In the first study of its kind, the main points of which we publish for the first time, researchers at Tel Aviv University reveal the trauma, anxieties and difficulties that spouses of alcohol addicts face every day. These include depression, insomnia, fear of verbal and physical violent reactions, feelings of betrayal from the repeated fall to a bitter drop, difficulties in daily functioning, fear of dependence on mental therapies, anxiety about dealing with family management and abandonment of the home for limited periods.
According to the researchers, although these are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in every way, the couple does not receive assistance or treatment from the welfare authorities on the subject. More than 70% of people with the disorder who turn to rehab fall back into alcohol consumption after rehabilitation, making the addiction phenomenon an exhausting and never-ending struggle. The study touches for the first time on the experience of reuse use from the perspective of their spouses.
The study was conducted by Rotem Yitzhaki, under the direction of Dr. Bell Gabriel Fried, and in collaboration with Dr. Ofir Levy of the Bob Shappel School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University, and was published in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. To the women they described their lives as a constant movement between empathy and repression: “That night he drank, shouted at me and I did not answer him. And the kids see it. From that evening anxieties also began and I felt difficulties in daily functioning. There is nowhere to go from here. “
Another woman said: “I would not sleep at night. I would feel betrayed for everything.” In another case the woman left the house and moved in with her parents for a month: “At first I thought I could help him. But there was nothing I could do. I knew there would be a fall and I could not stop her, so I would leave the house.”
Dr. Gabriel-Fried argues that it is important to internalize the findings of the study so that in the future women who are also in such a difficult life experience will receive proper and accurate support for them: We receive the appropriate treatment from the welfare authorities. “
“To this day, social assistance in the case of alcoholic spouses has been under the idea – ‘how a woman copes with the disorder, but to help her partner.’ “This perception that labels women should be erased. They should not feel any guilt about the difficult situation they are facing,” she added.