How to treat addiction and codependency
Learn about the four phases of treating addiction and codependency here.
Co-dependency is an addictive illness. It is an addiction to an unhealthy, damaging, dysfunctional relationship. Co-dependency is the effect of and adaptation to growing up in a dysfunctional family where relationships are unhealthy.
In these families there may be physical abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction, psychiatric illnesses, schizophrenia etc. There will certainly be emotional, psychological and/or spiritual abuse.
Co-dependency produces a recognizable pattern of personality traits which are more than evident in most members of families where such dysfunction exists. Co-dependents accept physical abuse as normal, not knowing anything else or that their personal rights are being violated.
The family member becomes obsessed with the addiction, enmeshed in the dysfunction and obsessed with the individual – he/she becomes over involved and dependent on the addicted person along with everything to do with the addicted person’s life.
Co-dependency, therefore, describes an exaggerated and dependent pattern of learned behaviours, beliefs, feelings and control that make life extremely difficult and painful for the dependent person. It is a dependence on people and things outside of the self combined with an almost total neglect of self. This results in loss of identity and little or no respect.
The four phases of treating addiction and codependency
Phases of Treatment – Co-dependency
PHASE 1 – BREAKING DOWN DENIAL
- Recognition of co-dependency as an illness.
- Recognition of consequences of co-dependency on self and others.
- Acceptance of consequences of co-dependency on self and others.
PHASES 2 – ESTABLISHING HOPE AND SELF-RESPECT
- Recognition of need to make changes in lifestyle patterns, obsession and control.
- Recognition of the ability to change.
- Acceptance that the 12 Step Programme and the support of Al. Anon, A.C.O.A., C.O.D.A., or Families Anonymous provide vehicles for change.
PHASE 3 – GAINING TRUST AND BUILDING ON SELF-RESPECT
- Starting to incorporate changes into attitude, behaviour, and relationships with others.
- Modification of needs to control others.
- Commencement of taking control of own life – choice making, goal-setting, establishing relationship with self, building self-respect.
PHASE 4 – MAINTAINING RECOVERY
- Continued recognition of illness and its effects on self and others – support groups, sponsor, secondary care, a/care.
- Continued behaviour changes and detachment from need to control others.
- Continued stabilising of own needs, relationship with self and building of self-respect. Goal-setting – work, social, personal, family recovery.
- Continued improvement in mental, emotional and physical states.
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