The Role of Family Support During The Recovery Process


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Whether someone is recovering from an injury, depression  or mental health issues, or substance abuse, family support plays a significant role in the process. Recovery with the benefit of a proper support network is completely different from having to work through something on your own. Sometimes, people left alone to recover don’t adequately complete the process. In the case of recovering from a physical injury, issues can reoccur, and if physical therapy is not correctly followed, a person may continue to suffer the consequences for life.

Likewise, left alone, a person might be unable or unwilling to do what’s necessary,  but with the presence of family, things are much more manageable — even what seems at first like a colossal task can be overcome. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of family support during any kind of recovery process.

The Path to Healing

The importance of family support during recovery first shows through simple encouragement.  Many people cannot find it in themselves to even start the process of healing. It can be hard to motivate yourself to go through grueling physical therapy for weeks to take just a few extra steps, for example. Of course, those additional steps will add up over time and finally allow a person to return to everyday life, but getting that process started is more painful than most might think. It’s immensely useful to have someone there to reassure you, to help reduce stress and shoulder a part of the burden so you can begin your recovery process.

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The Necessary Support

Sometimes, the importance of family support during recovery is much more obvious. Some people are left in a condition where they can’t get through their daily life without the assistance of others. Someone recovering from a car accident might find even going to the bathroom impossible without someone to lean on — which will likely seem demeaning to the recovering person. Having to rely on people so much for basic everyday things is overwhelming but, when that someone is a family member, you at least know you can trust them and that they’re present because they care. This makes all the difference and might make the  recovering person more willing to look for and accept help in the first place.

The Danger of Enabling

Of course, the influence of family is not always positive. For example, if your loved-one  is suffering from substance abuse, you need to seek out help for addiction and help them find assistance rather than look the other way. If a family member lets the addict get away with it, or even helps them cover it up, the person in question sees their behavior as acceptable, so they don’t feel compelled to change. Enabling worsens a situation until the addict deteriorates to the point where they become unsalvageable. Many people allow this to happen to their family members because they wish to avoid confrontation. They might fear driving them away and losing what little good influence over their life they do have. However, avoiding problems is never the correct answer in this scenario.

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The Source of Motivation

More importantly, if a family member actively works to help, the person going through convalescence will feel more motivated to work on their recovery. It’s not always easy to find the motivation to continue, and recovery is rarely a short process. A person needs to put in consistent hard work in order to progress, which is tough on both the mind and body and lead to stress. The effects of stress can easily lead to even more complications. The fact that the presence of a family member can help ease the situation is a blessing that should not be undervalued.

Difficult Tasks

Sometimes, though, a person does not want help. Experts might warn, that some people might not want to fight their own addiction; a behavior that often stems from self-destructive instincts, which are not easy to overcome. In these scenarios, the only thing family can do in to intervene and force the person to do what’s best for them. That’s not pleasant for anyone involved and, while treatment is in process, will likely be very uncomfortable. After all, it’s frightening to confront an addicted family member about their behavior, and force them to overcome their addiction, not to mention the physical trauma of going through withdrawal. However, if these difficult initial steps aren’t taken, your loved one’s life could be lost. This should be all the motivation required for a family member to step in.

Pushing Too Hard

In spite of the importance of family support during recovery, you should be very careful not to go too far. This is may seen impossible if you need to force the family member to go through recovery. However, even if they are fully compliant, you should be wary of where to draw boundaries. If you overstep and make it seem like you don’t trust them, or are too controlling, your efforts can have the opposite effect. You don’t want to become alienated  from each other and force then to endure recovery on their own just because of misunderstandings. Take the time to properly learn how to help those going through recovery.

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The support of family and friends during recovery is so important that it is often the difference between success and failure. With the proper support, the person can go back to a completely normal life, provided that the support is offered properly and doesn’t just cause more harm than good.

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