Emotional terrorism

Chronic relapsers can be very intelligent and good with words. . . . It is important for treatment providers to box in chronic relapsers in order to disable their ability to manipulate with words.

It has been established that chronic relapsers are treatment-savvy, tricky and highly manipulative. During treatment, it is essential to stay one step ahead of an individual’s con game at any given time. Unfortunately, with this population, they don’t have much credibility for being honest, so it is important to investigate and watch them closely. Don’t take what they say at face value. Dive into the minutia and the details. Don’t give them an inch.

Chronic relapsers have had a lifetime of taking little responsibility for their actions and displaying no accountability for their behavior.

Most chronic relapsers have held people in their life emotionally hostage through threats to relapse, actually relapsing, threats to harm themselves, harming themselves, blaming, and creating fear. This emotional terrorism keeps loved ones in a position of walking on eggshells around the chronic relapser.

If you strip away the character assassination, this article on treating chronic relapsers actually does offers some valuable wisdom. But, WOW, does the writer view the chronic relapser as Mr. Hyde! Surprising this was published as-is.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Emotional terrorism

  1. Lou

    From the family perspective, I find her candor refreshing. The “hurt feelings” approach used by the addict is one I know well. Staying one step ahead of them is exhausting for the family. “Emotional terrorism” yup, know that one well.

    Gosh, I’ve gotten cynical sounding. I’m not really. I do feel there is hope for almost every addict/alcoholic. But the chronic relapser will try many tactics to avoid living an honest, productive life even if they are not actively using. The article addresses how difficult it is to get them to be accountable for their own lives.

    Thanks for the informative links!

    • I understand how “emotional terrorism” resonates with you as a family member. It might make a lot of sense for family members to use this language and there might even be times it makes sense for a professional working with a family member to use it to describe and affirm their experience. It’s personal when you are treated poorly by someone you love who claims to love you back.

      However, the person who wrote the article is a degreed and licensed professional who’s talking about how to help people with addiction. I expect a different approach from a professional who’s serving addicts.