Do you rarely spend time apart with your significant other? I’m not talking about just being inseparable when you’re together, but being away from each other induces feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Is your mood significantly affected by your significant other’s behavior?
If they do not immediately respond to your texts or you feel like the replies are dismissive--do you worry throughout the day? Do you deliberately go through your SO’s private messages? When you go out with friends, do you need to ask your partner for permission? Are you having issues with your identity--feeling like who you are is entirely dependent on your partner that just the thought of losing them fills you with terror?
If you or someone you know tick most of the boxes from the questions above, then you are most likely in codependency or in a codependent relationship.
Symptoms Of Codependency
In general, two major types of codependency exist: passive and active. It is more likely that anyone who is passively co-dependent would avoid conflict and confrontation, go to great lengths to make sure things are calm and not upset the apple cart. Active codependency is much more deceptive, and the individual may attempt to force their partner into action to satisfy their own needs and wants in a certain way.
However, both types of codependency have much in common. Some common codependency symptoms typically involve:
Codependency And Addiction
A psychiatrist in 1988 named Timmen Cermak categorized codependency as a disease condition, outlining its similarities to the process of addiction. Being codependent was described as a chronically progressive disease of “losing oneself” and just like chemical dependence, the symptoms are recognizable and manageable.
Codependency and substance dependence have striking parallelism. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe and include an intense dependency, denial of the behavioural changes, impaired emotional responses, dysfunction of aspects of social life, engaging in impulsive and obsessive behaviour. A codependent relationship is toxic in terms of the growing compulsion to think about and be with the other person, similar to an addict with illicit substances. As a result, the individual’s social life, work & school performance, and other recreational activities suffer.
Codependent behaviour can be linked to several predisposing factors. An individual who grew up in a dysfunctional family is more likely to develop codependency. Similar to people with substance abuse problems, emotional neglect during developing years may lead to low self-esteem and the development of a myriad of problematic behaviours, such as impulsiveness. They may also feel like there is a gaping hole in their life that can only be filled by validation/attention from other people or in an addict’s case--the abuse of drugs.
The most challenging thing about being codependent is that at the onset, it looks like any other romantic relationship. The desire to please the other is always present, however, this can escalate to an obsession to the point that toxic behaviours are justified...snooping through the other’s phone is normalized, healthy boundaries are not respected, and other important relationships with family & friends are abandoned. The tragic thing about codependency is that when compounded with drug abuse, the codependent often drives the addict to engage in risky behaviour and even covers for them. It is not uncommon for the codependent to also engage in these behaviours.
Get Help For Codependency
The Arden Centre extends a helping hand to you or anyone you know with codependency issues. Because codependency frequently occurs at the same time as drug addiction, it is important that the codependency get the treatment they need to allow the addicted person to regain sobriety.
The warm and professional staff at the Centre together with modern approach to therapy will help the individual explore their role in the unhealthy relationship. During rehabilitation they are able to gain insight and helpful tools to manoeuvre through relationship hurdles.
Contact us so that we can help you or your loved one overcome this addiction.
I am an energetic and committed Senior Health Care Manager with a passion for developing staff through education and mentoring.