The term “codependency” is a touchy topic. To others, it’s a term that might be used to describe a reasonable collection of actions taken by a family while dealing with substance abuse issue. Others see it as a mental illness that occurs as a result of a long-term drug abuse epidemic. Others believe the disease does not exist.
We are not supposed to grow up learning how to diagnose and identify mental health issues in each other’s families. That’s the type of work that you shouldn’t try to handle yourself; that’s something that you should leave the professionals in charge of. Codependency patterns begin to emerge in a family, and when they do, the family should act to intervene.
Vital Codependent Behaviors
This Set of Behaviors Can Be Correlated with Codependency:
- Taking on too much
- Desperately trying to be liked.
- Blurry boundaries
- Feelings that go too far
- Attempts to fix others
- A need for control
- Fear of rejection
- Relationship difficulties
What Are Some Symptoms of Codependency?
The signs and symptoms of codependency harm both the addict and the person who is attempting to help them.
This Unhealthy Behavior Pattern Normally Includes the Following:
- Struggling to make decisions in a relationship
- Finding it difficult to pinpoint your own emotions
- Communicating poorly
- Having difficulty establishing healthy boundaries
- Not trusting yourself and experiencing pervasive low self-esteem
- Gaining more from the approval of others than from yourself
- Having an obsessive fear of abandonment
- Putting other people’s needs before your own
- Feeling an exaggerated sense of responsibility for other people, to your own detriment
An addict prioritizes the well-being of the other individual over their interests and will do anything it takes to enhance relationships, even though it is complicated and toxic. These people do everything possible to keep you involved in the relationship, not to mention the fear of being rejected.
Codependency can be referred to as a condition in which a person is emotionally reliant on another person. The thoughts, emotions, and attitudes of others have a significant impact on most codependent people. This obsession often leads to, emotionally manipulative, or dysfunctional relationships. Codependency and substance abuse have been associated since the term “codependent” was coined to identify family members and friends of individuals with drug use disorders.
Enabling can take many forms, but it is most commonly provided by a spouse or parent. In these situations, the addict knows how to get the other person to react in a certain way. Because of how substance abuse disorders affect the brain, people who suffer from them are more likely to go to any length to get their fix. This includes lying, dishonesty, and manipulation, even if the person has never displayed these characteristics before..
Arguing back and forth is another way of enabling when the two parties involved have a strained relationship. In this situation, the addict unwittingly seeks out arguments and then uses the discomfort they are experiencing as an excuse to continue their unhealthy conduct. In any case, family counselling will assist you in making the required improvements, no matter how difficult a relationship has become.
Alcoholism and Codependency
Codependency and alcoholism are both difficult to conquer and are both harmful to relationships. In certain instances, the supporting partner unwittingly supports their spouse’s alcoholism, either through tacitly embracing or deliberately maintaining it. A wife whose husband has an alcohol problem, for example, could get him alcohol so he doesn’t have to drive while inebriated to get it. This enabling cycle usually continues until serious effects, such as hospitalization or death, occur.
Is It Possible for Codependency to Result in Drug Addiction?
Codependency may play a role in substance or alcohol abuse. Even if the codependent individual enables the addict, it’s likely that they’ll use drugs or other substances with the person on whom they’re dependent to feel linked.
Impact of Drug Abuse on Codependency
Codependent relationships are exacerbated by substance abuse. The “enabler” in a codependent relationship is usually willing to fulfill their significant other’s needs, regardless of how it affects their or their partner’s well-being. If their partner, dubbed the “manipulator,” is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they may try to protect them by concealing or supporting their addiction.
Codependency and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Disorders Treatment
To recover, it usually begins with one of the codependent partners admitting there is a problem. Although this may be accomplished without the assistance, advice, or interference of family and friend, it is generally not the case.
Theories Relating to Codependency
A recent study published in the scientific journal Substance Use and Misuse suggests that a history of parental alcoholism could contribute to the development of disruptive behavior typical for people of adolescent years, but this could seem quite difficult to understand on the surface. People growing up in alcoholic families may not learn how to manage intimate relationships before entering adulthood. Thus, they may fail to develop the social skills they need to thrive in a social situation. Some psychiatric researchers consider codependent behavior a hedonistic reaction to traumatic childhood experiences that could lead to codependency behavior.
Despite that, some people believe those living with a substance abuser or drinks intoxicant regularly may not be able to separate themselves from these people because they may be unable to work through codependency problems between them. When addictions are in full force it may make the addict to make bad decisions from time to time. Non-addicts may find the urge to take control of the addict’s life to solve the problem if they do not have an addiction themselves. Since the family has a sick person to take care of and a small child, it is hard to remain calm and do the right thing. A feeling of unhappiness can accompany a person’s looks, but the truth is it could also be right.
Defining codependency as a negative trait might appear to be a small gesture, but it does appear to be meant to stigmatize women. Research published in the journal Substance abuse and use has found that equating the situation with medicine and raising the perception of a medical problem unfairly focus on the problem, thus creating a political situation. They contend that addiction is the true condition, and women’s efforts to make sense of things are not part of anything physically unhealthy. Even though few men receive the same treatment as women, many believe that the argument has some validity since women have historically been called codependents.
Codependency Triggers that Are Frequently Mentioned
Several expert clinical practitioners agree that codependency can both be benign and malign. In the end, however, living as a codependent is no less hard to endure. It is a person of this type who has difficulties describing what they want and cannot adapt to their surroundings and is unable to give the changes they need to change to improve their lives.
The study of codependency has been influenced (directly or indirectly) by alcohol-activated research. As mentioned above, a significant connection exists between alcoholic parents and their children who develop the disorder. People in this situation are typically alcoholics, or their partners are openly abusing other drugs like marijuana or heroin. The disorder known as codependency is typically a consequence of alcohol abuse, but it has been shown to also be due to other psychiatric disorders. They are often necessary for behavior to emerge in the first place; many times, these situations are necessary for troublesome behavior to begin occurring in the first place.
Some codependents have mental health problems, in addition to their codependent partner. Studies have shown that 36% of women with depression display codependency symptoms, as measured by the Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. During this period, the women struggled with motivation, retained relationships, and kept their thoughts positive. It is not common for both conditions to co-exist, but not having at least one of them is likely to make life more difficult.
Failure to treat codependency can result in the victim struggling with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Additionally, patients going through codependency tend to become more solitary, often developing self-harming symptoms and chronically turning their pain into themselves. One published study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed a link between codependency behavior and disordered eating, suggesting that people can learn to control others before controlling themselves. The negative impact of eating disorders can be serious, and it can be extremely difficult to overcome eating disorders like bulimia and depression.
Get the Help You Need
Fundamentally, families get the help they need to stop the destructive cycle of codependency and substance abuse that crops up when there is a problem with these issues.
Our Programs Tailored to Codependency Can Help in The Following Ways:
- Medication management
- Dual Diagnosis guidance
The Family Therapy Program at our facilities is also considered important in managing codependency, particularly in cases of abuse. This program aims to aid families in understanding how substance abuse can affect their household so that families can communicate without feeling the need to fix or resolve matters at hand. An individual seeking codependency treatment may also find a therapist to cater to his or her family’s history of abuse or neglect.
Addiction and Codependency as co-occurring condition are addressed in recovery facilities. It’s also important that the family member finds psychological counselling for themselves so that they can think about the meaning of limits, self-care, and sufficient forms of emotional support. You’ll be able to get back together and engage in a safe, positive way after both parties have undergone codependency care.
Please feel free to contact us for additional details on how to get involved in a comprehensive recovery process. If you’re seeking back to good health, please consider speaking with a Foundations Recovery Network admissions coordinator, who can explain what to expect and assist in finding a facility that will offer you the best outcomes. Get more information about Codependency by calling 615-490-9376
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.