When a family member drinks to excess, the repercussions for the health and well-being of all involved are profound and long-lasting. While it has always been accepted that alcoholism is a major factor in family distress, today there is a clearer understanding of how alcohol problems may be implicated in family upheaval and breakdown. Definitions of alcoholism are also more sophisticated, and the problem may be labelled as hazardous, harmful or dependent drinking. However, the victims of alcohol-fuelled hatred, anger, abuse, fear, neglect and threats do not care about the label. All they focus on is survival. A victim of drunken assault by a family member does not care whether or not the perpetrator is sick, bad or crazy - the hurt and is still the same, no matter what the label. This book looks at how to deal with the damage done to families by alcohol problems, and how to move on, even if the alcoholic denies the problem. Topics include: definitions of alcoholism - is alcoholism a 'disease'? dealing with denial in the alcoholic recognizing how complex family dynamics may contribute to alcohol problems 'coping strategies' such as enabling (accepting unacceptable behaviour) recognising and dealing with negative emotions eg defiance and deep resentment types of problems for family members - mental health, personality issues coping with violence, emotional and physical dealing with money worries and other practical issues such as protecting any children.
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