It’s difficult to argue that alcoholism is detrimental to an alcoholic’s mental health and wellbeing. But when you’re abusing alcohol, you may develop a personality that’s difficult to distinguish from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Addiction and NPD are closely related, and it’s difficult to tell which came first. But what we do know is that regardless of whether someone was a narcissist before, alcohol addiction can lead to extremely narcissistic behaviors and thought patterns.
This is why people who are addicted to alcohol have trouble seeing the hurt they’re inflicting upon their loved ones. It’s also part of the reason why you can have an intervention where everyone shares their pain and still put the alcohol first.
But with an understanding that alcohol may be impacting your ability to empathize with others, it’s nonetheless true that your drinking can harm the mental state of your loved ones.
In this post, we cover a few ways that your alcoholism can hurt your loved ones.
Anxiety and Depression
Anyone in an alcoholic’s family is susceptible to anxiety and depression, but those mental health issues are closely linked to the shame and guilt they feel surrounding their loved one’s addiction.
Even if you try to protect your family from alcoholism’s impact by walking away, it doesn’t do much to help. People who love you won’t understand why you’ve shut them out, and this level of neglect can also hurt your loved ones.
Alcohol and the Family Dynamic
You don’t have to look far to find examples of how alcoholism has destroyed families. In fact, if you’re suffering from alcohol addiction, there’s a good chance you can find another example in your own family. Families who are rocked by addiction are less likely to feel bonded and share their feelings. These families are more likely to look outside the family unit for encouragement and support, which puts a strain on everyone.
Families of alcoholics are also likely to develop trust issues as alcoholics lie, cheat, and steal to get their hands on enough alcohol to fuel their addiction.
Alcoholism and Family Finances
When you start drinking, it may seem harmless enough. Maybe you could fuel your disease for a mere $10 a day. But when you add that up over a month, that’s $300 that didn’t go towards bills, rent or a mortgage. Imagine someone handed you $300 for no reason. You’d be ecstatic. But when you use that sort of money for alcohol, it’s like you’re just throwing it out the window. Not only does it do nothing to help you, but it actively hurts yours and your family’s wellbeing.
And since most families tend to stress and argue about money, this could put the pressure on everyone.
The first step towards fixing any damage to your family’s wellbeing is to get help for alcohol addiction. From there, it’ll still be a long road to repair the damage, but it can be done, and it’s incredibly worthwhile.
Most of the time, family counseling will offer the fastest-track to healing from alcohol addiction’s impact on the family unit. And groups like Al-Anon can be extremely helpful too.