Codependency and drug addiction are closely related. In a codependent relationship, the addict or manipulator depends on an enabler. The enabler is codependent and compromises their intrinsic values and time. As a result, they put their own needs last. They believe it keeps everything quiet. However, it does the opposite. Without addressing underlying issues in the relationship (such as drug addiction), long-lasting peace is not possible. It is best to come to terms with typical signs of codependency. This way, you can determine if they apply to your’s or a friend’s situation and get appropriate help.
Why Someone May Become Codependent
Research shows that the origins of codependency are rooted in family dynamics. For example, a family may live in a household where one family member abuses alcohol. The sober family members may become codependent by catering to the needs of the alcoholic. The alcoholic family member demands or expects special treatment. As a result, he or she manipulates the other members of the family into believing that it is their family duty to be codependent.
That is just one scenario; however, there are many. Romantic relationships may involve manipulation and permissive behavior too. Other types of relationships, such as those that include co-workers, senior authorities in the workplace, peers, and the like, are not immune to codependency either.
High-risk groups for codependency are:
- Spouses of those who abuse substances
- Recovering substance abusers
- Adults who grew up in a household with an alcoholic parent
- Work addicts and their families
Common Signs of Codependency
A codependent person may experience mental health issues surrounding low self-esteem. In relationships, in particular, when someone is codependent, external referencing occurs. External referencing refers to a person who derives their self-worth from another person. Without that person, they feel their life is meaningless. Signs of codependency include:
- Showing a lack of separatism or individualism: A codependent person identifies only with what the abuser wants, needs, and feels. Codependents cannot express their emotions. Instead, they take on the same feelings as the abuser. Being overly concerned about what others think about them, codependents try to impress people and want them to consider them as good.
- Distrusting their views: Others must validate their beliefs about something before they act. If they initially think their idea is a good one, someone else’s opinion must confirm it. If it is not accepted, they may dismiss it even though they were excited to pursue it in the first place.
- Accepting of their role as caretakers of substance abusers: In this case, abusers can take care of themselves if they decide to get help. Codependents who take on the role of enabling the abuser to remain dependent. Hence, codependents feel continually needed and in turn, disregard caring for themselves.
Recovery from Codependency is Within Your Reach
A codependent person must first acknowledge that there is a problem because acceptance in place of denial is the key to change. Professional therapy should include family members since codependency cannot exist without depending on someone.
Soledad House has many programs that address codependency and promote a successful recovery, including:
- Sober Living Facility
- 12 Step Program
- Relapse Prevention Strategies
- Family Therapy Treatment
- Reality Therapy Program
If you or someone close to you shows signs of codependency, there is a better future straight ahead. With professional treatment, you can gain freedom from codependency and begin to live a self-fulfilled life. To begin, complete our short form online or reach us at 866.314.3222 now.