The syndrome of codependence

What is codependency

When such a disaster as alcoholism and drug addiction comes to a family, not only the person who is sick needs help, but also his entire family and close people. Not all people realize that the relatives of a drug addict or alcoholic develop a condition called emotional codependency.

What is codependency? In the course of numerous studies, psychiatrists have found that certain stereotyped behaviors are inherent in the family of addicted patients. Most often, this term means a relationship when close people try to take control of the life of a drug addict or alcoholic and transfer his problems much deeper than their own. The so-called involvement occurs, which negatively affects the lives of both partners.

Signs and manifestations of codependence and dependence

Codependency is characterized by the following features:
  • attempts at total control over the life of a partner;
  • a constant feeling of fear and anxiety for a close person and nervous strain;
  • loss of interest in what used to be close – hobbies, work, leisure;
  • focusing on only one issue – helping a drug addict or alcohol addict in preventing a patient’s breakdown.
All this is combined with pity and guilt towards a relative. Such a life leads to the loss of one’s identity and the abandonment of oneself. After all, we are talking not only about controlling the use of alcohol or drugs by close people, but also about some everyday things. These are habits, shopping, school or work.

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    This behavior, ultimately, only causes irritation in the patient, which may well end in a breakdown, especially since the behavior of the codependent only feeds self-doubt, convinces that an alcoholic or drug addict is unable to cope with his addiction.

    Dependence in alcoholism and drug addiction

    The problems of an alcoholic and a drug addict always affect his family. These diseases have long been considered social. At first, when the diagnosis of drug or alcohol addiction has just sounded, the first emotions will be anger, rage, resentment, shame, guilt, stinging. Over time, these feelings will subside somewhat and vigorous activity aimed at the recovery and treatment of a close person will come to the fore. Codependents are driven by a sense of responsibility, and the feeling that they can control the life of another. They are firmly convinced that they are doing the only right thing. Increased guardianship leads to a gradual development of the problem. A codependent relative is characterized by denial of the problem and an inadequate assessment of the situation.

    How to overcome codependence – release from co-dependence

    So, in the hospital, the addict had a drinking bout, detoxification of the body and withdrawal of withdrawal symptoms, after consulting a narcologist, a rehabilitation program was completed. Behind the coding of alcoholism and the removal of the addict’s mental dependence, now begins the most difficult stage of treatment on the way to recovery. The former patient returns home to a familiar environment. At this time, the codependent seeks support and understanding, approval and comfort from someone who has recently been vulnerable himself. Heart-to-heart talks begin, but requests for recognition of merit and sacrifice will never bring the desired relief. It is important to close the door tightly behind the past and not return to the past. If you feel that it is difficult for you, it is better to consult a specialist. The most important step to recovery is realizing the problem. Codependency treatment is carried out by a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. There are many good programs for relatives of patients.
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    Specialist therapy is based on several principles:

    • to set new boundaries in the family;
    • learn to look at yourself from the outside;
    • not hide the truth from yourself and others;
    • ask for support from relatives and friends. It is much easier to work together;
    • do not forget about yourself. Set aside time regularly for relaxation, meeting with friends, shopping – whatever gives you pleasure;
    • soberly assess the situation and correctly respond to manipulations, while making the right decision;
    • do not try to make the life of a drug addict or alcoholic easier. It is necessary that he was responsible for his actions.

    If the addict depends on the drug, and the alcoholic on ethanol, then the codependent personality depends on the personality of the addict or alcoholic himself.

    Tips for addicts’ relatives

    Drug addiction treatment, like the treatment of alcohol-dependent patients, is a complex and multi-stage process. Please be patient and consult in advance about the difficulties that await you.

    • Set boundaries correctly. This is necessary in any team, including the family.
    • You need to clearly realize that you are also a person and not cling to your partner, imagining that without him your life will lose its meaning. It’s a lie.
    • Maintain the personal space of both your own and your relative. In doing so, it is important to have common values ​​and goals.
    • Accept that the opinion of a close person may differ from yours. Discuss compromises and make decisions that suit both.

    Overcoming codependency in the family is enormous significant importance on the path to a person’s refusal from alcohol and drugs. Modern methods of psychotherapy help show relatives and friends how to help the patient and prevent a return to addiction after returning home.

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