their recovery. Don’t underestimate the impact this illness has on you and other family members as well. Learning to deal with these effects is a crucial factor in helping your loved one.
You will likely find yourself undergoing some of the same emotions as the patient. Denial could cause both of you to avoid facing up to the situation. Having a family member with either a substance addiction or mental illness is painful enough. People may believe that coping with both conditions simultaneously is more than they can handle.
Guilt in one form or another will come into play. You might feel responsible for not recognizing the situation sooner or even that you caused or at least contributed to the problem. Addicts are often skilled at manipulation, focusing on you to deflect attention from themselves.
Mixed in with these two emotions is shame. You may fear the opinions of friends and neighbors and worry about how it reflects on your family. On an individual level, you might consider yourself a failure as a spouse, parent or child.
While there’s a sense of relief once your loved one starts receiving treatment, it can also feel overwhelming. Incorporate these steps to keep yourself and your family grounded during the recovery process.
- Maintain open communication with the patient and with each other. Suppressing thoughts and emotions will hinder any progress and can result in feelings of resentment.
- Don’t neglect your physical health. Make sure you’re eating right and getting enough sleep.
- Avail yourself of whatever assistance you need. You can benefit from the experiences of those who have been in your shoes. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out for help.
You’re not in this alone. Family programs are a vital part of dual diagnosis treatment at Transitions Recovery in Miami. Please contact us at 800-626-1980 and let our caring staff members extend a helping hand.