Professional help for spouses and children of those affected by addiction
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When you are struggling as a family as a loved ones addiction spirals (we must be mindful here to consider process and substance addictions), there are very serious fall outs for the family. If this includes separation or divorce from someone suffering and in denial, spouses and children are hit the hardest. This could mean losing their homes and security to remain safe. They have to deal with all the fall out with no professional help. They have to organise visitation of children with no guidance or support from the law even. The impact of an addict in your home is like that of going to war. The relational ruptures are just as great and the war feels like it has no ending. It is clinically treated in America and other countries under the banner of PTSD - Post traumatic stress disorder and has so many layers of emotional torture it is very difficult to explain in this short piece. There are a few individuals qualified in the UK to help but they all cost a great deal of money and anyone that has gone through this will know, for many it's not an option. This continues the spiral of mental health concerns as no-one can get help and guidance and many sadly do not talk of their dilemmas as they are too ashamed to reach out for help. We have a growing number of young people seriously affected by sex addiction in this country and if they are not getting help themselves, you can bet their loved ones are not either. It's about time the National Health Service appoint some highly qualified people into each borough to support individuals and families for free. The benefits of this initial cost will far outweigh the torture and damage for these people. Their whole lives will be affected by this and we have to help because as the World Health Organisation has predicted, these people will suffer and their working and family lives suffer too. Psychiatry in this country has a responsibility to acknowledge the emotional suffering addictions cause for all concerned and work together to change it. I wonder how it might look in five years time if those services were covered under the National Health by using treatment centres already established? I would suggest very different outcomes. Don't bury your head - take action - we all know at least one person struggling with their addictions so imagine if you could view their families too.
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