You don’t have to be an addict to suffer from co-dependency. Co-dependency is an illness that can affect addicts, their loved ones and their families alike. It can also affect non addicts. A common trait of a codependent is that they sacrifice their own needs in order to try and meet the need of another. It is common for an addict and a non addict to have a codependent relationship and this can have a devastating effect on both parties. The root cause of co-dependency lies within the individual and not their circumstances, relationships or surroundings. This is contrary to the co-dependents belief system; they believe that they would be happy and everything would be okay if only everyone around them would behave in the way that they want them to. They fail to recognise that they are powerless over others actions. Co-dependency is often aimed at one particular individual, who they concentrate their efforts on. It is the codependent that suffers the most as time and time again their expectations are not met as they obsessively try to take control. Consequently the object of their control methods also tends to suffer.
Co-dependency often manifests in childhood, and is a learned behaviour; such as caring for an alcoholic/sick parent or their own siblings due to their parent’s shortfalls or lack of capability. One cause of co-dependency is physical or sexual abuse from someone they love; consequently they learn that it is “normal” to put the needs of someone else above their own.
Addicts and non addicts often form codependent relationships, as can two addicts together. Addiction is a chronic illness that the sufferer cannot control, but the co dependent will believe that they can control it for them. They are blind to the fact that they are powerless over their loved one’s addiction and believe that they can save them…. if only the addict would do as they say.
Addiction is an illness that not only affects the sufferer, but deeply impacts on the family and those close to them. To the point, that the codependent starts to exhibit similar traits, behaviours and characteristics to the addict. The long term impact of co-dependency is that these behaviours can be passed on to other family members such as their children. Even once the addicts addiction has been arrested, the codependent is likely to continue in their behaviours; as previously explained, the problem lies within them and not others. This is both damaging and counterproductive for the addict and the codependent alike.
Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn recognise the devastating effects that addiction has on family members, loved ones and partners, this is why we offer a Family Recovery Programme. In order for the family to move forward, along with their newly recovered loved one, it is important that all who have been affected recover too. Some may be so entrenched in their co-dependency that they too require inpatient treatment. It is important not to underestimate how devastating co-dependency can be to an individual’s, physical, mental and spiritual well being. They have a tendency to carry on the same traits and behaviours from relationship to relationship and find it difficult to be on their own.
Another common form of co-dependency is two addicts together. In addiction, isolated from family and friends, they become completely reliant on each other for love and support. The truth is they cannot even love and care for themselves in active addiction, let alone anyone else. It can become a vicious cycle of one getting clean and then relapsing because the other does not follow suit. Even if they both manage to get clean the codependent behaviours continue and can lead to one or both of them relapsing. Any individual who finds recovery, only to return to a partner or live with a family member that is still drinking or using, is asking for trouble. For the relationship to stand any chance of surviving and becoming healthy, both individuals must find recovery for themselves, not only from addiction but also from their reliance on each other.
Co-dependency often goes unrecognised as there is not always a substance attached to the illness; their addiction, as such is one of control and is attached to another person. It is common for co-dependency to develop in the loved ones of those in active addiction. At Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn we meet many a father, mother, husband, wife, sibling, son and daughter who have co-dependently supported their loved one. Believing their actions can save the addict from their own consequences and keep them safe, they inadvertently enable the addict to carry on in their addiction. An individual in active addiction creates a sickness around them like no other sickness; the constant dishonesty, manipulation and cheating lead their partners to question their own sanity. The codependent will find themselves unable to set healthy boundaries and when they do, they allow the addict to disregard them without consequence. The biggest fears of all codependents is rejection and abandonment, so they go to any lengths to try and ensure that doesn’t happen. They will often neglect their own needs to try and keep their loved one happy and on side.
Not all family members suffer from co-dependency, some will be supportive from a distance, realising that anything that they say or do is likely to have little impact on the addict. They realise that the addict has to want to stop for themselves and that no amount of anger, love, begging, bribery, emotional appeal, mollycoddling, colluding or financial support will change that. They will patiently wait for the day to arrive when the addict is ready and willing to accept help. The co-dependent on the other hand will exhibit many of their addicted loved ones traits. They believe that they can save them from addiction and keep them safe and so will go to great extremes to save them from their own consequences. This usually comes in the form of lying for them, defending them to others, giving them money, paying off debts and obsessively checking up on them. They find themselves frequently feeling disappointed, angry, upset and anxious when their attempts to “save” the family member fail time and time again. They may also blame themselves for their loved one’s addiction and suffer from overwhelming feelings of guilt, believing that they are responsible for their loved one’s addiction and getting them into recovery. This is far from the truth; addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and whilst outside influences can propel or contribute, they are not the cause. No one knows exactly why an addict becomes an addict, genetics can play a role to an extent, but no one individual is at fault or responsible for an addict’s illness.
If you are wondering if you could possibly suffer from co-dependency, we suggest you ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly. If you can identify, then it is important that you seek professional help in order to get well and recover. Codependents are rarely happy, as their feelings, thoughts and emotions are dictated by the behaviours of others:
Answering yes to one or more of these questions could well indicate that you have a problem with co-dependency. In today’s society we want to appear independent and strong. No one wants to admit they are a codependent as they feel it is a sign of weakness and feel ashamed. There is no shame in suffering from co-dependency; it is a real mental health illness, but it does require the correct professional treatment and support in order to recover fully. You do not need to be controlled by others and you can break free from the characteristics of co-dependency and learn to love yourself, regardless of external circumstances.
Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn understand the damaging effects of co-dependency, sometimes it can accompany substance abuse and addiction. Those that suffer, will often feel highly anxious and be vulnerable to severe bouts of depression. They may turn to alcohol or drugs, or some other destructive behaviour to cover up and deflect from the pain they are experiencing as a codependent. They usually suffer from extremely low self worth and self esteem and often have feelings of shame, guilt and not being good enough. If they are an addict this is a double-edged sword; their co-dependency can propel their addiction to a point where they no longer want to live and cannot see a way out. Co-dependency can often present as a co occurring illness alongside addiction. In this case, it is vital that both conditions are treated simultaneously on an inpatient basis, for a full and permanent recovery to be attained. We are experts in treating all kinds of addictions and common co occurring illnesses. We are very experienced and well equipped to successfully treat both of these conditions
For more information on Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn inpatient co-dependency programme, please call and speak to us directly or chat to us LIVE!
We understand how easy it is to become co-dependent on a loved one who has behavioural problems, a mood disorder or an addiction. We therefore offer a family programme to all inpatients close family members and partners. We do all we can to help our patients stay clean and sober on leaving the treatment environment; this means that the family will need to be healed and make some changes too. Neglecting to address this vital link can lead to the patient relapsing and the whole damaging cycle starting again. For more information please look at our “Family Recovery Programme” section.
Co-dependency is medically recognised as a mental health disorder. We treat our inpatient codependents using proven and effective treatment methodologies to unearth and the root causes of the condition and help the individual to overcome them. Co-dependency can be successfully treated through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy. We also offer a 12 Step programme that specifically addresses co-dependency. We can show you how to overcome you codependent behaviours through changing your thought processes. Furthermore, we can show you how to learn self care and learn to love yourself, so that in future you can build strong and healthy relationships free from the destructive behaviours of co-dependency,
If you or a loved one need help for co-dependency or want to know more about our treatment programme, call and chat to us now.