Sunday, October 19, 2014

Effects of addictive behaviors on individual and family system

⋅ Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially is considered an addictive behavior.

⋅ There is similar impact on the family between physical addiction to various chemicals in drugs and alcohol, and psychological dependence to behaviors including: gambling, sex, work, and eating disorders.
o These behaviors may produce the endorphins in the brain, producing a “high” sensation.
o When addicted, people continue these behaviors in order to get that endorphin rush, despite the detrimental effects on their work and family.

⋅ Addicts may still crave their addiction behavior even after remaining abstinent for long periods of time. Some therapeutic modalities believe this craving will be a lifelong challenge and a continual stress on the addict’s support system.

⋅ Withdrawal symptoms when behavior is ceased can cause feelings of irritability, agitation, and depression which affect the entire family system.

⋅ During active addiction many clients live in denial and hurt their families so building trust back and healing wounds caused in the family is important to keep in mind during therapy.