Do you devote all your energy to another person, or thrive in others’ neediness? Well, this is one of the most common signs of codependency. In other words, you’re codependent if your identity, mood, and happiness are all defined by another person, even if it’s a loved one.
Codependency is often applicable in the context of substance abuse, whereby a drug addict depends on others for food, shelter, or supply money. The term was initially used to describe people in relationships or cohabiting with addicted spouses, but the concept still applies to families struggling with substance abuse. So, what are the warning signs to look out for?
Codependents cannot effectively communicate their feelings, thoughts, and needs. At times they know-how, but may not want to own up to the truth. Codependency makes a person afraid to tell the truth because they don’t want to upset another person. Instead of saying what you like or don’t like, you pretend that everything is okay. Communication becomes shrouded with dishonesty when you manipulate other people out of fear.
It’s imperative to seek professional help to improve your communication skills. Therapy facilities offer treatment to people struggling with codependence. They have a variety of effective programs, including:
- Intensive outpatient program
- Extended care
- Day treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Medical detox
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Problems With Intimacy
Sexual dysfunction is often a reflection of an intimacy issue, but codependency stretches beyond sexual acts. The biggest problem is not being open to someone you’re in an intimate relationship with. This often happens when a person fears being judged, rejected, or even left.
Conversely, signs of codependency may cause fear of losing your autonomy or being smothered in a relationship. If you feel that your partner is demanding too much of your time, you might deny your need for intimacy. An indicator of this condition is when your partner complains that you’re always unavailable, but you still need separateness.
Problems with intimacy often lead to painful emotions, such as:
- Shame and low self-esteem
- Stress or depression
- Anger or resentment
Warning Signs of Codependency
Codependency is a severe condition, and you should seek treatment as soon as you discover the signs. Low self-esteem is an indicator that the state is deteriorating. You’ll generally feel like you’re not worthy, especially when you compare yourself to other people. As a result, this will make you feel inadequate or unlovable.
Perfectionism and guilt often go together with low self-esteem. The feelings of shame will be hidden underneath consciousness. In most cases, you’ll not feel bad if things are going great, but you’ll become codependent as soon as things go south.
Watch out for a people-pleasing behavior as well. Many codependents do not know how to say no, therefore, they end up sacrificing their own needs for the sake of other people.
A person may exhibit one or a combination of several signs of codependency, so be on the lookout. The great news is that you can overcome addiction by going to therapy. Don’t let any addiction ruin your life. Contact us at 855.298.3104, and we’ll hold your hand on the road to recovery.