To understand how addiction can cause co-dependency in men, we first need to know what co-dependency is and how it relates to drug or alcohol abuse. Co-dependency is defined as:
Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.”
The term co-dependency has been used for decades to describe relationships that are one-sided. In other words, one spouse expends lots of time and energy meeting their spouse’s needs. This type of relationship exists among unmarried couples as well.
Obvious Signs of Co-Dependency in Men
Throughout history, men have been taught to suppress their feelings. They are also taught that they’re supposed to be the strong one in a relationship. For these reasons, many men are in denial and suffer in silence as they go about trying to take care of their family and maintain a job. Unfortunately, many of these men turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with the stress.
How do you know if someone is co-dependent? Granted, not everyone in a co-dependent relationship will display outward symptoms. However, there are some things to watch for to help you determine whether you or your spouse or both of you, have settled into this type of routine. For example:
- Do you have low self-esteem?
- Is it hard for you to say “no” to your spouse or partner?
- Do you go out of your way to please your spouse or partner?
- Have you often blamed yourself for other people’s feelings?
- Do you feel threatened by disagreements?
- Are you guilty of putting others ahead of yourself?
- Are you unable to share feelings or take risks?
- Have you been untruthful to avoid upsetting someone?
- Do you obsess about making mistakes?
- Do you feel depressed or lonely if you’ve been alone too long?
- Have you often blamed others for your problems?
- Do you spouse complain that you are not intimate enough?
- Do you often feel “numb” to feelings or emotions?
Of course, you don’t have to have all of the above symptoms to be co-dependent. However, any of the symptoms can get worse if left untreated. If you are co-dependent and are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you should find a treatment program that is qualified to treat dual-diagnosis patients.
Where to Find Help for Addiction and Co-Dependency
A person struggling with co-dependency and addiction should seek an inpatient program that treats dual-diagnosis patients. Not only does the personality disorder need to be addressed, but also, the physical drug or alcohol addiction must be addressed simultaneously to heal the whole person physically and mentally.
Treating the Physical Aspects of Addiction
An inpatient rehab program is designed to treat all aspects of addiction for a more successful recovery. Unless the person goes through detox to cleanse the body of all traces of the drug and eliminate cravings, they will be unable to focus on the emotional issues that need treatment. For this reason, the physical aspects must be overcome first. Therefore, the first step in treatment is detox. The second phase is to enter the rehab program to address the co-dependency or emotional factors.
Treating the Emotional Aspects of Addiction
A co-dependent person suffers from a variety of emotional issues such as low-self esteem, depression, lack of confidence, fear of failure, and many others. An inpatient rehab program provides a range of options for clients to choose. In this way, a person can create a program based on his or her personal preferences and needs.
A comprehensive program offers clients an opportunity to change old attitudes, develop a new attitude about life, and gain the confidence to take personal responsibility for their lives in the future. The day-to-day routine in rehab can include counseling, exercise, nutritious meals, relaxation techniques, music and art therapy, life skills training, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Each component of an effective program such as this has been carefully selected to achieve a specific goal for the client.
If you are unsure about treatment for co-dependency in men, call our toll-free number now. One of our experts will be available to answer your questions about co-dependency in men and help you choose a program that is best suited to your unique needs.