One of our favorite TV shows that discusses these issues is Shameless. This show is seen as a comedy, but also does a great job at highlighting real life issues of people that struggle with addiction. Haven’t watched Shameless yet? Spoiler alert!
Frank Gallagher, the father of the family, spends most of his money on alcohol and drugs, and is normally not functional enough after, his escapades, to properly care for his 6 children. Frank’s addiction has gotten to the point where he doesn’t care about anybody but himself, unless they provide him with money, drugs, or alcohol. He’s a pathological liar and he always ends up in jail. The mother, Monica, is also an addict, who suffers from bipolar depression and she’s not very present in her family’s lives. Monica shares similar habits as Frank where she doesn’t seem to care about her family and even went as far as to steal her children’s’ savings to fuel her own addiction.
The Gallaghers don’t live in a safe area. They are constantly struggling to make ends meet. They get involved in violence, drugs, and the kids are basically raising themselves. Other than that, the show portrays the family as living somewhat normal lives—working multiple jobs, attending school, having a social life. The showrunner wanted to make this show as close to reality as possible; that this type of family can be any family that lives next door or down the street.
The struggles that this family endures is not that far from the truth of what happens to families that struggle with addiction in real life. This is the reality of many people having to undergo similar situations. The actions of Frank reflect on the kids and if he’s not getting help, what kind of example is he setting for his children? Addiction can change a person’s behavior and their physical appearance.
While people like Frank need to seek PHP, their loved ones may need mental health treatment, as well, as a result of the broken family dynamic. Therapy can help families heal. Here at Banyan Treatment Center, we offer various programs and therapies to help people struggling with addiction and mental health issues as well as the negative effects addiction may have on a family.