Codependency is a behavioral condition. In this condition, one person in a relationship becomes an enabler for another person’s addiction, irresponsibility, or mental health. Often, codependent people rely on other people for a sense of identity. The signs of codependency are not easy to spot when you are living with them.
Where Does Codependency Come From?
Codependency can have several origins, much like substance abuse. Substance abuse and codependency often feed into each other, and they can impact each person’s ability to live a happy and healthy life. For example, the codependent person will try to take care of somebody who is dealing with substance abuse or mental health disorders, even to their detriment.
The Origins of Codependency
In some cases, codependency goes back to childhood and trauma. This trauma could include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect by a caretaker, emotional abuse, or even parents with drug addiction and mental health issues. Of course, trauma can also induce codependency in adults. No matter the origin of codependency, things typically do not change until somebody sees the signs and decides they need help.
Parents may unintentionally enable their children. They may become codependent with their children when they help them use drugs, even if this happens indirectly. Parents may do this by allowing a child to live at home for free or by helping a child hide their drug addiction. In these situations, the parent often needs to realize that they are codependent and need help. Substance abuse treatment for the child will address addiction in addition to family relationships and unhealthy dynamics.
What Are the Signs of Codependency?
There are several signs of codependency you should look out for. They include:
- A sense of responsibility for other people’s actions
- A desire to rescue people
- Hurt feelings when somebody fails to recognize their efforts
- A strong and unhealthy dependence on relationships
- Intense fear of abandonment
- Sense of guilt for being assertive
- Difficulty with change and transition
- Lack of trust in others and themselves
- Intense desire for approval with every decision
- Poor communication skills
- Struggles with identifying their feelings
What Treatments Are Available for Codependency?
After you spot the signs of codependency, you might seek treatment. As part of treatment, you may explore past trauma and destructive patterns of behavior in your history. Treatment often includes:
- Education about codependent behavior
- Group therapy to discuss behavioral patterns
- Family therapy to discuss group dynamics
- Individual therapy for self-discovery and understanding of healthy emotions and boundaries
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to change thought processes
Essentially, people need to learn to take care of themselves before they can help others. When you have a strong sense of self, you become better equipped to help others. There is a reason why flight attendants tell people to put on their oxygen mask before you try to help another person with theirs. You cannot help somebody else if you are not able to breathe. You have to learn to take care of yourself first. This is the goal of overcoming codependency.
Overcome Addiction & Codependency Today
Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston helps you in your journey to overcome chemical dependency, addiction, and codependency. Just like codependent relationships do not have to rule your life, addiction to substances does not have to either. Our center offers medically supervised detox programs, individualized treatment, and a comfortable setting where you can build a better understanding of your needs.
You are not alone in your fight. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about our programs and the treatment options available after detox.