Living with an addict in denial: Coping with depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two common mental health disorders experienced by those close to an active addict, especially if the addicted person is denying their problem. What can you do when in such situation? Learn here.

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Addiction has a negative effect on all the people close to an addict. The loved ones of addicts endure lies, manipulation, emotional and sometimes physical abuse. The daily reality for co-addicts is centered on fear, sadness, pain, and worry. This way of life can eventually take its toll on family members. Serious mental health issues may surface as a result.

Here, we review the two main mental health disorders which can surface as you’re living with someone in active addiction: Depression and Anxiety. Then, we invite your questions, comments, or stories in the space at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all comments personally and promptly.

#1 Depression

Depression feels like you have a hole in your chest where your heart used to be. Feelings of hopelessness and displeasure become overwhelming. Prolonged depression can affect your health both mentally and physically. Persistent sadness may lead to clinical depression which can affect:

  • eating habits
  • hormones
  • mood
  • pleasure
  • sleeping habits
  • your thoughts

When you are depressed, there is no easy way to snap out of it. You lose the ability to get up and decide to be happy. This is where depression becomes a problem. Major or clinical depression can negatively affect how mechanisms work in your body and your brain. But there are ways to cope with depression and addiction in the family.

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Situational vs. Major Depression

Depression can come and go due to the situation. You may experience depression due to a trauma, loss, divorce, or other factors which will eventually work themselves out over time. But how do you know when depression is short-term, or long-term? And how can you get help?

When loving an addict and living with an addict in denial, it is likely the situation has lasted a long time and will continue for an unidentified amount of time. Living with constant unknown and instability and watching someone you love decline can cause situational depression to evolve into major or clinical depression. Here are some major symptoms. Clinical depression may cause you to:

  • withdraw from people
  • withdraw from situations
  • quit social activities
  • avoid things you used to do

Dealing with depression in daily life can be learned. However, some cases require professional help. Depression can be so severe it causes suicidal thoughts, complete hopelessness, and may need to be treated with behavioral therapies and medication. When negative circumstances do not go away, that is when unhappiness can make the transition from situational depression to long term mental health issues.

#2 Anxiety

Anxiety and depression usually go hand-in-hand. Long lasting anxiety can cause depression and long lasting depression can cause anxiety. To differentiate, anxiety keeps you feeling on edge. Negative thoughts persist until you start to feel anxious performing every day activities. Sometimes anxiety becomes the norm. Anxiety is constant feelings of unease, worry, stress, angst, fear, and can even escalate to panic disorder.

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Both anxiety and panic disorder left untreated can have devastating effects on your psyche and your physical health. Anxiety affects your mood and stress level. Anxiety can lead to panic attacks, over or under eating, suppressed immune function, and exacerbate chronic illnesses. However, anxiety treatment can help you learn new ways to cope with known and unknown elements in your life. And, you won’t be struggling in the dark.

Living with and addict can cause PTSD

So, what can potentially happen when you internalize the depression and anxiety over time? I can tell you about this possibility by sharing something with you from my own personal life.

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Living with an addict for twelve years, I lived with uncertainty for a long period of time. When the situation finally ended I felt free and learned to live my life and be happy. It was not until years later that I had an episode of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that came out of nowhere.

It was a devastating period of my life where depression and panic disorder was so severe I could not function at all. I felt as if my life was over and could not cope with any situation, even things as simple as bathing my children. I could not speak without crying, focus, maintain a thought and my mind was racing with fear every moment of my waking and sleeping hours.

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Long-term effects of life with an addict can be treated

What I uncovered with the help of a therapist, meditation and deep introspection was there were long-term effects due to living with an addict for twelve years. Jumping right back in to life feet first left underlying issues unresolved, residual stress, and new stress that I did not have the time or consciousness to deal with.

So, when I moved a thousand miles away from all of my loved ones it was just this very traumatic event or spark which ignited my PTSD. As happy as I was about my new life, husband, and my three beautiful children, the effects of my twelve years living with extreme anxiety and bouts of situational depression were suppressed issues that erupted due to a perfect storm.

What to do when you need help?

Addiction affects many. The mental health of an addict is only one source of emotional and psychological anguish that trickles down to others. But living a life with chronic depression and anxiety day after day is like not living at all. It is the antithesis of the word “life.”  So what can you do if you’re overwhelmed by anxiety or depression?

1. Be proactive. It would be ideal to deal with the stress and anxiety before it gets out of hand but this is not usually the case because a co-addict can become consumed with an addict’s addiction. If you’re living with an addict, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend, advisor, or professional. Getting these feelings out in the open is step 1.

2. Know that help is always there. When depression and anxiety render your life unbearable, finding help at that point may be more difficult. It is hard to reach out and change your life when you are deep into a depression. However, know that psychologists, family counselors, and licensed clinical social workers are certified to offer help. So if you see signs of these feelings, it is advantageous to ask for help ASAP.

3. Commit to self-development over the long term. Learn coping skills early on would be great. But, sometimes personal changes comes on the order of decades rather than months. Commit to personal growth as a lifelong process. And you’ll get both the help and the peace that you long for as you grow.

Ready for help?
Call us today. You don’t need to face addiction on your own.
About the author
Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.


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  1. I currently live with my partner. He smokes weed every day. He denies it. He will lie to me about where he’s going, who he’s with and what he’s doing. I only find out the truth by looking through his phone. He’s part of a whatsapp drug job, he’s now into edible drugs too and it’s causing me a lot of stress. He stays out till very late and when he gets in he’s very high. Sometimes il get accused of stuff or blamed for his actions…. If you were more sound I wouldn’t have to lie to you. Each night il sit here and panic about the state he’ll be in when he gets home. It causes me a lot of stress and worry. When he’s high it isn’t the guy I know and love. Unfortunately I have a daughter with him. She deserves better and so do I.

  2. Idk what to do. The stress & anexity have taken a toll 4 the worst. He needs to stop or it will end up killing us both. When des it end? How do you put your fiancee in rehab when hes in denial on heroin everyday all day. Im so afraid

    1. Hi K. Smith. There are people who may help your fiance. Call the helpline displayed on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant to discuss treatment options. Also, you can try staging an intervention. Consult with a certified interventionist, here are some useful links:

  3. Trying to save my addicted husband made my life miserable and watching him killing himself slowly slowly in front of my eyes created a life of fears uncertainty dispair pain and sadness. I tried to control his deeds and cried and begged and shouted and nagged and cursed and understood and hoped and lived my life arround his addictions and needs

    and denials and lack of will too confront this addictions. And

    all the time I thought that I am not tolerant enough, not loving enough not good enough. I wanted him so badly to

    change but I did not realize that it was me enabling this sick and distructive situation. I lost my youth, my energy, my joy

    of life and I lost myself and I woke up in the morning
    sometimes with a longing to be dead, not to feel anymore
    this hopelessness, this unbearable pain of living a
    disfunctional life,covered up by pretending that everything is
    fine and feeling lonely and trapped and unhappy. My

    husband nearly died several months ago, a very serious
    operation saved his life in the last moment. It was a real

    mirracle. I was sure that this was the wakeup call he needed
    but after recovering he continues to distroy himself and only
    now, after 35 years of optimism I finallly woke up and
    realized that I fooled myself, not wanting to see truth

    I start to realize that its me who needs help to heal. And to
    change, and to grow, I feel like awakening after a long dream of being somebody I am not. Growing up in a very abusive and disfunctional home I did not know better, I was
    convinced that I had to accept and do everything to deserve him. He changed. He really really changed but he is still an

    addict, not to the real heavy stuff but to food and movies and other pleasures. He had several heart infarcts and he is diabetic for some years now. His last open heartoperation was probably the last chance he got. He eats and drinks and hides all the stuff which kills him slowly in front of my eyes. Looking forward I see a black and painful future with no solution, there is nothing I can do because I love him and cant imagine to leave him. But a life with him means living a life without hope, without future. I am trapped. I did what I could to help him, I was obsessed until I became his nagging controling mother and he became the son who never grow up.

  4. Reading through this page and people’s responses is giving me a lot of insight to what I’m currently going through. For the last 7 years I have lived with one of my best friends. We used to drink and do drugs together and when we were in our early 20’s we had some good times. After awhile I got tired of it and was in a serious relationship so I quit drinking completely and stopped using drugs besides marijuana. My friend and roommate just got worse over the years though and early last year his mother passed away which became the catalyst it seems for him to take his addictions to another level. The use of alcohol and coke became a every other day thing instead of a weekly thing and it went from seemingly fun to anger and yelling or crying and reflecting on negatives on the drop off the dime. I tried to help and talk him through it, offered to go to counseling with him or even get his father involved so we could get through together. I started working out all the time and trying to do things that would keep me from home for hours at a time because I was always afraid to what I’d come back to. I’d lock myself in my room and try to sleep over the noise but would go sleepless and have to go to work in the morning with everything I heard downstairs going through my mind constantly plaguing my thoughts. I became so deep into my own mind that I couldn’t escape how I felt and it in turn ruined my relationship with my girlfriend because I couldn’t focus on anything else. I finally decided to leave and spent a month at my mom’s and then me and now ex girlfriend (we are still close) have been traveling the last few months. Being in Thailand was great and we were so busy that I didn’t have much time to think I guess. Now I’m currently staying with her family in South Africa and have had much more downtime and things have kind of hit me again. My brain seems to be going a million miles per hour before sleep, my dreams are so intense and vivid seemingly lasting hours that I feel exhausted after getting a full 8 hours of sleep. My moods swing throughout the day and little things that would usually brush right off my shoulder cause me to feel depressed or stressed out. Even keeping up with my usual exercise pattern I haven’t felt the same as I normally would. Today I’ve just been spending some time reading and getting ideas how I can better combat this and get back to my usual happy go lucky self. Reading others experiences has been nice to see and I thank you all for sharing and giving me the courage to right this long thing and get it out of my system.

  5. I struggled a lot with my depression, I drink hard to overcome my depression, but later only I realized alcohol is not a solution for depression and Came out from depression now, its really hard to explain how it feels.

  6. I am just so overwhelmed and happy that all of you have been reaching out here. I usually write back instantly but the posts have been sometimes too many for me to respond to daily. That does not mean I have not read every one and that I am not listening.
    I understand and I am here to help.
    But I cannot enable you the way we enable the addict. I could give advice to the specifics of each situation but the truth is that if it is not getting better (meaning the addict is not choosing recovery and at some point taking sobriety seriously) and getting the right
    kind of help there is not much you can do.
    It is a cycle and if you read back to yourself your own story and all of the stories here you will see the PATTERN, I PROMISE YOU WILL.
    It is like one day (and it wasn’t just one day but a series of days) I just woke up and said “I AM SO SICK OF LIVING LIKE THIS.” that is when I realized that I loved myself and my child and
    wanted and deserved to live a wonderful life. If I was going to be happy and try to love life and my husband (addict) was not going to follow my lead then I had to LEAVE.
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY, READ HOPE STREET. I wrote it for you to really be an eye opener. Sometimes when you are in the situation it is difficult to see
    the forest for the trees and seeing it through the eyes of another (an unbiased party) is the best way to get the message.

    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  7. Hello..i am currently married to an alcoholic and on the brink of leaving her because I feel there is no other way to get things to change. We have been together for only five years and her depression has gotten so severe she has threatened to kill herself three times now and actually attempted it as well now. When we met she was such an amazing person..who did drink..but she never seemed unhappy about life. Over the years the drinking has gotten so bad she has blacked out and cheated on me…quit her job..driven her car while drunk..and done things of this nature. I have begged her to get help and see someone professional to help point her in the right direction..but she just continues to tell me there is no hope for her and just keeps drinking. She blames me for her drinking and says I drive her to it..when all I do is beg her to stop. This life has become exhausting to me..fighting with all of the feelings that come with this. I still love her very much but I am constantly overwhelmed with worry and the stress if paying all the bills while she sits at home depressed and won’t do anything about it. I have developed a kind of resentment and mistrust with her because of her actions..but still have this empty hope of things getting better. Getting a divorce scares me not only because of having to start all over and leaving this person I love..but I am afraid she will hurt herself after all is said and done. I have tried to seek out help from hospitals..doctors..and the crisis center in my state but because I have no health insurance or a doctor or money to pay for counseling I am left in this predicament. I don’t know what to do.

  8. hi , iv been with my partner for 22 years , hes a good dad to our 3 children and a good person, he has a real problem with drink and has done since we have been together , this has got worse over the last 6 years since his brother committed suicide, he drinks daily, he starts at about 7pm each night drinking 8 cans of lager, now its gone up to 16 cans of lager each night over last 2 years , he drinks this most nights , also over last 2 years hes been doing cocaine approx 3-4 times a week, i only found this out when money was going missing, im at my wits end and been suffering with depression and anxiety, everything has come to a head tonight as hes stole more money from me then lied when confronted , iv been upset and kids are upset, i said im going to leave him but why should i move from my home with kids , he should be the one to go but says he wont, i feel trapped , i just want him to stop because i do love him, he says he will but iv heard it all before , i cant talk to anyone about it because noone else knows how bad things have got, im finding it hard to cope and not sleeping.

  9. My husband of 32 years is a high functioning alcoholic. I love him and it breaks my heart to see him slipping away. He has not always had the inability to control his drinking just for the past 7 years. Myself I have always suffered from anxiety but my panic attacks and anxiety have worsened over this same time period. I have tried to get him to understand that his problem is effecting both of us. He says he had a problem but every weekend he’s drunk and we are arguing and he is emotionally being cruel. He says all I do is try to ruin his relaxation and make him feel bad about himself. He is not just my husband but my best friend and I feel like I’ve lost him. He goes to work and doesn’t drink all week (most of the time). Anytime he’s going to be home weekend or holidays he drinks. I can feel my anxiety at the approach of each weekend. I feel like I’m going crazy between the anxiety and feeling like his drinking is only when he’s with me that he drinks so he can deal with being around me. I don’t know what to do. I know he would never get help for himself he’s says he can quit anytime. He had for a few weeks before but it always returns. I don’t know what to do anymore. Your information was helpful thank you.

  10. Mandy,
    Please, please don’t hurt yourself because it sounds like of you are not there your children will have to live with an addicted father and grandfather. You need help, positive people around and a new start. No doctor should have you on painkillers after having liver disease and in recovery. Something is amiss and it is not likely your depression will go away living this way and on painkillers. Can’t you leave for good and stay with your mother you spoke of or anyone until you can gain back some control of your life and be able to support yourself? There is a way, there is always a way and for the sake of that little girl and those two boys you have to find it.
    Make lists, make plans, save money, do what you can in the meantime to stay sane and know that are going to get out of there. I suggest after the boys are born to see a psychiatrist and deal with this depression. There is hope, there is hope.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

  11. Reading all this makes me feel like I’m not crazy, but I still feel extermly stuck, alone, and like I’m drowning in the middle of a pound and everyone just watching me slowly die. I am actually slowly dying. When I found out my child’s father was lying to me about basically everything I had known for two years I let my own alcoholism take over.I always knew he was a highly functioning alcoholic ( he would always tell me he would stop ) , but I didn’t know about the drug use until after my daughter was born. I finally put the pieces together of him sneaking off into his father’s room, or a bathroom, lies and the fact he would hide the most random things in weird places, he had been using meth or crack or whatever you call it the whole damn time. WE had gotting in so many fights over the years for me questioning his behavore, I thought he was cheating ( witch still could be the case as well ) I found his stach one night and I have been told now , in m angry and dperrsion grabbed his bottle of vodka and chugged it ( I had no memoery of this the next day , so he didnt bring it up again and BAM I didnt know he was using anymore ) For the next year I drank myself litterly to death, with his help ( as I do not have an income or drive he would supply me with a daily amount of vodka to numb my pain, that he had caused) I ended up starting to have sezuries and my body started to shut down , I was at 70 lbs , couldnt keep down food or water ,I couldnt even walk.. he would carry me to his truck and drop of me and my daughter at my moms house to help me with her because I was “sick” he would leave a water bottle full of vodka in my purse for me so I didnt have sezuries in front of my family, witch eventually didnt help anymore. After a year of this, he finally had to take me to the hospital, if he would have waited one more day I would have dyed. I spent a month recovering with full-blown cirrhosis of the liver. I barely remember the first two years of our daughter’s life, my brain had been so damaged. They released me into his care and I went “home” and recovered for another 2-6 months in bed, learning how to walk all over again. All while still doing my best to take care of my daughter. I had been a drinker before this ( BUT NEver THIS bAD < EVER) So I always chalked it up to my addiction problems. This whole time he still drinks, he visited me in the hospital drinking from his water bottle with our daughter, he was drinking ( and used for the most part ) everyday since then, and for 8 years before that. It wasn't untell I was about 6-8 months of no drinking and still recovering I found his drug trash again and it hit me like a ton of bricks, why does this feeling feel so familiar. He told me I found it before then drank too much to remember and he just never brought it up again, just like he has never brought up ANYTHING from that time, my pictures were deleted but my family still remembers bruises and black eyes, he said I feel so much and sezed so much and would brose so easily, but I'm still not too sure. i haven't drunk since then,, except for one slip up where I was basically suicidal from the pain I live with every day now, he leaves his bottles of vodka freely around the house and goes to work…kind of feel like he wants me to drink, to die sometimes. My cirrhosis of the liver started getting better over time, with me getting myself better, even though he still drinks about a handle a day and is still using drugs. He blams me for missing work and being broke because he has to miss it from me being sick, even though 80 percent of the time he is too warn down from drugs and booze too go, I'm a scape goat now, he has an excuse to not function so much . Sadly to say when my health starting getting better , so did my fertilitey aparently .. I was told I could conceve , I hadnt even had my period sense before our daughter was born 4 years ago. But the one time we manage to actually be intament , I got pergant. I am now 21 weeks pergent with twin boys. i'm was strugling before on just sucking it up and dealing with me being so damn unhappy because I cant finicaly support myself or my childern , I have no where to go, no job ( for 11 years ) and I dont have a drivers liecas either due to a dui 6 years ago . ( like I said I struggle with my own addictions, but i do just that i strugle and I'm sober ) We live 45 miles wawy from town , friend, family. I havent celibarted a holiday ( he doesnt seem to think there important) or done anything AT ALL for 4 yers, I have lost all my friends from not going to childerns birthday partys or anywhere for that matter, i have family I talk to but there ready to kill him at this point I feel liek a burden to them so i just dont talk. I feel like I lost every single aspect of who I was, I'm a shell of a person .. not even a prety one at that because I have totaly let myself go. I do what I can to be the best mom I can be but I know even with that I could be better. If these babies werent inside my belly I'm postive I would have taking my life by now. I have no were to turn and I have no clue in hell what i'm going to do when they are born, if I even make it that far, the stress and depression and constant panic attacks in my high risk ( due to twins, and my still recovering body ) I haven't gain a pound sense I have been pregnant because I dont eat anymore, I don't sleep cause I have nightmares,and I constanly fear I'm going to lose these baies and a=even think would that really be the wrost think awefull thoughts about how that might be whats best for them , which makes me feel terible instantly but I'm so scared for them . I literally stay in my room with my soon to be 3-year-old every day, acsionaly I sneak out when his father in law ( who is also a hardcore durg addict and alcoholic ) that lives with us i coming down and sleeping it off in his room . I go out into the house and try to let my daughter pay and clean up a bit. I have been on pain meds sence I left the hospotal in 2016, which I cant fully get off becuase I will go threw iwthdrawls and lose the baies as well, plus I couldnt walk or eat or cope at all with the pain my organs and failing body give me everyday. I have weened but I'm pretty sure they are taking my pain meds when i'm not looking and sleeping, and making me feel liek i'm cray and i'm an addict. I have a team of 3-4 doctors who have me on this crap, they know thats not the case, but both my boyfriend and his father have sucha way to make EVERYTHIGN in this world feel like its my fault. I'm slowly weening off without telling the doctors or my boyfriend becasue I dont want to be there supplery, hopefully by the time these baies can survive if I go into early labor i will be off of them . I have never taking pills before , or done drugs I was so nieve and in denial this whole time I feel like its my fault for gettign this far into something. I have two options as of know, I can try my hardest to be numb and put my happiness aside, live her with them and try to raise my childern, or perrty much be homeless with a toddler and two newborns. I have put together list of things i should just do to keep being a good mom depsite there home being full of total addicts. I have made plans to get out, i have mad plans to who will take m childern when I can no longer go threw with this pain anymore . I'm lost , drownign and dying, and I feel like its all my fault.

  12. Debbi,
    Thank you for sharing with us. You can change your entire way of thinking and unlearn bad habits and replace them. Don’t give up you just have to find your own way.

    Do not do anything rash. You are stuck in a hole with her and this is not something you can pull her out of; only yourself. You have to save yourself and you know deep down that this means letting go. You don’t have to live this way and you have given her every chance any person could. I know, I lived like this for 12 years with ups and downs and then I knew that if I didn’t get out then I was not going to make it. It’s hard to leave but it’s deadly for you to stay. You have shut down and out and drugs will do that to families. This is not your battle and her addiction will suck you dry; if you let it. She has to be the one to do this and standing by her at this point isn’t even helping. You need support, you need help because you are drowning. Talk to a therapist, family, try al-anon but you have to talk to someone.

  13. Once i ceased to be the enabling mom to my addicted son,i eliminated alot of stress in my life. I am now able to focus on my own sobriety and hopefully soon my sanity. Ive had social anxiety,even while i was using. Its keeping me from speaking at my AA meetings at times. Im trudging through,i refuse to take psych meds so thats not an option. I prefer to unlearn what ive learned all my life. My situation is not unique by any means,however there is a multitude of issues i HAVE TO deal with. I strive for peace in my life,thats my goal. Anyhow,thank you very much for this site and your articles. They are very helpful!

  14. Hi, I am currently with an addict. We have been together for 9 years now. It started out great. Every now and again it is great still. That is far and few between though. I found out she was abusing opiates about 4 years ago. I was devastated but I understood how easy it is to form an addiction to that mess. A couple years later she started using cocaine. She told me that she wanted off the pills and the cocaine helped with the withdrawals. I didn’t like this at all but it seemed to be working so I decided to support her in hopes that our life would soon be on its way back to normalcy. Then she started back up with the pills. She was also doing the coke still on top of it. Finally earlier this year she decided she was done and started going to a suboxen clinic. That was the biggest relief I had felt in years. It was going great for about 4 months. Then she started running out to soon and she started getting sick from not having it. She would occasionally find it on the street at an inflated price but it proved to be rare. She decided that she didn’t want to take the subs anymore. Now the withdrawals from this stuff is way worse then the withdrawals she had experienced from other drugs and it last anywhere from 10 to 20 days. She started taking pills again to try to combat the sickness. Shortly after she started the pills again she started the cocaine again. Fast forward to a couple days ago and I am finding out she is using heroine now. I found some stashed away and my heart sank. Dealing with this hasn’t been easy but being prior enlisted in the marine corps I handle stress pretty well, or so I thought. I kept everything bottled up. I lashed out at her a few times in anger due to suppressing my true emotions. I just recently started realizing how much depression has taken hold in my life. I haven’t called to talk to my parents or my brothers in over a year. I have pushed myself so far from people that I don’t have any friends left. I have no one to talk to now because of this. I sit and think of the financial crises she has put us in and I sink further into depression. I have recently started considering suicide. I was laying in bed with my wife today and as she was talking to me I was thinking of the best way to end my life. She asked me what was wrong and I just lied to her like I do everyone else that ask me that and told her nothing is wrong. She didn’t pry to much but I was hoping that she would. I am so lost right now because I want to save her. I want to save us but I don’t know how to. I don’t want to leave her but I know deep down that it would be the best move for me. This just makes me sink even further into depression.

  15. Emily,
    Was in a similar situation so I know how scared you are but you CAN do it. You CAN do anything you set your mind to, I promise as cliché as that sounds, it IS true. You will find a way as long as you make up your mind that you are going to do something. You have to just not let the fear cripple you because it will but more importantly know that the fear comes from you. You can stop it and you can persevere if you just realize what you fear now is nothing like what you live with every day.
    Amanda Andruzzi

  16. I have been living with an addict for 13 years. I have bad anxiety from this. I can’t hold a job because of my panic attacks. I feel trapped and don’t know what to do. We have two children together and I can’t support them on my own. I have been keeping him able to hold a job if I where to kick him out he would lose everything, so I can’t depend on any kind of income from him after we split. I can’t have friends because he can’t socialize like a normal person. I just started trusting him to take our son to football and baseball games and to and from my sons football practices. I had thought I smelled alcohol on his breath a few times and we would get into a fight because I was questioning him. He finally got a home breathalyzer test and I have no idea how he passed it but he did many times! I have never felt like this in my life until I met him. My panic attacts started when we had been together for 3 years and I was blaming it on my preagnatcy and being over worked. I was aware he had drug and drinking problems but he had seemed to stop. I’m living in a nightmare. I went and applied for a job and stated panicking during the interview. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to support my kids and take care of them. I’m 34 and I’m scared, I haven’t had a job in 11 years. I didn’t graduate from college so I don’t have very many options. I need to find a job that is caring and understanding but I don’t think those exist. He came home having drank while driving his company truck.

  17. thanks for info, i have been invoi\lved in a relationship 4 yrs that has been full of lies , I didnt think ptsd would be something you could get from just manipulation and lies , wow , I am grateful to know I am not crazy . Thank you

  18. Kris,
    You can reach out here for support, read the articles I have written for help but also find a local al- or nar-anon group. I think it would be beneficial as this anxiety won’t subside unless you take action.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  19. Debi s,

    You don’t have to take medication but, you can try some natural therapies that can be helpful, eating a whole foods diet, exercise, cbt and EMDR are all things, that if you put them together will help you. You need to deal with the lifetime of trauma and can naturally raise your seratonin and good chemicals to help with the depression. Don’t give up, get help, get support.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  20. Well I found this article to be somewhat helpful. Glad for the option to reply. I really want to seek help however I DO NOT wish to take any meds. Cognitive therapy is the direction I want to go. Ive been abused in everyway imaginable as a child and adult. I am in recovery almost 5 yrs. I believe I may b suffering from ptsd however haven’t been diagnosed. In addition to unresolved past issues, ive also been dealing w my sons active addiction for a year now. This has sparked a mental/physical nightmare within me. Any advice will greatly b appreciated. Thank you for your time,debi s

  21. Carly
    I know exactly how you feel. I just left my husband a few months ago and we have been together for 24 years. Crack was his drug of choice and he has been doing it the entire time we have been together only I didnt know it in the beginning. He is a funtioning user which makes him think he doesnt have a problem. It became a real problem for me when he brought it into our home and started smoking in front of me. He stopped doing it in front of me but he still smoked in our home. He felt as long as he provided, I should not have a problem if he smokes “a little crack”. It drove me insane and I thought I was losing my mind. I kept telling him I would leave but he didnt believe me. I only wanted a separation in hopes he would get some help and we could go to counseling. Long story short, I filed for divorce and I have been depressed ever since. He is a good guy but can be very mean. He is going to hut his bottom and I will be blamed for it. All of our possessions plus business is in my name and I walked away from it all. I am being blamed because he cant work. He wont look for a job so its my fault he has no money. He cant get the business in his name for reasons I wont go into but instead of focusing on fixing our marriage he is telling everyone that I am trying to take him down and see him fall flat on his face. Its hard not being without him but I know its for the best. I hope and pray one day he will realize I didnt do it on purpose and realize how much I loved him and wanted it to work. Good Luck to you and you are not the only one going through something like this. Its hard walking away from someone you have been with for 24 years.

  22. Carly,
    I want to thank you for sharing. You are doing the right thing by letting go because it is best for you and your children. As for him, you do have to let him play this out and hit bottom, but with others enabling him it may not happen. But that doesn’t mean that you need to live like that anymore and you are free now. It is hard to let go of someone who you know can be so wonderful and who you once had a great life with but you cannot make him go back. In fact if he always smoked weed then there was an issue he was not dealing with all along that the drug was masking. You have to remember you have lost trust and possibly respect for his behavior towards you so it will never be the same and entertaining a relationship would require him to be in recovery for real. He has a lot of work to do and you can’t wait around for his recovery, you need to focus on your own. You and your children need to heal and find peace.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  23. Hi I just wanted to say what a fantastic page this is and give a little insight to what I went through and I’m nearly out the other side.

    I was with my partner for 17 years three kids later both have great jobs car house dog cat perfect. For all rfge relationship he was a weed smoker daily. Still a great dad good man a little lazy but everything was ok. About 5 years ago coke came in to our lives. Alcohol followed. Hex changed he was distant, cold a dr more lazy then ever and complain about everything. I couldn’t do anything right. Two mths ago I left him it was the biggest release ever. We still need to talk because of the kid’s and would love to take him back but he us still on it still refusing to get help. It’s a shame as he is a functioning addict. Sodxmetimes onlyj wish he would hit his rocj bottom but he won’t his mum enables him to continue, his girlfriend is d oing the same. It’s hard

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