Those who suffer from addiction may also struggle with the effects of co-occurring mental health or behavioral health disorders. Some individuals struggle with addiction and codependency simultaneously. The impact of these co-occurring disorders can be very serious. But, at Free by the Sea, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center here in the State of Washington, we offer highly effective treatment services for alcohol or drug addiction and codependency.
Codependency is a psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorder that can occur for many possible reasons. When someone is codependent, they struggle to develop a sense of their own identity apart from the things or people they’re codependent upon. Often, codependency occurs in relation to relationships. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder include the following:
Codependent individuals often feel as though they need the help of others in order to feel good about themselves. They also tend to feel uncomfortable when they are not in relationships. Being alone is very difficult for those who suffer from codependency.
Also, individuals who suffer from this disorder have an intense fear of being rejected. They often feel afraid of possible abandonment and they may pursue new relationships or hold on to unhealthy relationships in an attempt to avoid being lonely. Some may even develop depression as a result of loneliness or fear.
Many individuals who suffer from codependency have an intense and severe lack of self-esteem. Often, codependent individuals feel as though they have little to no worth. They may feel that they do not have any value outside of their relationship with others.
One important thing to realize, however, is that those who have codependency challenges typically appear to have a high sense of self-worth. They may seem to value themselves very much although they truly do not feel that way.
Codependent individuals may experience guilt often. Also, those who suffer from codependency tend to show signs of perfectionism. They may push themselves to be someone they are not in order to appear content with themselves, despite their low self-esteem.
Sometimes, those who have codependent personalities may feel the need to control the lives of their loved ones. They may “keep tabs” on their partners, attempting to be aware of everything the individual does. Or, they might try to prevent their partners from doing anything that excludes them.
The need to control circumstances and other people can be debilitating. Individuals who are codependent may not be able to take risks, try new things, or simply relax because of the need to control everything.
Codependency can cause people to become manipulative of others. Some individuals may make their partners feel guilty for not going along with their plans. Or they might try to keep people from moving on or leaving the relationship using manipulative measures.
This challenge does not only relate to physical intimacy. Many of those who struggle with codependent behaviors have a difficult time becoming emotionally intimate with other people. They may have a hard time being open about their feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Individuals may feel that sharing their emotions will only lead to rejection, judgment, or abandonment from other people.
Those who have a codependent personality may lack an understanding or respect for boundaries. They may feel as though they are responsible for the feelings and thoughts of others, even when it simply isn’t true. Sometimes, they may even blame others for their own feelings or thoughts. Also, some individuals who struggle with codependency may develop very rigid, unmovable boundaries, becoming closed off and emotionally withdrawn from others.
Codependency can cause people to put the needs of others above their own. This shows a lack of boundaries for self. It can also be emotionally and physically draining, leading to many different issues and challenges in a person’s life.
Codependent individuals have a tendency to obsess over pleasing others. The very thought of letting others may cause people to experience anxiety or fear. Sometimes, it is difficult for codependent individuals to say “no” to other people’s requests. This can be both tiring and unhealthy. It may lead individuals to do things that are uncomfortable and even unnecessary in order to please others.
People who have codependent personalities may obsess over many things. They might constantly think about their relationships obsessively and excessively. These obsessions can also extend to the way a person deals with reality and life in general. Codependent individuals may escape the challenges of the present by obsessing over the possibility of a better or more enjoyable and ideal situation.
When living with codependency, people may struggle to effectively communicate with others. It can be hard to relate to other people or engage in meaningful conversations with them. Codependency can make it difficult for people to openly discuss and share their thoughts.
It can also be hard for people who have codependency personalities to express their needs to others. This may be due to the individual’s need to please others or because of their fear of being judged. It can also be caused by the person’s uncontrollable desire to address the needs of others above their own.
Although no two relationships or addictions are the same, there are a variety of similar traits with regard to codependency. The person closest to the struggling individual might have a strong sense of responsibility for their loved one, sometimes to such a degree that their own life, health, and well-being are negatively affected.
In many cases, these individuals may go to great lengths to nurture the relationship. Or they may have a powerful need for approval and love from the addicted person. Furthermore, it’s very common and quite devastating for these individuals to create justifications for their loved one’s addiction. The codependent person may refuse to face the problem due to past experiences or because they think their loved one is still functioning well enough.
Codependency isn’t just hazardous for the codependent individual. The condition is also harmful to friends and loved ones. Codependent people frequently lose their grasp of who they are as individuals, which treatment is usually recommended for.
In many cases, those who suffer from codependency turn to substance use in order to cope with the negative effects of this disorder. As a result of excessive alcohol or drug use, individuals may develop a substance use problem. This results in a dual diagnosis, which is extremely serious and life-altering.
For this reason, the individual’s substance use disorder and codependency have to be treated simultaneously. If only one aspect of the greater problem is addressed, there will be no lasting results in most cases.
After returning to the outside world and resuming their everyday lives, individuals who were only treated for half of the problem often relapse quickly. Without treatment for both sides of the issue, these people are susceptible to or unable to cope with the situations and influences that originally led them to begin abusing alcohol or drugs.
So, it is important for those who suffer from addiction and codependency to seek help. A professional dual diagnosis treatment program can assist those who are dealing with co-occurring disorders, providing them with the resources and support they need throughout recovery.
Here at Free by the Sea, we understand the importance of overcoming codependency and addiction. These co-occurring challenges can be detrimental to a person’s well-being. Substance abuse and codependent behaviors are likely to be harmful in every area of an individual’s life, including emotional, mental, and physical health. These issues also negatively affect relationships with other people. But, we strive to help those who are struggling with these difficulties.
Our staff is well aware of the challenges that occur along the road to recovery. We understand that those who wish to end substance abuse in their lives are very likely to encounter serious obstacles and experience major changes in many aspects of their lives. It’s not always easy to go through these shifts and make the adjustments necessary to facilitate a successful recovery. That’s why we are here!
If you or someone you know is showing signs of a codependent personality and suffering from substance use, it is important to seek help right away. At Free by the Sea, we will work to treat you or your loved one by offering resources and services that meet their individual needs for recovery.
Whether you are struggling with only addiction or substance abuse and codependency, we are here to help you. Our mission is to help you achieve total health and healing. We are committed to offering nothing less than the very best of care to you or your loved one.
By failing to take control of their problem, addicts don’t just harm themselves. They also cause stress and emotional pain for their loved ones. If alcohol addiction is not addressed quickly, people struggling with alcoholism will only experience increasingly serious issues with their health, money, job, relationships, and personal life.
If you think that a relationship with a friend or loved one has degraded into codependency, or if you’re suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it’s important to know that help is available.
At Free by the Sea, located in the state of Washington, we take numerous factors into consideration when determining the best course of treatment for each patient. This helps us to manage not only the side effects caused by alcohol and drug abuse but also address the underlying reasons for their addiction.
If you are ready to enjoy lasting results, we urge you to contact Free by the Sea today. The first step is always the hardest, but it’s important to remember that the path leads toward a happy, healthy, and satisfying life.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.