Six Common Roles Of The Family Members Of Addicts

Discover the six common roles family members of addicts take on in their challenging journey.

Six Common Roles Of The Family Members Of Addicts

Six Common Roles Of The Family Members Of Addicts

Family Roles in Addiction

In the context of addiction, family members often adopt certain roles that shape the dynamics of the household. Understanding these roles can help in addressing the challenges that come with addiction. In this section, we will explore the six common roles of family members of addicts as identified by Springbrook Hospital.

Addict's Role

The Addict, often referred to as the Identified Patient, is the family member with the addiction. Their behavior is characterized by dependency, negative actions like lying and manipulation, and an inability to manage moods, leading to anger and avoidance behaviors. The addict often becomes the focus of family issues, and sometimes therapy sessions, due to their behavior, even though the issues often extend beyond just the addict.

Caretaker's Role

In the addiction dynamic, the Caretaker, also known as the Enabler, plays a critical role in maintaining the status quo. They often fail to set boundaries with the addict, deny the addiction problem, and make excuses for the addict's behavior. This role often overlaps with that of the "golden child" and contributes to upholding the facade of normalcy within the family unit, hindering the healing process.

Hero's Role

The Hero in the family is a member who takes on the role of a leader in an attempt to bring control and stability amidst the chaos. They often exhibit controlling and perfectionist traits, carrying a high level of stress and anxiety. They strive to present a positive image of the family to the outside world, often at the cost of their own well-being.

Scapegoat's Role

The Scapegoat, or the "black sheep", is often blamed for the family's issues. They take on others' blame and feel responsible for the family's problems, leading to outbursts of anger and avoidance behaviors. The scapegoat is typically perceived as the outlier within the family structure and their honesty might lead to alienation from the rest of the family.

Mascot's Role

The Mascot uses humor to defuse family tensions and to gain approval. They are often the youngest sibling in the family, and they use humor as a defense mechanism to cope with the difficulties associated with living in an addicted household.

Lost Child's Role

The Lost Child is a family member who strives to remain unnoticed to avoid conflict and maintain peace within the family. They tend to withdraw and remain quiet, often feeling unseen and overlooked. This role often results in individuals struggling with low self-esteem and challenges in decision-making [2].

By understanding the different roles within a family affected by addiction, one can begin to comprehend the complexities of the situation. This awareness can serve as a starting point towards healing and recovery for all family members involved.







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