Co-dependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. Addiction is a family disease and co-dependency plays a huge role in an addict’s ability to recover. It is important to recognize the role you play within an addict’s life in order to help them change.
Find out what co-dependent role you or other family members play when dealing with addiction:
As an addict, you are the center of co-dependency in your family. Family life revolves around you and your addiction. The behavior pattern as an addict is not only limited to alcohol or drugs. This can also include other forms of addictions such as gambling, sex, and even eating.
This member of the family is often the oldest child and will often take on adult roles such as cooking, cleaning and caring for other siblings or addicted parent. They are focused on making the family look normal and appears to have it all together. The hero family member also tends to be an overachiever and perfectionist.
Members of the family who exhibit defiant, angry, or hostile behavior assumes the scapegoat role. They seek attention which they do through constantly getting in trouble. They are also often likely to become addicts themselves. Scapegoats tend to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with feeling empty or their anger.
Mascots within the family are also revered as the family clown. They try to make jokes and improve the family atmosphere through comedy. This is also a tactic to deflect attention away from the addict or their addiction. Additionally, humor becomes their coping skill to dealing with problems which other may view as them being immature.
The Lost Child
The lost child avoids trouble and conflict but also deals with family dysfunction by withdrawing. They give up their needs to others and are often forgotten by other members of the family.
Caretakers are typically the chief enabler for an addict within their family. They take on the addicts problems, responsibilities, and supports addictive habits through co-dependent behaviors.
Understanding your co-dependent role will help you to help you to recognize your behaviors and change them. Only by doing so can you truly help a loved one suffering from addiction to have a successful recovery.