Codependency is the excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner. That partner typically can be one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction. Overcoming codependency can be an essential first step in helping that partner recover from drug or alcohol addiction.
The AspenRidge Lakewood codependency treatment program is headed by licensed rehab therapists that understand the complexities of addiction. These licensed rehab therapists address and treat the signs of codependency by recommending the best addiction therapy program for each patient. They also discuss the common tendency that well-meaning family members can be an obstacle to recovery.
Breaking the Comfortable Cycle of Codependency
The goal of the addict or alcoholic is to remain comfortable and continue abusing drugs or alcohol. Loved ones participate in and complete the cycle of codependency. In turn, the addict’s behavior continues under the guise of normalcy and comfort.
That cycle is a three-step strategy:
1. Recognizing that family members are in a codependent relationship. Accept that their role has been unhelpful.
2. Committing to changing the dysfunctional support role. Transfer the responsibility to where it truly belongs, the addicted loved one.
3. Having the courage to change and facing the stress and discomfort that always accompanies change. Break the cycle of codependency and begin to help and support the addict truly. A dual diagnosis treatment center aims to treat these underlying habits that are uncomfortable to break.
Getting Past Step 1: Recognizing the Signs of Codependency
The “co-” in “codependency” implies a two-way relationship. When it comes to addiction, the addict depends on the family member for financial support. Addiction inhibits or prevents the sufferer from keeping a job and supporting the family. The addict likewise looks to the codependent for the feelings of love and self-respect that addiction destroys.
Codependent family members, in turn, feel that in helping the addict, they are the right parent or loyal spouse. Addicts use those feelings of family obligation to manipulate and take advantage of others to maintain the cycle of codependency and comfort.
An addiction therapy program can help families whose loved one is suffering from addiction to recognize the five signs of codependency:
1. A feeling of personal responsibility for the addict:
- Assuming responsibility for internal thought processes and behaviors which lead to the addict’s lack of well-being
- Feeling pity and guilt when the loved one has a problem
- Feeling compelled to help the addict through unwanted advice and quick suggestions for an immediate fix
- Feeling anger when the help doesn’t work
- Constantly anticipating the addict’s needs
2. Placing the needs of the addict first:
- Always trying to please the addict as a priority
- Wondering why others aren’t willing to help as well
- Saying “yes” when the inclination is towards “no.”
3. Having feelings of self-worth dependent on the addict:
- Feeling safest when through constant giving
- Feelings of sadness and resentment when other people fail to duplicate the generosity the codependent shows the addict
4. Always being at the mercy of the addict’s needs or periodic crises/dramas:
- Abandoning routine to respond to the addict’s latest crisis
- Overcommitment to help beyond reasonable resources
- Having feelings of pressure and hurriedness
5. Experiencing feelings of powerlessness
- Blaming others for the addict’s problems
- Feelings of anger, victimization, and being used by others
- A realization that others are beginning to notice and are becoming critical of the codependent behavior
So, codependency is like an addiction. It is not a moral failing or flaw in the personality of the codependent. It is a combination of circumstances that led family members down the path. When overcoming codependency, the key is to face the problem and commit to the road to recovery and abandon the unhealthy behaviors of the substance abuser. Aspenridge Recovery Lakewood is here to help you on the road to sobriety.