Codependency is defined as “the state of being mutually reliant” by the American Psychology Association.
However, it also refers to codependency as a dysfunctional relationship pattern where an individual is psychologically dependent on something or someone.
Those who struggle with codependency have tendencies to be emotionally attached to, or suffer themselves from an addiction.
Codependency is almost an addiction in itself, as it is a compulsive need for something or someone.
Many people with codependency suffer deeply from a lack of self-love. Instead, they give all their love and caring to others in hopes that they see a return on their investment. Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case. This results in negative self-image and self-worth.
This struggle often leads people to depression, irritability, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Codependency is often presented in frustration, lack of boundaries, and inability to communicate properly or sanely. Many who suffer from codependency become irritable when someone they are dependent on try to set boundaries.
Other signs of codependency include inability to set or adhere to boundaries in a relationship. Manipulation, and rationalization of negative behaviors are also a high mark of codependency.
Codependency can also take the aggressive form, with people trying to control, demean, or blame others for issues that arise. It takes two people to become codependent. When people are codependent, they will usually become anxious, depressed, or upset if they are unable to control their partner.
Codependent Relationships Explained
Those struggling with codependency rely on the person for self-esteem and self-worth. They are frequently enablers, and will put everything they have into trying to help or listen to the other person. While this sounds like a caring thing to do, it can lead to extreme resentment and disappointment.
There are usually three types of codependent relationships. One is described as when people are dependent on an addiction like drugs, sex or gambling. Another form of codependent relationships is with people who are abusive. The last is the passive dependent.
Codependence on drugs or another addiction is rather self explanatory. The person is addicted to something and needs it to feel value in their lives. Codependence in the form of an abuser is when someone forces another to adhere to them.
Abusive codependents usually set rules and outlandish requests upon the person being abused. They create rationalizations and or threats if the person does not follow their rules. This leads to a toxic relationship. It also prevents them from having healthy relationships outside of the codependent one.
Passive codependents are frequently enablers. They justify an abuser or other person’s behavior. This is extremely common with parents or loved ones of an addict, alcoholic, or abusive codependent. They believe that they can “fix” or save the other person.
All types of codependent relationships are toxic and breed mental health issues and exacerbate other problems like addictions.
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Treatment for Codependency
Treatment for codependency is difficult. However, there are programs that show success. These programs use evidence based therapies to help attack the underlying issues that lead to codependency.
Many codependents are also addicted to drugs or alcohol. People will use drugs or alcohol to numb the feelings of depression, anxiety, or lack of self-worth. We specialize in people who deal with codependency and addiction.
Our multidisciplinary therapists treat codependency and addiction by focusing on the underlying issues. They identify behavior and thought patterns that lead to addiction and dependency. When used in conjunction with a twelve step support group like Co-dependents Anonymous, they are even more effective.
Individualized treatment plans that help overcome addiction to drugs, and codependency on people are vital. All too often, people who struggle with a dual-diagnosis issue like this will go to a treatment program for drugs. They leave the program only to be met with their codependency induced mental health issues when they return home. This results in relapse.
This is why we treat codependency and substance abuse differently. Both issues need to be addressed for recovery to be successful. Our programs are effective and run by experienced, caring staff who can guide you or a loved one to a recovery program.
Our Drug Rehab Programs
Codependency leads to anxiety, depression, and exacerbated drug use and addiction. We know how difficult it can be to ask for help, or to take the steps needed towards recovery.