The Addict and Alcoholic Living In Denial Of Their Disease


Living in denial is a complex matter regarding alcoholics and addicts. If an individual is high functioning, they may only be until their manageability declines. They may not be functioning as well as they believe but this may not be visible to them, although it’s apparent to others.

In Denial

What does being “in denial” mean?

Addicts and alcoholics in denial of addiction are living in unawareness of their inner thoughts and blocking off activity of their disease. Being in denial of addiction means an individual isn’t able to take a look at themselves. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying but may mean they don’t realize they are disregarding their own truth. They may not be willing to make changes in their life to get better or they may not think there’s a problem causing their life to be unmanageable.

More: How to help a loved one in denial

How do I know if my loved one is engaging in denial?

Signs of an individual engaging in denial may include abusing substances in private. When confronted, they may insist it’s a personal concern. Continuing to be approached and always derailing the topic should be viewed as a warning sign of being in denial. Stopping the conversation, minimizing, hiding substances, and lying are signs pointing to problems that your loved one’s living in denial.

Why do addicts and alcoholics stay in denial?

Addicts and alcoholics may not be aware they are in denial because they justify it as who they are instead of the illness it is. Others may see their life as unmanageable while the sufferer lacks the capability to see this because they are in denial and don’t want to change their behaviors.

How do I help my loved one break out of denial?

It’s difficult to get a loved one from living in denial of disease but an intervention can be a strategic move because it’s a prepared procedure. Individuals who care about the person battling addiction can face them. An intervention provides a mode of confrontation which can be monumental for breaking denial. Key components to be mindful of prior to intervening include speaking with experts, ensuring a small group is gathered, preparing what to say, having a secure setting, and not enabling your loved one.

More: Are you loving your loved one to death?

What do I do if they won’t admit they have a problem?

Unfortunately, the harsh reality is not every addict sees their problem or accepts help. Providing resources for your loved one, telling them you care and showing them support can be helpful for the time being until they are willing to see the truth. Loving them where they are at is the best you can do sometimes.

Where can I go for further support if the addict and alcoholic doesn’t want to?

Addiction affects the entire family. It’s important each member has the opportunity to heal and recover too. The illness latches onto the individuals loved ones and it takes a toll on their lives through creation of chaos and friction. There are 12-Step programs to attend meetings, work steps, and seek supports at such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. With fellowships like this, you can learn about ways to cope when dealing with your loved one being in denial and hear about solutions on a regular basis. You can even invite your loved one, if they choose to come.


Read 2205 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 March 2015 18:28
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