What Is Codependency?
Codependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships, especially in relationships with an addicted partner. A codependent relationship is when one partner has extreme emotional or physical needs, and another spends much of their time responding to those needs, often at the expense of their own needs, life, activities, and other relationships. Usually, a codependent relationship can result in a toxic relationship in which the codependent partner cares for and enables the loved one’s negative actions or behaviors and makes it easier for the loved one to continue that unhealthy behavior if they don’t seek proper addiction treatment.
Signs of Codependency
Codependent people can usually be in one-sided relationships. This unhealthy behavior may come from low self-esteem and self-worth and can be destructive to both partners. Some signs of codependency in a person include:
- Responsible for other people: the codependent partner feels a primary need to care for others and a sense of responsibility for their happiness and well-being.
- Low sense of self-worth and self-esteem: codependent people may not know their own self-esteem and self-worth outside of the relationship
- Unhealthy or absence of boundaries: codependent people do not put forth healthy boundaries, and the loved one may also not honor their partner when they do set boundaries they may have.
- Obsession with relationships: the codependent person may feel defined by the relationship, becoming obsessed or solely focused on the individual, also known as relationship addiction.
- People-pleasing: others’ opinions mean a great deal to the codependent person, and they will go to great lengths to have others have a favorable opinion of them.
Here are examples of recreational drugs that couples may try together:
How Does Codependency Relate to Addiction?
Codependency and addiction are quite common. Often, those suffering from addiction will have codependency as a co-occurring disorder. Guilt and shame are common feelings in both codependency and addiction, and these feelings can also lead to alcohol and drug abuse to hide from low self-worth.
Also, it is common to find a codependent partner who has an addiction to drugs and alcohol. It is important to note that the codependent partner is not necessarily a spouse or significant other; it can happen in friend and family relationships. The codependent person may make excuses and feel responsible for their loved one suffering from addiction and their negative actions, such as lawsuits, losing a job, and spending the family’s savings on drugs or alcohol. Codependency can cause the person to want their substance abuser to continue using drugs and alcohol, remain sick, and feel a sense of self-worth in the relationship. This can jeopardize the substance abuser’s recovery efforts, creating an addiction codependency cycle. Codependency behavior may end up enabling their alcohol and drug abuse.
How Codependency in Others Enables Addicts
Some examples of addiction codependency that enables the addicted person include:
- Hiding or excusing the addict’s unhealthy behavior causes them never to see the actual negative consequences of their substance use disorder.
- Loved ones continue providing money, which allows the substance abuser to continue using.
- As a people pleaser, the codependent person does not want the substance abuser mad at them and continues to give shelter and food. These enabling behaviors cause them never to hit rock bottom, which would make them want to get help for their substance abuse disorder.
Moving Past Codependency and Addiction
Codependency and addiction can be treated in a dual diagnosis through cognitive behavior therapy and family therapy at a treatment center. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, our comprehensive addiction treatment programs include family programs to help break the cycle of codependency and addiction. Our dual diagnosis programs can help treat several co-occurring disorders simultaneously with addiction treatment for our clients to heal all aspects of their substance use disorders thoroughly. If you are having trouble with codependency and enabling behaviors, please give us a call. Our addiction specialists can help guide you on how to move forward to get yourself or a loved one help.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.