Why is parent codependency dangerous?

Often, the parent codependency is just as difficult to treat as the patient's chemical dependence itself. Sober parents are emotionally involved in the illness, which means they continue to be included in the healing process. In the case when the addict himself works hard on himself under the guidance of experienced specialists, and his loved ones remain captive to their beliefs and emotional reactions, the result can be unpredictable.

What does codependency lead to?

Codependent parents suffer themselves and build relationships with loved ones in such a way that they interfere with normal recovery. How exactly?

●    constant control of the situation;
●    fear and anxiety;
●    feelings of guilt and shame;
●    the feeling of powerlessness;
●    insufficiency of one's own healthy boundaries and violation of the personal boundaries of the recovering person;
●    denying the existence of a problem, and in severe cases, denying the fact of disease, hiding symptoms and important details from the doctor, etc.

The codependent parent is focused on the life of the addicted person. The longer he lives following this regime and condition, the harder it will be for him to cope with this problem and help his loved one. Moreover, staying in this condition for a long time can become a trigger mechanism for the development of various disorders, for example, neuroses, generalized anxiety disorder, mood disorders such as depression, etc.

How does codependency interfere with the treatment of an addicted person?

A codependent person mixes up his illness with sincere deep love and care for a loved one. He sacrifices his life, strength, time, and takes on an unbearable burden, i.e. responsibility for solving problems for his/her partner. For example, he/she pays off debts, solves problems with the law, looks for large sums and takes loans, negotiates with the management at work or in an educational institution in order to avoid expulsion/dismissal of an addict, etc. He is driven not only by the desire to help but rather by the need to be needed, low self-esteem, the need for recognition, the desire to feel irreplaceable. This makes it very difficult for the addict to take responsibility for their lives.

Codependency can interfere both during the rehabilitation period and at the stage of adaptation of the addict. The spouses or parents adapt to the illness, behavior, needs of the patient, therefore they are not able to act softly and convincingly in the way that will be most effective.