or If you have a friend or family member diagnosed with a mental health disorder or substance abuse disorder, you have to learn how to set boundaries for yourself and how to accept the boundaries set by them. If someone in your home is struggling with addiction, setting healthy boundaries is even more vital because it circumvents the risk of enabling or codependency.
If you are living with mental health disorders or substance abuse, you also need to learn how to set healthy boundaries with your friends and family so that they don’t treat you like a victim and inadvertently give you permission to behave disrespectfully.
Setting Healthy Boundaries with Substance Abuse
If you have a family member or someone with whom you are living who struggles with addiction, setting healthy boundaries is essential. Without setting healthy boundaries, you are more likely to find yourself enabling unhealthy behaviors or traits without meaning to.
As the family or friend of someone struggling with addiction, you can control the environment in which your family member lives. If that environment remains comfortable and conducive to harmful behaviors or activities, there is no reason for the individual to change.
If someone in your home is living with addiction, learning how to set healthy boundaries early is essential because someone struggling with addiction might succumb to manipulation to get the comfortable environment they prefer, and the more you set and reinforce boundaries, the less likely the situation is to escalate.
Establishing boundaries early rather than creating an environment conducive to unhealthy habits for months or years before setting them is much less striking and disruptive. Still, any time you choose to set them is better than not setting them at all.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Mental Health
If you are living with a family member or friend who struggles with an untreated mental health disorder, it’s equally important to figure out how to set healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries protect your mental and physical well-being while preventing codependency or enabling.
Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries
Learning how to set healthy boundaries can be difficult, but it’s up to you to explain exactly what will happen if those lines are crossed. You can’t simply say that you no longer tolerate certain things without providing the potential repercussions if those things occur.
You also want to explain why you feel the way you do and that you are choosing to set healthy boundaries in order to improve the relationship.might tell someone in your home who is struggling with addiction that you will not tolerate the use of drugs in the house and that if they continue to use drugs in the house, they are no longer welcome to live there.
When you set boundaries, explain why it’s happening and provide clear consequences if those boundaries are crossed.
This can be very difficult to enforce, and it’s likely that your loved one, in the example above, might lash out, especially if you are following through with those consequences but allowing bad behavior over and over is enabling, and it doesn’t help anyone get the professional treatment they need.
They might lash out and state that because you haven’t set boundaries in the past, you aren’t allowed to set them now. They might try to make you feel guilty.
But you absolutely must stay firm. If you back down, you run the risk of enabling bad behaviors, and you are no longer setting healthy boundaries. It can feel counterintuitive, but a big part of setting boundaries is making sure the consequences are outlined, and there need to be consequences for people to respect those boundaries.
If you are the one setting boundaries, don’t let your loved ones make you feel guilty for doing so.
Have Professional Help Ready
The full long-term intent of setting healthy boundaries is to ensure that loved ones know they are supported no matter what they are going through, but they must still be respectful of their actions’ impact. Similarly, if you have someone struggling with untreated mental health disorders or substance abuse disorders, your long-term goal of setting and sticking by your healthy boundaries should be to encourage them to get help.
So have a professional treatment center ready.
Facilities like Water Gap Wellness Center can provide the help you and your loved ones need. Our facility specializes in multiple forms of outpatient treatment for mental health disorders and substance abuse.
Water Gap Wellness Center offers luxury mental health and substance abuse treatment. Reach out to Water Gap Wellness Center today to take the first steps in improving your relationships.