When someone is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, family and intimate relationships can be very important in trying to help them overcome it. This is due to the loved ones having the ability to implement motivation, emotional support, and practical guidance throughout the addiction recovery process.
But, some relationships may have the opposite effect, resulting in the possibility of the addict not seeking out help or they relapse even after receiving addiction treatment. Codependency is a relationship predicament that could lead to that result.
When someone is struggling with addiction, being with a loved one who is codependent makes it more challenging to quit. Also, the codependent person could make it tough to stick to the post-treatment plan. This causes them to relapse and brings them back to destructive, substance-abusing behavior.
Often, codependency is a co-occurring disorder with substance addiction.
People who are involved in codependent relationships will frequently feel like their existence is to meet the requirements of their partner. They’ll also feel trapped or perceive that they’re always the ones sacrificing for the relationship. Codependency also frequently relates to and occurs with substance abuse.
Signs of a codependent relationship include:
- Does your feeling of purpose entail making extreme offerings to meet your partner’s requirements?
- Is it difficult to say no to your partner when they demand time?
- Do you conceal illegal or hazardous problems that your partner exhibits with alcohol, drugs, or the law?
- Are you frequently worried about your partner’s true feelings?
- Do you feel trapped in the relationship?
- During arguments, do you remain quiet to avoid confrontation?
Studies have discovered that symptoms of codependents were more common in the general population than what was realized beforehand.
It was also determined that people who grew up in dysfunctional families or had a sick parent might also be vulnerable to codependency. To be suffering from codependency disorder and substance addiction, this is referred to as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.
Codependency has been a phrase used for decades and was initially used to refer to “co-alcoholics” or alcoholics hanging out with drug use. Below are some of the causes and treatment options for codependency and addiction.
Codependency and Addiction
Some theories about codependency state that people who had grown up in households full of alcoholics were forced to grow up quickly, even early in their life. As a consequence, they might grapple with affection and control issues. Some experts assume that codependency issues are a reply to living with someone who’s struggling with substance abuse or addiction.
When suffering from drugs or alcohol addiction, people might make bad decisions that impact their home or personal life. People battling addiction will generally have the feeling of wanting to take over the addict’s life and help them solve their problems.
Much of the data on codependency is based on studies that include alcohol abuse. Data showed that there is a connection between parents who are alcoholics and adult children who grew up in that environment had shown codependent behaviors. Also, it was concluded that kids that grew up with alcoholic parents frequently grew up to marry partners who also suffer from addiction.
Alcohol is the primary substance associated with codependency, but other substances may also be a factor of co-occurring disorders.
Symptoms of Codependency
Codependent personalities ordinarily follow a pattern of behaviors that are problematic, consistent, and directly conflict with the person’s emotional well-being and ability to find a healthy relationship. The word “codependency” is often used loosely. There are various kinds of codependents, such as codependent companions, couples, and caretakers.
You don’t have to display all of the symptoms to be considered codependent. However, the presence of several signs are a good indication.
Signs to observe for in identifying a codependency disorder:
- Low self-esteem– A symbol of this is always comparing yourself to others and never feeling good enough.
- People-pleaser– Codependents produce anxiety at the thought of refusing requests. They’ll often go out of their way to satisfy others.
- Poor boundaries– There are weak or blurry boundaries when it comes to money, belongings, body, thoughts, feelings, and needs. You might feel responsible for other’s feelings and problems, or you’ll blame your own on somebody else.
- Reactivity– Codependents frequently react to everyone’s feelings and beliefs.
- Care-taking– You have the desire to help others with a problem, but during that journey, you neglect yourself.
- Control– Having control helps sufferers of codependency feel safe and secure.
- Dysfunctional Communication– There is an apparent struggle when expressing thoughts, feelings, and needs.
- Obsessions– Spending a lot of time pondering about other people or relationships. This is a consequence of dependency, anxiety, and fears. Codependents might even become obsessed with making mistakes or fantasize about someone they love as a way to avoid pain.
- Dependency– They’ll require other people that like them need to feel good about themselves. They have a fear of rejection or abandonment, even if they can function on their own.
- Denial– They often deny having a problem and believe the problem is someone else, or they blame their situation.
- Intimacy Issues– Codependents might have issues being close or open with someone they share an intimate relationship with.
- Painful Emotions– Codependency creates stress, which leads to unpleasant emotions. The low self-esteem and shame can cause fear or anxiety concerning things like rejection or judgment. Individuals may feeling trapped or believe themselves to be a failure. Other symptoms may lead to resentment, anger, and depression. When these feelings become too much, the sufferer becomes numb.
Common Mental Health Disorders that Co-Occur with Addiction
There are many mental health and behavioral disorders that are often coupled with addiction. Usually, these disorders are the underlying cause of addiction. That’s why it’s important never to neglect the symptoms of mental health or behavioral disorder regarding a long-term addiction recovery plan.
Common mental health disorders that contribute to codependency and addiction include:
Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be more likely to abuse substances to cope with their symptoms. Many people receive prescribed stimulants to manage ADHD, which becomes habit-forming and leads to substance abuse.
About half of those who have bipolar disorder also struggle with addiction. Like any other disorder, it becomes tempting to self-medicate. Substances provide a source of momentary relief from emotional states and manic episodes for people who have bipolar disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Researches has shown that addiction and borderline personality disorder frequently occur together. Over two-thirds of individuals with borderline personality disorder have had a substance addiction at some point in their lives.
Approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. had reported suffering from depression. Many of those diagnosed with depression try to self-medicate with substances. This frequently worsens the problem. The crash following the high can be devastating for individuals with pre-existing depressive conditions.
Eating disorders usually stem from intense feelings of inadequacy. Appetite-suppressant drugs are particularly common amongst people suffering from these disorders.
The most prevalent mental condition in the U.S., generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects 18 percent of adults. Those who suffer from GAD could become more likely to abuse substances to manage their symptoms. They may also abuse benzodiazepines, which are incredibly addictive prescription medications that work to treat anxiety disorders.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) creates several undesired obsessions and compulsions like the need to consistently clean and irrational fear of germs. There are many varieties of this illness. Those suffering from OCD usually suffer also from depression and anxiety as a consequence of their habitual behavior, which may lead to substance abuse.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When an individual develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), their brain creates fewer endorphins than a healthy mind, making them probable to turn towards substances to feel satisfied. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, approximately 75 percent of veterans and soldiers who experience a violent or traumatic event during combat experience constant alcohol abuse.
Hallucinations and delusional thoughts define schizophrenia. Diagnosing schizophrenia with an addiction can be challenging because both conditions share similar effects. When someone has schizophrenia and abuses substances to self-medicate their mood, they put their health at further risk.
The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Some people develop a substance addiction before being diagnosed with a mental disorder. Other individuals will develop a habit after acquiring a mental disorder.
Whichever occurred first, it’s crucial to find a tailored addiction treatment plan that treats both disorders simultaneously. This is referred to as dual-diagnosis. In the case of a dual diagnosis, the best form of treatment is with a safe, structured environment at an inpatient rehab center.
Attending an inpatient rehab for a co-occurring disorder is perfect for those with dual diagnoses because of the high level of care, and attention patients receive. Usually, individuals with co-occurring disorders walk into addiction treatment rehab in numerous states of distress. The mixture of long-term substance abuse and an ignored mental condition frequently requires the help of mental health and addiction specialists to cure them.
Make Sure the Center Focuses on Your Co-Occurring Disorder
When choosing an addiction rehab center, it is crucial to choose one that specializes in the addict’s specific kind of addiction and co-occurring disorder—accomplishing this helps to ensure the most effective form of care, along with the highest potential for a full recovery.
The moment the addict settles into rehab, the treatment process will begin. The addiction rehab program will incorporate various medications, therapies, and activities that occur throughout the program. Counselors usually offer group and individual therapy sessions, while patients can also utilize any of the centers provided amenities and activities.
What Is Integrated Treatment?
Integrated treatment is a thorough addiction rehab program that offers all the therapeutic, medical, and holistic resources necessary to help patients heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Integrated care is recommended, especially if co-occurring disorders are the issue, regardless of the specific mental health diagnosis.
Reasons Why Integrated Treatment Is Recommended
Living with both a substance addiction and mental health disorder is a lethal combination. The negative lifestyle decisions that relate to these two disorders usually translate into fatalities for some if treatment does not occur.
Some general life-threatening concerns that co-occur with a mental health disorder will include:
- Heart disease
Therefore, it is imperative for people who are living with co-occurring disorders to address all diseases that add to their lifestyle choices that could cause early death.
Integrative treatment offers a variety of treatment services to the patient, providing them with everything required to heal thoroughly. Particular services will differ depending upon the needs of the patient. Some could include resources that support lifestyle adjustments combined with addiction and mental health treatment.
Suggested lifestyle changes that improve health and wellness with an integrated addiction treatment program include:
- Addressing job skills and work-related issues
- Discussing any chronic medical conditions
- Enhancing communication skills
- Enhancing nutritional and eating behaviors
- Handling legal issues
- Improving sleep habits
- Working on family relationships
This helps patients receive everything needed to get back on course, return to work, rebuild personal relationships, and build a reliable support network.
What an Integrated Treatment Program Looks Like
To be successful, each patient should develop an addiction treatment plan. However, for those who are living with substance addiction disorder and a mental health disorder, a combined treatment plan will typically have treatment options which include:
Detoxification services provide patients with medical support and round the clock care if needed to help them stabilize during addiction treatment.
An assessment is the next step in integrated treatment. This evaluation guarantees all current mental health symptoms receive a precise diagnosis.
Based on the reported experience and evaluation results of the patient, diagnoses are created. This will help them fully understand their prior experiences and help them plan for their future.
An individualized treatment plan is created for each patient. The plan will combine both therapeutic and medical interventions to empower them to heal from their addiction. They’ll also discover how to control mental health symptoms, and how to address any personal matters that are problematic.
Individual therapy is the core of recovery, providing patients with a secure and confidential forum to discuss their current issues, experience, changes that occurred during treatment, and future goals.
There are various kinds of groups that are part of an integrated treatment program: 12-Step groups focus on a particular aspect of addiction, a support group for those who experience the same mental health issues, groups that help members in dealing with a typical life problem.
Allowing family members to connect with their addicted loved ones through medication allows them to heal on their terms. It also helps them in working to encourage other group members to learn positive interaction skills.
Similar to a treatment plan, an aftercare plan should include a combination of treatment services that implement the treatment goals of their patient after they transition into independent living.
Aftercare Services & Support
Advanced mental health care works as a support for addiction and personal therapy, along with whatever alternative therapies that worked for the patient during treatment.
Getting Help for Codependency and Addiction
If you or a loved one is suffering from codependency and addiction, a dual diagnosis is crucial in treating both symptoms. With our trained addiction treatment staff along with highly experienced counselors, Daylight Recovery Services has the felicity and staff to help make codependency and addiction a thing of the past.
Contact us today at Daylight Recovery Services for a free consultation and make today the day you take your life back!