Enabling - Toxic Dysfunctional Families

Enabling is a serious mental illness

Learning how to cope with enabling is crucial to one's emotional and mental well being

Enabling And Toxic Dysfunctional Families

Enabling And Toxic Dysfunctional Families

In general - enablers are loving caring people who engage in a lot of behaviours that they think are helpful but are perpetuating or masking the problem – not solving it.

Learning how to cope with enabling is crucial to one's emotional and mental well being. Enabling is a serious mental illness that negatively impacts the addict and the entire family.

What Does Enabling Mean?

Enabling is a pattern within a family who is associated with an addict, whereby the family members excuse, justify, ignore, deny, and spoil the addict and acquiesce, and regularly accept or make excuses for the addicts negative or self-destructive behaviour.

This behaviour allows the addict to avoid facing the full consequences of their addiction, allowing the addict to continue with their destructive patterns, causes dysfunctional systems within a family.

Enabling can result in anxiety, guilt, family arguments, divorces and even suicide or death.

Enabled addicts, on the other hand, may even begin to hold their family member in 'emotional hostage' in order to keep the enabling pattern going.

At times the enabler will enable with a heavily negative judgment against the addict, knowingly, even willingly, support the addict's addiction to further the addiction and to deliberately hurt the addict.

In short - enabling is love turned to fear, and help turned to control.

Enabling is toxic to all family members involved.

Enabling Identification Quiz

The Enabling Identification Test is a simple way to screen and identify individuals at risk of enabling the addict.

The short multiple-choice questionnaire is not only FUN but it's FREE! (no sign-up, or obligations)

The Enabled And Toxic Families

The Enabled (the addict) create toxic families and use scapegoat tactics — blaming others for problems, picked on, and putting down other family members. Fear, intimidation, sarcasm and manipulation become there control mechanisms. But in reality - the scapegoat is a distraction from the real problem, which is the addict himself.

The dynamics of a toxic family contributes to depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, low self-esteem and many other mental disorders.

Tough Love

Tough love is a form of shutting someone out or punishing negative or self-destructive behaviour severely - it dates back to 1950.

Tough love doesn't work. In fact, it may even do more harm than good to the addict and family.

Tough love may push certain addicts to hit rock bottom faster. But neither tough love nor hitting rock bottom is likely to make the addict quit there addiction. Instead, it will more than likely increase the addiction and could well result in overdose or suicide.

Statistics show that most suicides are due to addiction and people hitting rock bottom (financial issues)

Rather take time to listen to the addict's problems, and be there for the addict showing, patience and kindness. Then organise an intervention with a qualified person in the field of addiction and mental health, such as a therapist, counsellor or Psychologists.

That's called - REAL LOVE ;)

Enabling A Dying Addict

Quite naturally, if an addicted family member has money and has been diagnosed with an incurable disease they will be gladly taking in by a family member, specifically a family member that has financial issues.

That family member will usually become an enabler as not to upset the dying person, but intern, the entire family will suffer the consequences of enabling.

An enabler is usually in denial of what's happening and what will happen if they continually support the addicts negative or self-destructive behaviour.

Enablers would say - 'shut-up and keep the peace' or 'don't tell me I don't want to know' or 'I don't know!' (a form of denial and deliberate ignorance)

Family members that reprimand the addict and disapprove of family enabling will be threatened by the addict to be excluded from the death will, while other family members will deliberately enable the addict as to be a part of the death will!

The 'blame-game' then begins - the family then falls apart!

Staging an Intervention

You are probably not the only person who has had enough of the addict's behaviour. It is now time to stage an intervention with a qualified person in the field of addiction and mental health, such as a therapist, counsellor or Psychologists.

This is one of the most effective tools in getting someone to rehab that has substance abuse issues.

It also gives you and other family members a chance to be heard. Together with the interventionist, you can set healthier boundaries and stop enabling the addict.

In essence, addiction recovery is a team effort that involves the family and the addict.