Addiction is a serious illness that can destroy lives. What many people don’t realize though, is just how much it can affect those around the person with the addiction too. As the addict engages in more and more risk-taking behavior and goes to lengths to cover up the extent of their addiction, this can drive loved ones away and leave them in a constant state of stress and worry.

The hardest part about loving someone with an addiction is watching them destroy themselves and being able to do very little about it. What’s more, is that they often won’t tell you that they have a problem in the first place!

Why Addicts Lie To Their Loved Ones? Most Common Reason

How can you help someone to cope with this extremely difficult time in their lives when they won’t even admit to it? In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most common reasons that addicts lie about their addictions, and how you can confront them in a constructive and ultimately positive fashion.

They Are Ashamed

Perhaps the most common reason why addicts lie about their addiction, is that they are ashamed of their behavior. The reality is that addiction is a disease, and those people who are suffering from it are victims. These people have nothing to be ashamed of!

Be that as it may, there is still a culture around mental illness and addiction that makes it hard to talk about. As there are no visible signs of the condition, it’s all too easy for onlookers to tell the addict to “get a grip” or “pull themselves together.” They are thus made to feel as though they wouldn’t have been addicted if they had have been stronger, or if they had made better choices.

The addict doesn’t want you to change the way that you think about them, and so they maintain a lie about their health in order to maintain the status quo and to protect their own egos.

They Don’t Want to Quit

An addict might tell you that they want to quit, but quite often they don’t. Perhaps they logically know that quitting is the right thing to do, but in the heat of the moment when they are faced with the choice – they will often find that their urge to get the “hit” overcomes their logical reasoning.

The addict will be unable to truly change until they genuinely wish to quit in every sense. And until they get to that point, they will likewise not want other people to place pressure on them in an attempt to force them to quit.

In short, they don’t want to tell anyone about their addiction, because that would mean saying goodbye to the source of that addiction!

They Are Afraid

Another reason that a person may not wish to admit to addiction, is that they are afraid of the consequences. That may mean that they are afraid of quitting – which will involve a long and difficult road – or that they are afraid of the other implications. Might they lose their job? Might they drive their children away?

And will they be able to quit if they try? Until an addict attempts to quit, they can always maintain the lie in their own minds that they can “give up any time they want.” If they try to quit and fail, then that ego-defense is going to become absent.

What Can You Do To Help?

If you love an addict, then the first thing to recognize is that it is not your responsibility to help them overcome their illness. This is an extremely challenging process, even for a highly trained and experienced therapist – and it is far beyond what you can reasonably expect to accomplish on your own. This is simply not your responsibility!

But at the same time, the worst thing you can do is to “play along” with the lie that the addict is telling themselves. By turning a blind eye and by leaving addiction out of the conversation, you help the addict to perpetuate their lie and continue living without changing.

Your responsibility is not to “fix” the addict, but nor is it to help them continue their behavior. It is up to them to confront the lies.


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