Acknowledging a problem is the first step toward resolving it. Denial in addiction is a huge roadblock to getting well. To reach long-term recovery, you must seek help, and to do that, you must recognize that help is needed in the first place.
It may be that for your friends and family, the need for you to ask for help is a no-brainer; they can clearly see that you could benefit from help. But denial in addiction can be a powerful force that can keep you from entering rehab and accessing help that is available to you.
The Role of Denial in Addiction
Outsiders looking in at a person dealing with a substance use disorder find it easier to recognize the damage that addiction has caused. But when you are the person with the disease, you may not recognize the disorder for what it really is. There are four main reasons for denial in addiction:
- The person with the substance use disorder may be so far gone they just do not care about what they are doing to their lives and their health. This terrible state of apathy can lead to overdose and the general wrecking of the person’s life before something can be done.
- The person may still believe they are completely in control of the disorder. They may use drugs or alcohol and believe they can stop at any time with no consequences.
- They may believe they are not really harming anyone, completely denying the wreckage they are spreading around to others.
- The person with the substance use disorder may even think of themselves as the victim, with life’s pressures forcing them to use drugs or alcohol to cope with all the pressure.
Signs of Denial
Denial in addiction is common. Some of the behaviors exhibited by the person in denial include:
- Manipulating their loved ones by playing the martyr or victim
- Minimizing the problem by suggesting others are totally being dramatic and blowing things out of proportion
- Distracting their loved one from the real issue by accusing them of butting in where they are not wanted or judging behaviors they know nothing about
- Blaming others for the problem
- Denying there is a problem at all. While they may deny addiction is an issue to their family and friends, they may also truly believe that they simply do not have a problem that needs medical intervention to cure
- Withdrawing from attempts by the family to provide care, love and support
Denial in addiction is a problem, but it is one that can be handled with the use of local addiction treatment resources. Local Washington and Oregon addiction treatment resources include inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers that can help people overcome denial in addiction and the damage it causes.
Please do not let denial be the obstacle that keeps you from seeking help and stepping into addiction recovery. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield to talk with a compassionate addiction professional about your treatment options today.