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Codependency

Codependency can cause individuals to ignore their needs to appease others

Codependency: What You Need to Know

Codependency is an emotional condition in which individuals frequently ignore their own needs while constantly fulfilling the needs of others. This is a learned behavior that develops as a result of dysfunctional relationship patterns, which can often be related to a loved one’s substance abuse. Individuals who have experienced trauma, especially physical, sexual, or verbal abuse due to a loved one’s addiction or mental health conditions, are at high risk for developing codependency and control issues. Codependency can often be passed down through generations of unhealthy family relationships.

Effects of Codependency

When someone ignores their own needs while feeling compelled to fulfill the needs of others, problems arise from this unhealthy imbalance. Forfeiting your own well-being and values in the pursuit of pleasing other people can stem from experiencing relationship trauma. As a result, codependent individuals often:

  • Form unhealthy relationships due to feelings of low self-worth
  • Enter relationships with individuals who are irresponsible, emotionally detached, or excessively needy
  • Find themselves in emotionally, and sometimes physically, abusive relationships
  • Repress their emotions
  • Often cope by abusing alcohol, drugs, sex, or food
  • Often experience anxiety and/or depression

Codependency can harm an individual’s ability to create and sustain healthy relationships. They may also resort to substance use to numb feelings of distress related to dysfunctional relationships, which can easily turn into an addiction. Codependency may also fuel the formation of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety disorders.

 

According to Mental Health America, here are some other symptoms:

  • Lack of trust in self and others
  • A sense of guilt related to asserting self or their own needs
  • Always doing more than their share
  • Feeling hurt when their efforts are not recognized
  • An overdeveloped sense of responsibility for others (and the actions of others)
  • A need to control their environment or the behavior of others
  • Fear of abandonment or loneliness
  • A deep need for approval or validation
  • Difficulty establishing healthy boundaries with others
  • Chronic anger
  • Difficulty adjusting to change
  • Difficulty making decisions, identifying feelings, or communicating clearly with others

 

The Stats on Codependence

According to an analysis of several codependency studies:

  • In a survey of college students, 85% of men and 76% of women met the “high to middle” classification for codependency.
  • Family stress has been connected to a higher likelihood of codependency.
  • Codependency has been correlated with low self-esteem.
  • Traditional roles related to women (nurturing and caretaking) may elevate a person’s tendency to develop codependent feelings and behaviors.

According to Mental Health America, here are some other symptoms:

  • Lack of trust in self and others
  • A sense of guilt related to asserting one’s own needs
  • Always doing more than one’s share
  • Feeling hurt when one’s efforts are not recognized
  • An overdeveloped sense of responsibility for others (and the actions of others)
  • A need to control one’s environment or the behavior of others
  • Fear of abandonment or loneliness
  • A deep need for approval or validation
  • Difficulty establishing healthy boundaries with others
  • Chronic anger
  • Difficulty adjusting to change
  • Difficulty making decisions, identifying feelings, or communicating clearly with others

Codependency Treatment

We equip young adults with the skills and knowledge to identify unhealthy relationship patterns and discover how to form healthy attachments. An emphasis on connecting with peers and family — as well as 12-Step involvement — fosters positive relationship development.

We also utilize experiential therapies including neurofeedback, mindfulness practices, equine-assisted psychotherapy, challenge courses, trauma-informed psychodrama, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing. This allows individuals to resolve relationship trauma and experiences that have been holding them back. They learn new coping skills and healthy habits for overcoming codependency. They also learn how to take care of themselves and create healthy boundaries with others.

“Codependency can harm an individual’s ability to create and sustain healthy relationships.”

Help for Codependency

At the Claudia Black Young Adult Center, we help patients look beyond their symptoms and consider the emotional and relational trauma behind codependency in order to better understand their unhealthy coping mechanisms. Codependency and its accompanying issues are addressed every day in our programs, and our experienced staff looks forward to helping you begin your healing journey.

Flowers at Claudia Black Center

Admissions

Our experienced, compassionate Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. Let our specialists help you create a road map to get you where you want to go: a healthier, more balanced, fulfilling place in life. When you call, you’ll be led through a series of questions to determine if the Claudia Black Young Adult Center is the right fit for your needs, and how soon your treatment can begin.

If you are interested in treatment for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out our convenient Admissions form!

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