Why Families of Addicts Should Seek Counseling for Codependency

Why Families of Addicts Should Seek Counseling for Codependency

When you have an addicted family member, it is a great idea to seek therapy

When you live with or are a family member of someone who is an addict, in many cases it is very easy to form a codependent relationship. Research[1] has shown that that over 40 million Americans — primarily women — are considered codependent. What does codependency look like? The definition of a codependent relationship is a repeated behavior where you find your own self-worth and identity from the approval of someone else. This source[2] digs deeper and applies this concept specifically to dysfunctional helping relationships. Codependency is when one person’s help supports (enables) the other’s underachievement, irresponsibility, immaturity, addictionprocrastination, or poor mental or physical health.

As a family member, have you found yourself making different sacrifices for an addicted family member and the relationship is very lopsided? Does he ask you to call his employer and cover for substance abuse by saying he is sick? He may beg, plead, lie or even argue with you.

Here are things to consider about codependency:

Your happiness is not dependent on someone else.

You cannot control anyone else or be responsible for the behavior of someone else. You must decide to be happy on your own or you will never be happy. Pay attention and be as self aware as possible: when your loved one has a bad day or is unhappy does your mood change completely? It is possible you are placing all of the burdens from your family member on yourself. This is not healthy and will wear you down. Stress is sneaky and will continue to build in the background if you do not do something about it.

Therapy can help give you perspective.

You could be doing some of these things to protect or even help your loved one. You might not realize that you are in a codependent relationship, especially if you are the parent. When you are a parent, you want what is best for your children. You never want to see your son or daughter in pain or having a hard time. Because of this, it is easy to rationalize some kinds of behavior. You may let chores slide such as cleaning or helping out around the house. You know that your loved one has been having a hard time, so you may let them sleep in more. If you talk to a therapist about these issues the outside perspective can be very helpful because excessive sleeping and isolation are both signs of other possible issues.

In some cases, an individual may have an undiagnosed mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder. This will take a toll on you as a family member if you do not talk to someone about it. Your own health can spiral downward as well. Addiction is often hereditary. So if your family member struggles with substance abuse, you are more likely to become addicted yourself. No one plans on becoming addicted. By talking with a therapist, often through talk therapy, you can express how you feel and also get valuable insight for the situation with your loved one. Many therapists have been trained specifically in the area of drug or alcohol abuse, so this is a great way to get information from a trained professional who knows the details about your situation.

You must not stop all other events and activities for someone else.

It is essential to have your own hobbies, activities and interests. You cannot let your life revolve around someone else. You may not know how to do this in the early stage of addiction discovery  because at those moments you are concerned about the health and well-being of your loved one. This is completely understandable. One of the best things you can do is attend a support group such as Al-Anon a group for the families of alcoholics or Nar-Anon, which is for families of those addicted to drugs. At these groups, you can find support from other families who know the same challenges you are facing. You can talk with other mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers. If you would like to talk to someone about any questions you have regarding addiction, codependency or the recovery process, please know that you can talk to one of our counselors. Our helpline is there for you to use and there is no commitment on your part. You can also choose to stay anonymous if you would like. The only information that will be asked of you is basic demographics and what prompted the call. Get the answers you want today.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9868824 Depression and Codependency in Women, by Hughes-Hammer C

[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/presence-mind/201307/are-you-in-codependent-relationship Are You In a Codependent Relationship? , Shawn M. Burn Ph. D. , published 7/14/2013

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.