Signs of codependent behavior are often associated with substance abuse, addiction, and rehabilitation. This type of behavior is typically found in families where at least one person is struggling with addiction.
Codependency is a learned behavior where one person watches another and imitates their behaviors. These behaviors can be passed down from parent to child. Not to mention loved ones of an addict can develop their own addiction to maintain their relationship with the addict.
As such, addiction and codependent behaviors feed off of each other. For instance, a concerned family member can exhibit codependent behavior when they attempt to protect the addict from the consequences of the substance abuse problem. This, in turn, can inhibit the addict from seeking the help they need to address their addiction.
Why Is Codependent Behavior Unhealthy?
When addiction is involved, codependent behaviors become enabling behaviors. In other words, the actions of the loved one to shield the addict and protect them can lead to worse problems. The family gets into an endless cycle until something tragic occurs, like an accidental overdose, death, arrest, and so on.
Even when loved ones attempt to avoid codependent behaviors, it does nothing to address the addiction. Therefore, problems within the family will not go away and often become more noticeable.
The 9 Signs of Codependent Behavior
The only effective way to address codependent behavior and addiction is by treating both issues. The following are some of the common signs of codependent behavior you should be aware of to ensure you are not enabling the addict in your family.
#1: You need to be liked by everyone.
A sign of codependency is seeking approval from others to be liked and loved and a constant worry about what others think about you.
#2: You have difficulties setting boundaries.
Codependent people have a hard time setting boundaries. They might say they will not tolerate drug abuse. Except, when it happens to a loved one, they make exceptions and end up tolerating the harmfulness the family experiences from the addiction.
#3: You can have problems expressing your emotions and feelings.
If you tell others what they want to hear, and find it difficult to articulate your own emotions and feelings, you could be codependent.
#4: You place the interests and needs of others over your own.
Rather than take care of your own interests and needs, you put others first. This can lead to abusive relationships, accompanied by the fear of being unloved. So, you ultimately tolerate the addiction.
#5: You often pretend everything is okay.
For a codependent person, they find it easier to ignore problems like they do not exist. Rather than deal with the issues, they often focus on other things. Commonly, those things are attempting to escape from their problems by turning to alcohol, drugs, or food for comfort.
#6: You feel responsible for other’s actions and feelings.
Another common sign of codependency is when you attempt to play the role of the caregiver because you feel guilty about the addict’s behaviors. You may also become easily angered when the addict is not appreciative of everything you do for them.
#7: You must control others and fix their problems.
If you typically feel a sense of uselessness unless there is a crisis to fix or a person that needs help, you may be codependent. It is equally common to want to offer advice and solutions the other person needs to do.
#8: You feel loyalty to the addict even with faced with evidence they are responsible for a problem.
For whatever reason, you continue to stay in your relationship with the addict to the point it becomes harmful for both of you. If you do end the relationship, it is not uncommon to seek out another relationship that allows you to be codependent.
#9: You refuse outside help because you believe the addiction is not as bad as it is.
It is easy to convince yourself that your loved one’s addiction is not as bad as others are telling you it is. You may feel ashamed to admit you need help or that you deserve a better life. Additionally, you are afraid if you do seek help that others will find out and will no longer want to associate with you and your family.
Addiction Treatment and Codependent Behaviors Los Angeles
Specific addiction treatment programs are available to help more than just the addict. They include family programs to help address the psychological and emotional aspects that accompany codependency.
Addiction and codependency treatment programs help develop healthy boundaries. They also improve communication skills, and teach the family how to resolve conflict in a productive manner. By treating both the addict and the family members with codependent behaviors, it is possible to break the cycle while helping the family begin their recovery journey.
At New Life House, we help young adults struggling with addiction as well as their loved ones. Together, we help support young men and their families to help them be successful in their recovery.
We provide access to age-specific addiction treatment facilities in Los Angeles to provide the support you or your loved one needs. Please feel free to contact us for further information about our treatment options for addiction and codependency today.