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Is it true "You Can't Help Someone Unless They Want To Help Themselves First?"

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by minderbender, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. rjs5248

    rjs5248 Member

    I believe for the most part this is true...you cannot change unless you first admit you have a problem. No matter how much nagging you do, if they don't truly want to change they will simply block you out. They've heard it all before. Unfortunately many have to hit rock bottom before that change begins. That's not saying you should give up on the person by any means, but just have an awareness that it's not your fault that they are not changing and it's something they must come to on their own.
  2. tackykardia

    tackykardia Member

    That's pretty much true. A lot of times they can't see they have a problem even if you do. They think it's no big deal and they don't feel normal without the drugs or alcohol. They think normal is being high or drunk all the time. They have to want to be helped or there is not much you can do. You can try to talk to them or have an intervention but in the end it still has to be up to them.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There are some who practically need to be shown what's good for them. People who use drugs to cope with stress/depression could get counseling and find better ways to deal with stress/depression and they may realize that drugs were making things worse.

    When you want to help someone even if you are rebuffed, you need to keep trying to help them.

    A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.
  4. Bozz

    Bozz Active Contributor

    There has to be that spark of them wanting to help themselves. They can trick, like to and fool everyone else but themselves. They're the ones who need to feel they have to do it, at least a little bit.
    Showing reasons and getting them to realize themselves is so powerful, more so that 'You have to stop that'.

    That's how you can start helping someone, by making reasons obvious and having them want to stop.

    After that comes to helping with the actual addiction.
  5. CryingCanary

    CryingCanary Active Contributor

    I believe this is somewhat true. If that person is in denial and refuses to help themselves, there's so much you can do. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

    It's also important to not force help onto people. Offer help and support, something's got to make the person react...
  6. peetbernadis

    peetbernadis Active Contributor

    It is extremely difficult for some drug addicts even to admit that they have a problem, let alone looking for or accepting help from someone else. Addiction doesn't only attack the body...it also attacks the mind and it becomes a sickness. Sometimes, if not most of the time, these people must be forced to accept help. Like I said, their drug dependency becomes more than just a craving, it becomes a sickness that needs more than just willpower from their side.
  7. Sealpikachu

    Sealpikachu Member

    I think this is absolutely true. A person who does not want to get better will not listen to you or respond to your actions. I think the most important part of helping someone is not trying to get them to change as much as making them realize they should get better. Once the person sees they are actually wasting away their life and see how it affects others as well, they are more easily convinced to improve.
  8. TungstenCube

    TungstenCube Member

    Yes -- absolutely, and knowing when not to help is about having healthy boundaries and the self-esteem to know that you did everything you could. There's an old adage saying that you can only show somebody the door, but they have to walk through it. I think that heavily applies here. Brene Brown, a researcher of shame, vulnerability, and self-worth, says that if somebody is being a rock, you can't keep kicking the rock. The rock won't move, and you'll just be hurting yourself.