When you hear the word “addiction”, you tend to think of a person with a substance use disorder and not an interpersonal relationship. However, there is such a thing as relationship addiction or love addiction, better known to some as codependency. According to Mental Health America, codependency is defined as “an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.”
One way to determine if you or someone you care for is in a codependent relationship is by identifying some key behaviors of codependency. These include, but are not limited to:
- Unclear or distorted sense of personal boundaries
- Intense phobia of rejection
- Strong desire to “fix” another person’s persistent problems
- A need to please that borders on desperation
- Seeking control
- Disproportionate emotions or reactions to situations
- Trouble identifying and cultivating healthy, loving relationships
Codependent relationships can exist in a variety of forms. For example, two people who are in an intimate relationship can be in a codependent relationship as well as friends with one another. Family members can even be considered codependent, particularly when financial needs come into play.
Addiction and codependency are commonly linked to each other. If you are in a codependent relationship with someone who has a substance use disorder, you can embody the role of a caretaker and attempt to save the person from the natural consequences of long-term substance misuse. If you are codependent, you may even find yourself misusing substances to be closer to your partner or do what he or she interprets as pleasing behavior.
The important thing to remember is that codependency is incredibly unhealthy to both parties involved. The person who is codependent on another can suffer extreme emotional abuse as time progresses. The person that the other is dependent on is enabled to continue the harmful behavior, such as substance misuse or abuse against the codependent partner.
Sound familiar? Do not fret, there is help available to you close to home in Washington. Just like a person struggling with an addiction like an alcohol use disorder or regular substance use, assistance with codependent relationships can be found through professional Washington State rehab. Codependency and addiction treatment go hand-in-hand; substance use disorders are a common development of codependent relationships. Many rehabilitation programs use dual-diagnosis treatment methods to help with co-occurring disorders. These recovery practices help individuals gain a better sense of self and make their own recovery the top priority.
To effectively begin breaking the cycle of codependency, you or your loved one must set yourselves up for success. There are many support groups for codependency and addiction treatment can be helpful resources. A support network is key for any person in recovery or anyone who is in a codependent relationship with a person in recovery.
If you or any of your loved ones are in a codependent relationship, struggling with a substance use disorder, or are involved with both, do not wait another moment to ask for help. You can contact us 24/7 to speak with an expert confidentially and explore options for your unique situation. Get the help you so deserve today!