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What Is Primary Codependence?According to Friends and Families of Addiction: A Survival Manual (2006), the following are signs of codependence:

  • Feeling compelled to help others and fix every problem
  • Doing anything to make others happy and receive their acceptance
  • Neglecting your own needs due to your focus on others’
  • Feeling guilty about what you haven’t done

When codependent and addicted individuals interact, the results are damaging to all parties involved. Codependent individuals in Anchorage protect addicts from experiencing the consequences of addiction, and they lose their sense of identity and agency in the process. Addiction changes how a person acts, thinks and speaks, and codependent individuals may find they change their own behaviors and thought patterns in response. They no longer recognize themselves, and finding help to rebuild their own strength, identity and resolve is the first step in helping an addicted loved one.

How Anchorage Residents Develop Primary Codependence

In Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives (2003), Pia Mellody explains that children in healthy families develop by centering on themselves, by having high levels of energy and by adapting to change. If Anchorage children do not grow up in healthy families, they are at risk for developing primary codependence, which develops in childhood and becomes a part of an individual’s personality. Children may not develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and may find feelings of worth from outside sources and other individuals. Caring for and nurturing an addicted individual may provide the sense of purpose and self individuals did not receive in childhood. However, this type of “purpose” does not promote real personal growth and development and will not help an addicted individual find a drug-free life.

How Anchorage Residents Develop Secondary Codependence

Secondary codependence develops in adulthood and often in response to a loved one’s addiction. The publication, Understanding Codependency: The Science Behind It and How to Break the Cycle (Cruse 2012), explains that drug dependence involves the following three components:

  • Genes that contribute to susceptibility
  • The substance of abuse
  • An environment that allows for or even supports use

Codependence often comes from a place of love and concern, but it is also a contributing factor to addiction development and continuation. Truly helping an addict in Anchorage involves getting help for yourself and enlisting the support of addiction recovery professionals. Protecting and caring for addicts does not promote the development of coping skills, and it prevents addicts from experiencing the consequences that may otherwise motivate them to get help and get clean.

Treating Addiction and Codependency

Ending codependency involves identifying its symptoms and learning more about the interaction between addiction and codependency. Call our helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your options for helping a loved one end addiction, while finding the support you need for your own continued health. We are here 24 hours a day, and all calls are confidential and toll free. Please pick up the phone today.