If you give too much of yourself to the wrong people or the wrong situations, if you have a history of relying on what others think of you to determine how you perceive yourself, if you always come second to someone or something else, or if you are reliant on drugs or alcohol to get through the day, you may have fallen into a pattern of codependency.
We all want and need to be accepted, valued, and loved, but sometimes the ways in which you seek validation and determine your self-worth might be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
As a codependent person, you might feel as if you’ve been away from yourself for so long that you’ve simply lost sight of what is real, no longer remembering what it is to truly be who you are inside.
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What Does Codependency Look Like?
As it is clinically defined, codependency is a serious mental health issue. Those affected commonly endure damaged self-worth, low self-esteem, and an inability to free themselves from dysfunctional relationships.
Codependency leaves its sufferers with difficulty identifying what they are feeling through systematically minimizing, trivializing, or denying their experiences, thoughts, and emotions.
While these habits are deeply ingrained, often rooted in childhood traumas, codependency is completely reversible with the proper codependency treatment and counseling.
Knowing how to identify codependent behaviors in our own life and knowing when professional help is necessary will bring an end to suffering. If you find yourself identifying with the following symptoms, Clearview Treatment Programs’ codependency treatment clinic can help you heal:
- Basing your self-worth on what others think or say about you
- Difficulty making decisions on your own
- Judging what you think, say, or do harshly or as never being good enough
- Feeling embarrassed by or unworthy of receiving recognition, praise, or gifts
- Valuing other people’s approval of your thinking, feelings, and behavior over your own
- Perceiving yourself as unlovable or unworthy of love
- Difficulty admitting to making mistakes
- Constant need to appear in the right and possibly lying to look good to others
- Unable to identify or ask for what you need and want
- Difficulty starting with work, meeting deadlines, and completing projects without help
- Trouble establishing your healthy priorities and boundaries
- Extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations and unhealthy relationships too long
- Compromising your own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger
- Believing loved ones are incapable of taking care of themselves
- Addicted to people, places, and things to distract yourself from achieving intimate relationships
- Avoiding conflict or confrontation at all costs
- Suppressing your feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable
Unresolved or untreated codependency may lead to serious problems, including drug addiction, alcoholism, and eating disorders. People struggling with codependency are less likely to seek needed medical attention and more likely to remain in stressful or abusive relationships and unhealthy situations.
Left untreated, codependent behaviors can develop into social anxiety and stress-related disorders such as depression, ulcers, high blood pressure, headaches, respiratory issues, and cardiovascular problems.
The first step toward changing unhealthy behaviors is to understand where and why the behaviors started. During your time at our codependency residential treatment, day treatment, or outpatient treatment, therapists will gently guide you through exploring the roots of your codependent behavior and how to get grounded in yourself again.
If you are struggling with addiction along with codependency, our dual diagnosis treatment programs can help you to end your addiction while treating your codependency symptoms.
A better and happier life lies in learning more about how to better love yourself. The more you understand codependency, the better you can cope with its effects. Reaching out for information and assistance can help you live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
How does codependency start?
Codependency may stem from early experiences of peer pressure as a teenager, growing up in a dysfunctional family background, or living through traumatic or abusive relationships. These occurrences often signal to your brain the message that, to be accepted, you need to change your behaviors to fit in. This may include abuse of addictive substances.
Is there a cure for codependency?
With the right help, yes. Codependent people fixate on the messages that they are “defective,” “less than,” or “unworthy.” Experts agree that from these beliefs comes a mental conditioning that you should compulsively conform to what other people think in attempts to find acceptance. Codependency is a learned behavior, and what is learned can be unlearned. In other words, proper codependency treatment can allow you to learn to accept who you are, and thus become less likely to rely on drugs, alcohol, other people, or their opinions of you for happiness by instead finding happiness within yourself.