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Codependency: Living With An Addict

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1 Codependency: Living With An Addict
By: Amy Reza Family Systems

2 Codependency From this presentation I would like for you to gain some knowledge about how to cope and how to see signs of addiction. I would like to give you some strategies and tools to become more aware of yourself and be able to in the end help yourself. I would also like to share an activity at the end to help you when you are having a rough day coping.

3 How do you know if you may be dealing with an addict?
They feel guilty or ashamed about their drinking. Lie to others or hide their drinking habits. Have friends or family members who are worried about their drinking. Need to drink in order to relax or feel better. “Black out” or forget what they did while they were drinking. Regularly drink more than they intended to. (Smith, Melinda, M.A., Robinson, Lawrence, and Segal, Jeanne, Ph.D.)

4 What is Codependency? Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent. (wikipedia)

5 Signs of Codependency taking responsibility for someone else’s actions
worrying or carrying the burden for others’ problems covering up to protect others from reaping the consequences of their poor choices doing more than is required at your job or at home to earn approval feeling obligated to do what others expect without consulting one’s own needs manipulating others’ responses instead of accepting them at face value being suspicious of receiving love, not feeling “worthy” of being loved in a relationship based on need, not out of mutual respect trying to solve someone else’s problems, or trying to change someone life being directed by external rather than internal cues (“should do” vs. “want to do”) enabling someone to take our time or resources without our consent neglecting our own needs in the process of caring for someone who doesn’t want to care for themselves

6 Coming Out of Codependency
Many feel that they will lose who they are if they are not codependent. In reality, we become more ourselves when we are less of what others expect from us. (Bogdanos, Maria)

7 Coping Strategies Don’ts You can’t control others actions
Don’t take the blame for others actions You are not responsible to the actions of the addict Detach-let the addict do things they can do for themselves If you are in danger or there is violence, have a plan, know the signs Don't encourage your alcoholic/addict family member to go with you to social situations in which alcohol and drug use will go on. Try not to be impatient for recovery to take place. Remember that it probably took a long time for your family to get into this situation and it will probably take some time for really significant improvements to occur.

8 Do’s and Don’ts Do’s Try to learn the facts about alcoholism and other drug addiction. Keep an open mind. Recognize addiction for what it is-a disease of the body, mind, behavior, and spirit from which people can and do recover. Like other diseases, nobody really intends to get it or wish it upon their loved ones once they have it. Practice detachment. Do not allow yourself to become obsessed with your family member. Set realistic limits and expectations but don't think that you can exercise complete control over the alcoholic/addict. Change has to come from within them.

9 Do’s and Don’ts Attend meetings of Al-anon and open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Take life a day at a time. It is impossible to predict what will happen with an addicted person in the family. Take your eyes off of the alcoholic and turn them squarely upon yourself. What do you need to learn about yourself? Remember the needs of other family members during the difficult times of active addiction. Try to be there for your children. Explain the illness of addiction to them in terms they can understand. If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, helpless and hopeless, seek out a mental health professional who, in addition to expertise in mental health, has some understanding of addiction in the family (St. Vincent's Westchester Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services)

10 Family Involvement These are legitimate concerns, and while families should understand that approaching their loved one should be a gentle and supportive process, they also need to understand that most patients seek substance abuse treatment because of positive family involvement and intervention. It is important to understand that the family dynamic in drug and alcohol addiction is incredibly powerful, and that addressing an unhealthy imbalance in communication is your first step in moving your loved one toward addiction therapy. This type of positive family involvement can also help lead the rest of your family toward a journey of recovery and self- discovery. (GIFFORD ,STEVEN, LICDC, LPC)

11 Things To Do For The Addict…
Behave exactly as you would if your loved one had a serious illness. What would you do if they were diagnosed with heart disease or cancer? Educate yourself on addiction and recovery. Try not to accuse or judge. Avoid name calling. This is a difficult time for both of you. Provide a sober environment that reduces triggers for using. Allow the addict time to go to meetings. Understand that your lives will change. Do not wish for your old life back. Your old life to some extent is what got you here. You both need to create a new life where it is easier to not use alcohol or drugs. Make sure that you both have time for fun. People use alcohol and drugs to relax, escape, and as a reward. The addict needs to find alternative ways to relax, escape, and as a reward otherwise they will turn back to their addiction. (addictionsand

12 Things To Do For The Addict Cont’d…
Do not enable. Do not provide excuses or cover up for the addict. Do not shield the addict from the consequences of their addiction. People are more likely to change if they have suffered enough negative consequences. Set boundaries that you all agree on. The goal of boundaries is to improve the health of the family as a whole. Do not use boundaries to punish or shame. If you want to provide financial support, buy the goods and services the addict needs instead of giving them money that they might use to buy alcohol or drugs. Recognize and acknowledge the potential the addict has within them. (addictionsand

13 Things To Do For Yourself…
Take care of yourself. Living with an addict is exhausting. You also need time to recover. Avoid self-blame. You can’t control another person’s decisions, and you can’t force them to change. Do not work harder than the addict. The best approach is to not do things for the addict, but instead to be an example of balance and self-care. Being a caretaker is not good for you or the addict. Understand that there is only so much you can do to change another person. Ask for help. Talk to a professional. Go to a support group such as Al-Anon. (More support groups are listed below.) Do not argue or try to discuss things with the addict when they are under the influence. It won’t get you anywhere. If at all possible, try not to be negative when dealing with the addict. That may only increase their feelings of guilt and push them further into using. (

14 Be ready for a long road…
Takes long periods of time to recover Most of the time it takes multiple attempts and multiple treatments to become clean Self change and treatment must take place Psychological change also needs to take place You as a codependent need to be prepared to deal with this road to recovery while living or dealing with an addict.

15 Al-Anon Select open hyperlink for Al-Anon video All codependents should attend regular al-anon meetings.

16 Al-Anon Al-Anon, known as Al-Anon Family Groups, is an international "fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems."The group's purpose is to "help families of alcoholics by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.“ Al-Anon was formed in 1951 by Anne B. and Lois W., wife of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) co-founder Bill W. They recognized the need for such an organization, as family members living with AA members began to identify their own pathologies associated with their family members' alcoholism. (wikipedia)

17 Differences… Codependency Recovery
Good feelings stem from you liking me Your struggle affects my serenity My self esteem comes from your problems and relieving your pain My mental attention is focused on pleasing you I may disguise my feeling manipulating you to do it my way My hobbies and interests are put aside; your hobbies and interests dominate Recovery Good feeling stem from me liking me Your struggle matters because I care about you, but it does not control how I feel about myself I’m free to please me even when it may not please you I tell you the truth about how I feel regardless of the consequence I pursue my hobbies and interests even if that means spending time away from you

18 Differences continued…
Codependency I’m afraid of your anger, it determines what I say or do I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship I put my values aside Recovery My commitment to strength, hope and recovery determines what I say or do I want to not only give, but I want to receive as well I value your opinion, but not at the expense of mine

19 Activity Love Baskets

20 Love Baskets A love basket is to help you on hard days when you feel like you can’t cope or that there is no hope. The contents on the basket will remind you that you have strength and that you can get through this difficult time. You will fill the basket with inspiring words, cards, and gifts from others. These things must be things that will give you hope when you are feeling down.

21 References Bogdanos, M. (n.d.). Signs of Codependence and codependent behavior. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from codependent-behavior/ Henshaw, DPSYCH, S. (n.d.). How to Change Self-Destructive Behavior: Stages of Change. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from destructive-behavior-stages-of-change/ Deitz, M. (n.d.). Coping with an alcoholic. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from alcoholic,9447 Symptoms of Alcoholism (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2013, from

22 References Continued…
The Do's and Don'ts of Coping with Addiction in the Family (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2013, from Smith, M.A., M., Robinson, L., & Segal, Ph.D., J. (n.d.). Helping a loved one with alcoholism or alcohol abuse. In Retrieved November 26, 2013, from nt.htm GIFFORD, LICDC, LPC, S. (n.d.). Family Involvement is Important in Substance Abuse Treatment. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from treatment/ Melemis, PH.D. M.D., S. (n.d.). Help for the Family. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from addiction.htm

23 References Continued…
Codependency & Recovery-The Differences (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2013, from RECOVERY---The-Differences (n.d.). In wikipedia. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from wikipedia (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2013, from

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