Addiction and denial go hand in hand. Whether it is an addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or heroin, nearly each and every addict will be in some sort of denial.
One should understand that denial is normally an unconscious defense mechanism. People who do not use drugs or drink alcohol will have some sort of denial in their life. However, an addict in denial typically takes it to the utmost extreme; so much that it becomes unhealthy and a tough obstacle to get past and onto recovery.
There are many types of denial, listed below are a few different ways that a person with an addiction to drugs or alcohol may be in denial.
Addicts are typically very experienced in lying and manipulating in order to protect their own ability to satisfy their cravings. They may manipulate others close to them in order to receive money to purchase their drug of choice. Addicts may also lie to themselves about their addiction and their daily struggles; many come to believe their own distortions of reality.
Oftentimes, addicts go through blackouts, a period of time when they are unable to recall events while under the influence. A person with an addiction becomes unable to remember negative situations that occurred during the blackout. Blackouts not only increases denial, but may cause confusion, delusion, and frustration not only to the user, but also to anyone close to him or her. Instead of realizing the situation at hand, the addict may deny the entire negative event or may believe that the event is being exaggerated.
Air Traffic Controllers
This occupation may not be a first guest, but in fact, the individuals working as air traffic controllers have a high risk of abusing or becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. This may be partly to do with the stress of making sure everything goes exactly as it should. People working in this occupation work long hours and must be alert for each and every one. Luckily the numbers are extremely low for this occupation and those who are not addicted have learn to manage with the stress.
Recalling Only Good Times
More times than not, events that an addict experiences when they are using are distorted. It is common for people with an addiction to recall only the good times that they experience. The addict denies that there were any bad times; they are simply “forgotten”.
Enabling the Addict
People close to the addict may be in denial, and add to the addiction and the addicts’ own denial. It is common for those close to the addict to protect him or her from any consequences resulting from their inappropriate behaviors. They may call the addict’s employer and lie, stating that the addict is sick in bed with the flu, when the reality is they are too hung-over or high to go to work.
Denial of the Definition of Addiction
Many addicts deny or become ignorant to the definition of addiction. Many addicts will refer to stereotypes to compare their own problem to. For example, the individual may claim that they do not drink or use every day, they go to work or school, they do not use in the morning, etc. When they do this, they exclude their own behavior from the definition of addiction.
Negative Impact on the Brain
Individuals with serious alcohol or drug addictions typically have disruptions in the functioning of the brain. Neurotransmitters, such as, dopamine and serotonin are unevenly distributed. This can cause “un-order in the brain”; resulting in cravings, loss of control, and the inability for the brain to process, store, and use information.
These are only some factors to consider when trying to understand addiction and denial. In the end the addict will blame everything and everyone except their own drug/alcohol abuse for their problems.
Stop the Denial and Get Help
There is no need to spend too much time trying to convince the addict that they are in denial, but rather on what is causing them to drink or use in the first place. It is important to get to the root cause of their addiction. Rehab and therapy is very useful for helping addicts confront their problems, which in turn helps them to come out of denial and be free from their addiction.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact The Cabin Chiang Mai today.