There are many definitions of codependency. Some define it as a dysfunctional relationship with the self, characterized by living through or for another. It’s also been described as:

  • An attempt to control others
  • A way to blame others
  • A sense of victimization
  • Trying to fix others
  • Intense anxiety around intimacy

female looks at struggling male before going to a codependency treatment centerCodependency is one of the common mental health conditions that results in loss of sense of self. Someone who suffers from codependency has low self-esteem. They exhibit too much (and often inappropriate) caring for other people’s problems. They often have dysfunctional relationships and a poor family life. The inability to take one’s focus off the needs of another may be rooted in the sincere desire to protect and heal. But it can become intense and obsessive. The excessive focus can have negative effects on a person’s health. This level of codependency is best addressed in residential mental health treatment.

People struggling with codependency may have other addictive behaviors. This can include abusing substances or other destructive behaviors. They may also have co-occurring disorders that impact mental health. Such a dual diagnosis would benefit from residential drug rehab.

At Promises Treatment Centers, our residential codependency treatment programs address the underlying issues that sometimes fuel codependent behaviors. Our behavioral health experts craft a treatment plan that tackles all co-occurring disorders. Clients develop resilience, self-confidence and healthy coping skills. They learn what healthy relationships look like. Our treatment philosophy is to help clients regain a sense of self.

What to Expect in Treatment Programs at a Codependency Recovery Center

It is important to be in a recovery center that can address all your issues at the same time. Codependent symptoms may be complicated or caused by co-occurring conditions. Each should be diagnosed and treated. For example, if you have an anxiety disorder you may need anxiety treatment. All mental health conditions will be evaluated. Promises treatment team assesses problems with prescription drugs or drug abuse. Recovery from codependency may include:

We provide several types of therapy to address these issues, including family therapy.

About Codependency

Codependency is when another individual feels controlled by the addict’s behavior. Usually, it’s an addict’s spouse or family member. Some codependents are adult children of alcoholics or addicts. Their codependent behavior is the result of growing up in a dysfunctional environment. In other cases, it involved enabling behavior. This when the codependent encourages an addicted loved one to continue abusing substances, often without realizing it.

Codependency does not only occur around addiction. Codependency can be a pattern of relating to people or a way of existing in a romantic relationship. A central feature of codependency is an unhealthy dependence on relationships. This is usually in an attempt to avoid feelings of abandonment.

Symptoms of codependency include:

  • Denial
  • Rationalization
  • Controlling behavior
  • Mistrust of others
  • Perfectionism
  • Avoidance of feelings
  • Constantly seeking approval
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Low self-esteem
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feeling responsible for others’ actions
  • Avoidance of other relationships
  • Excessive caretaking behavior
  • Inability to see alternatives
  • Hopelessness
  • Hypervigilance, a heightened awareness of potential threat or danger

Codependency and Early Trauma

People with codependency issues tend to sacrifice their needs for the needs of others. They often focus intently on the needs and actions of others. They make life decisions based on serving others in a way that prevents both parties from growing. A codependent relationship can be with a:

  • Parent
  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Friend
  • People at work
  • Those in other social circles

Many codependents have attachment injury or intimacy disorders. They may have been victims of childhood trauma. It may be due to sexual or domestic abuse or parents or siblings with addictions of their own. For example, a child with an alcoholic father could grow up to be attracted to partners who drink excessively. Some people have had extreme losses they’ve never worked through. This may be a loss of a parent as a young child or loss of a child. These issues can begin interfering with daily activities. Outpatient therapy may not be enough and residential codependency treatment centers should be considered.

Negative Patterns in Codependent People

A codependent person who is focused on the needs of others often neglects themselves. This hurts their health and well-being. They often derive self-esteem from caring for others. Also, they come to identify strongly as having responsibility for the other person. They even think they should manage that person’s emotions, thoughts and actions. This keeps their nervous system in a state of high alert.

Codependent people often develop negative emotional patterns. They may start catastrophizing or always expecting the worst to happen. They also take things personally, even if it is something someone says or an action that is out of their control. For example, a codependent mother trying to stop her 20-year-old son from drinking will do everything possible to dissuade him. But she will also pick her child up from a bar, drunk, and tuck him into bed. Or she may drive her child to get drugs thinking she can protect her child as long as they are taken in the house. This puts undue strain on the codependent person and enables the young person’s destructive behaviors.

Codependent people also ruminate about the people in their lives. They may spend every waking moment worrying about a loved one. They are, as a result, consumed by anxiety.

Codependency and Addiction

While a person addicted to drugs or alcohol is recovering, often the partner left behind receives no help. This is difficult for the addict as well as the codependent. Without assistance or professional codependency treatment, the codependent cannot change their distorted way of thinking. The relationship cannot be sustained on a healthy level.

Codependency recovery is a process, just as overcoming addiction is a process. The codependent person wades through denial, survival tactics, and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Codependents often have an addiction to one or more substances or behaviors. These are often means of coping with pressures and stresses of living with an addict. Sorting through all this takes time.

Professional help such as time in codependency treatment centers or intensive outpatient therapy with a therapist is often required to recover. Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), a 12-step group for individuals struggling with codependency, can also be helpful.

Change Your Life in Codependency Treatment

Break free from codependency. It is important to have support to recover from the problems codependence can cause. We can help you develop resiliency and strength. At Promises, you’ll receive expert mental health treatment in a safe, accepting environment. Call Promises Treatment Centers today for a free, confidential consultation: 1.713.528.3709.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 27, 2019