What is Co-Dependency and How it can Affect One's Addiction?Published on 09. 03. 2015
Understand what is co-dependency, how it looks like and the typical symptoms of a co-dependent. Learn why you should get treatment for co-dependency and the most effective treatment available to help you beat co-dependency for good.
Is co-dependency bad? Should it be treated?
Yes! Co-dependency is a self-defeating habit. It is an unhealthy coping mechanism used by an individual habitually in order to survive. What does this mean? It simply suggests that you take care of another person in a way which is not healthy for the both of you. As a result you cannot maintain a functional relationship anymore; the addict’s or the alcoholic’s addiction worsens and your health, finances and personal relationships crumble.
You’re a co-dependent if you support the person’s addiction by giving them money to buy drugs or alcohol, bail them out when they’re in trouble because of substance abuse, and do anything that would shield them from facing the consequences of their drug or alcohol habit.
People with co-dependency are hostage takers. Here’s why…
Here’s the harsh reality-if you’re a co-dependent, you are taking the addict as the hostage while feeling that you’re the victim. You want to help them not because you pity them, but to restore your emotional losses, increase your self-esteem and to build your identity. But in the end, you may end up smashing your bank account, neglecting your health and needs, and putting the addict’s health in danger because your acts encourage and support the unhealthy drug or alcohol habit.
Here are the five core symptoms of co-dependency according to an expert…
Pia Melody, an expert on co-dependence and recovery said that a co-dependent has the following symptoms of powerlessness: poor self-esteem; inability to set boundaries in dealing with others; ignoring reality; not acknowledging or accepting responsibility for own needs and wants; and inability to express and experience reality moderately.
Pia explained that co-dependent has a fluctuating sense of value. You depend on the universe to tell you about your value. There is no self-love because of who you are but your worth depends on what people tell you. “The most important symptom (of co-dependency) is that people do not esteem themselves from within and they’re dependent on other people to esteem them. So they are experiencing a fluctuating self-esteem and it fluctuates between feeling less man and better man”.
What makes you a co-dependent?
There are various reasons why a person becomes a co-dependent. One of the causes of co-dependency is growing up with or living with people suffering from addiction or alcoholism or with co-dependent loved ones. These homes create an environment that discourage talking, feeling and trusting. On the contrary, it promotes rejection that leads a person to develop self-defeating habits to avoid the addict’s or alcoholic’s anger.
Having a drug addict or an alcoholic at home is like living in a home full of stress and anxiety in every corner. You don’t know when the bomb will drop so you try to yield to whatever will be best for you-that is to keep quiet, follow without objection and hide your own feelings and opinions about it. You do not impose rigid rules anymore to avoid escalating anxiety and stress.
What’s the difference between a healthy family and a co-dependent family?
There is freedom to say what you want to say and to feel what you really feel in a healthy family. But in a family where members suffer from co-dependency, you always guard your mouth from saying or doing things that can hurt the person with addiction, even if it means suppressing your feelings, thwarting your own belief systems and supporting their unhealthy habits just to avoid situations like fighting or physical and emotional abuse. Oftentimes, people with co-dependency lose themselves in the process, forget who they really are and become unwilling supporters of the drug addict or alcoholic in the family.
Can a non-alcoholic or non-drug addict influence your co-dependency?
Yes. Anyone can suffer from co-dependency whether you are sober or addicted to drugs or alcohol as long as you deal with these four types of people-an a co-dependent parent or spouse; an addicted child, parent or spouse; and someone whose child or spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict.
Here is the most effective treatment method for co-dependency for addicts and non-addicts
“In order to treat trauma, you have to have a certain level of consciousness. So if you’re engaged in serious form of addiction like drug addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction and severe depression you cannot treat co-dependency even if you know these things (core symptoms of co-dependence). The addiction must be treated first before you can treat co-dependency.
Hawaii Island Recovery has a special individualized program for non-addicted individuals with co-dependency as well as co-dependents with addictions. The treatment staff shall start with a pre-medical approval/assessment to determine your physical and psychological needs. Afterwards, the staff will work with you in creating an individualized treatment plan that will meet your needs. There are consultations with addictionologist (for people with addiction), medical management (if necessary), and process counselling and group therapy to help you deal with trauma and behavioural issues.
Hawaii Island Recovery offers holistic and adjunctive therapies to relax your mind and body through massage, reiki and acupuncture. You can also swim with wild dolphins and let go of your fears and discover yourself in the process! You can also take care of horses during the equine therapy sessions.
Co-dependency treatment also focus on your ability to take care of your own needs and wants, that’s why HIR offers fitness consultations and personal trainings, group outings, and other recreational activities. There are also 12-Step support groups for alcoholics an addicts and their loved ones, family education and support and recovery coaching as well as relapse prevention classes.
Contact us today and we will help you find the most suitable individualized treatment plan for you or your loved one with co-dependency!
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