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When a Loved One Is Addicted: Helping vs. Enabling

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are serious issues facing over 23 million people across the United States alone. Of these millions of people, just a small percentage actively seek help to overcome their substance addictions.

There are many reasons behind the resistance to get help. One of these reasons involves loved ones enabling someone’s drug or alcohol habit.

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Social Pressures Often Reinforce Habits of Codependency

Codependency has many different definitions, but it is widely recognized as a psychological reaction that places the needs of others before one's own needs, often to a detrimental degree. Codependency can include a variety of other psychological issues, including problems defining healthy boundaries, inability to express feelings, fears of abandonment and a strong desire for approval. Experts believe the tendency toward codependency starts in childhood and may be worsened by several common social pressures. Maintaining Family Unity One of the strongest social pressures is to hold the family unit together, regardless of whatever upsetting actions occur because of substance abuse…

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How Do I Know If I Suffer from Codependency?

Codependency has so many different definitions that it is difficult for people to really understand what types of behavior are associated with the condition. It is a very common and very treatable condition that impacts many women and families struggling with substance abuse or mental illness. Understanding the basics of the symptoms makes it that much easier for people to address and manage the condition. Codependency is difficult to recognize unless one is familiar with the symptoms. Self-esteem and Codependency People struggling with loved ones that suffer from mental illness or substance abuse are more likely to show symptoms of…

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Women and Codependency

Codependency is a phenomenon that has only been recognized in the medical world for about 10 years. The disorder was initially identified when researchers who were studying interpersonal relationships between the family members of alcoholics began noticing similar patterns among the addict’s family. While the definition has been expanded to include chronically and mentally ill individuals, the most traditional usage of the term codependency is still used to describe partners in chemical dependency, as well as persons living with or in a relationship with an addict.

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