Mental illnesses can wreak havoc on the happiness and functionality of a family unit. Family members almost always want to do everything in their power to help their loved ones get better if they’re battling conditions like autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or PTSD. The desire to help is a natural instinct. However, due to their lack of expertise and knowledge about mental health, family members will often overextend themselves and make matters even worse. When this happens, a state of codependency often manifests between the sick individual and their family members.
In some cases, family members will deny that dysfunction within the family even exists and will pretend to ignore the problems. However, a part of them is dying on the inside. There is often a high level of shame or resentment when a family member is having difficulty with their mental health. When a family member shifts their attention and focus to a mentally ill loved one, they will begin to put this person’s needs ahead of their own. Not only are mental illnesses hereditary but codependency can be passed down from generation to generation as well.
Codependency also leads to enabling behaviors. Enabling behaviors take away the mentally ill individuals’ desire to assume responsibility for their own actions. By enabling an individual that needs help, a family member pushes them further from recovery and makes them more dependent on unhealthy and dysfunctional caretaking. Here are a few signs that you could be enabling your loved one and making their condition even worse.
- Do you always offer help to your loved one although you know it’s not appreciated?
- Do you tell lies to cover for your loved one’s behaviors and mistakes?
- When your loved one acts unruly, do you ignore their behavior?
- Do you have difficulty discussing the dysfunctional family environment you’re currently living in?
- Do you assign blame to the wrong people if multiple people are involved in a conflict?
- Do you “walk on egg shells” in certain situations in fear that your loved one might overreact?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you could be an enabler. Luckily, there are family recovery programs that can help restore sanity and stability to your family’s structure.
Family programs are important because they help family members better understand their loved one’s mental illness and how to better identify and control symptoms. These programs can also help family members better understand the recovery process and how they can help keep their loved one in recovery for the long haul. Each family member serves a distinct role within each family system. Family programs can also help family members identify their role and how to better perform these roles.
When enrolled in a family recovery program, certified family therapists will be the central figure in assessing each family’s problems and how each member contributes to these problems. Other elements addressed during family therapy include improving communication, setting rules and boundaries, resolving conflict and gaining independence. Some mental health treatment centers may even offer multi-family group sessions in which you can interact and learn from other families going through the exact same battles.
Pasadena Villa utilizes a variety of treatment therapies for individuals suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, et al. To learn more about our family, group and communal therapy programs, please call 877-845-5235 to speak with an admissions counselor or fill out our contact form. We currently offer treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Our dedicated and knowledgeable admissions staff will walk you through the admissions process, communicate with your insurance provider and help with travel arrangements.
*Medicare and Medicaid are not Accepted.*