Understanding Co-dependency and Addiction

Co-dependency and Addiction

Co-dependency has for long been considered a response to a partner, family member or close friend who has formed an addiction to one or more chemical substances such as (typically) alcohol or tobacco, cocaine or other drugs. Indeed one of the earliest support mechanisms for co-dependency was developed in response to Alcoholics Anonymous, now represented in the UK as the Al-Anon Family Groups support network.

Understanding Co-dependency

However, thinking has matured and the challenge of co-dependency is understood to be far more deep rooted, evidencing itself in early family life where the child is subject to aberrant parental or sibling behaviour, albeit drug abuse, alcoholism, physical or psychological abuse, learning to deal with the dysfunctional surroundings by adopting a coping – or survival – strategy. In adult life, this strategy frequently evolves in to an unhealthy addiction towards others, typically a spouse or close friend but can further manifest itself in working and professional relationships with inappropriate bonding conduct towards colleagues or superiors.

The codependent’s condition is all too often exacerbated by bonding with a partner whose own codependent behaviour has developed into addiction of one form or another.

Co-dependency and Identity

Through repeated repression of one’s own feelings and emotions and being unable to express oneself, one’s identity is subsumed within the conflicting desires to take control of one’s own life while responding to the life of another. And the repression of individuality frequently leads to an addiction to another person in order to satisfy one’s own unfulfilled desires.

Sabine has worked with many co-dependents and although the path to recovery entails the unraveling of complex dependency issues compounded over many years, she has developed a co-dependency recovery strategy to empower co-dependents and help them to regain their own sense of self identity.