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Chemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family

CodependencyIgnoring Addiction

Codependency in Ray's family takes a different form. By ignoring their children's emotional needs and pretending that no problems exist, Ray's parents think that they are keeping the family under control. In truth, they are creating problems that will only get worse the more they are ignored.

On occasion, Ray's mom has wondered if Ray has a problem. She chooses not to say anything, though, because to mention it would create turmoil in the family. If Ray doesn't get help, however, his drug problem will only get worse. Codependents often falsely believe that by not talking about the drug or alcohol addiction, it will heal itself and go away on its own.

For the time being, Ray's family can keep up the act. But Ray is doing poorly in school, has quit both the track and baseball teams, and spends almost all his time alone in his room. He feels a tremendous amount of resentment and pain. His parents think that they are helping Ray by ignoring his problems, but in reality the bad feelings remain very close to the surface, ready to explode.

Ray's parents need to step away from their busy careers and acknowledge Ray's drug problem, as well as the feelings that have caused it. They also will have to reestablish lines of communication with Ray. This may not be easy to do, and they may have trouble doing so on their own. A drug counselor can work with Ray and his family to end the codependent relationship and help Ray overcome his drug addiction.

Both Ray's and Shaneen's families are dysfunctional as well as codependent. Both families have very serious problems that they deal with in unhealthy and sometimes harmful ways. Fortunately for Ray and Shaneen, there is help available.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaChemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional FamilyChemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family - Codependency - Caring Codependents, Poor Behavioral Patterns, Are You Codependent?, Hiding Addiction, Ignoring Addiction