Codependency and addiction often go together. Called codependent personality disorder by therapists, this condition usually has roots in childhood. Of course, the same is true of addiction. Together, these two conditions create a cycle that is hard to get out of without the right help.
What Is Codependent Behavior?
Codependent behavior varies from one person to the next, with some suffering greater dependency on another person in their lives. However, the best definition of the condition is that of one person needing another in their life to feel a sense of self-worth.
In other words, codependent behavior is a need for validation from someone else. This starts with relying too much on the other person.
It also includes worrying about others more than you worry about yourself. You put other people’s needs ahead of your own, likely allowing yourself to suffer for that other person’s needs or whims. Many codependent people show obsessive behaviors when it comes to the other person in their life.
When a codependent person’s relationship ends, it causes intense feelings of loss. People living in codependency also find others’ criticism hard to take to an abnormal degree.
Why Codependency and Addiction Go Together
Therapists first discovered the codependent condition in women married to alcoholics. Through these couples, therapists also first noted enabling behaviors. The women put too much stress on their spouses’ needs. Their self-worth may even solely rely on feedback from their alcoholic husbands.
Trauma in childhood often lays the foundation for problem behaviors or conditions, such as codependency and addiction. The trauma includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect by parents, emotional abuse, or a family history of substance abuse. Even abusive adult relationships can make some people too reliant on another person or start abusing drugs or alcohol.
Codependent addiction shows up most in people who feed off of their partner’s issues. Sometimes one person is codependent, and the other addicted to drugs or alcohol. Conversely, both may suffer codependency and addiction at the same time.
Codependent relationships with addiction do not end easily. Frequently, the codependent people suffer a great tragedy or loss that jars them into getting the help they need. Unfortunately, destruction of one or more areas of their lives provides the only way for some to realize they suffer from these problems.
Treatment Needed to Gain Recovery from Codependent Addiction
If you or someone you love suffer codependent addiction, you need help from a quality rehab center. Treatment must include an array of therapies where a therapist helps you understand and overcome your problems.
Therapies needed for codependent addiction include:
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- 12 step program
- Behavioral therapies, like CBT and EMDR
- Dual diagnosis care
- Addiction education
At Soledad House in San Diego, California, you can recover from codependent addiction. Soledad House treats women suffering drug or alcohol addiction and a wide range of co-occurring mental and behavioral conditions. Call Soledad House now at 866.314.3222 to get the help you need in Southern California.