Addiction Codependency Assessment
It is not uncommon for family members to become codependent to a substance user. Substance users almost certainly become dependent on family. Over time, some family members may feel they are needed in the relationship or feel the enabling is a necessary evil to keep their loved one from going over the edge. As unhealthy roles in a family system form to balance out the destruction brought on by of the addiction, so too do codependent behaviors. Although the term dogma does not refer specifically to codependency, it has a certain relevance. Dogma is a set of assumptions and beliefs from an outside authority that guides one’s actions and behaviors.
Codependency is similar in that one gives up one’s principles and view of reality, deferring to the reality of the substance user. Addiction can be viewed as the authority not to be questioned, as the new normal or standard. The reasons why people avoid intervention and therapeutic confrontation often result from some form of codependency coupled by fear of what might be lost if we cease doing what we’re doing for the substance user. Codependent individuals may believe they are doing something fulfilling for the substance user and will eventually see they were equally receiving some form of fulfillment for themselves. It is important to understand what codependency and enabling are doing to you rather than for the substance user. Being consumed with trying to support the substance user’s life puts at risk control of one’s own life.
“The most formidable challenge we professionals face is families not accepting our suggested solutions. Rather, they only hear us challenging theirs. Interventions are as much about families letting go of old ideas as they are about being open to new ones. Before a family can do something about the problem, they must stop allowing the problem to persist. These same thoughts and principles apply to your loved one in need of help.”Mike Loverde, MHS, CIP
Could you be Codependent?
There are four different types of codependency: Enabling, Avoidance, Enmeshed, and Controlling. Our codependency assessment consists of 30 yes/no questions to help identify behaviors that may contribute to ongoing struggles within the family.
Take our codependency assessment to see if anyone among your family members or others connected to the substance user has behaviors that are consistent with codependency. The person taking this quiz may be in a different position from the primary codependent enabler of the family. It is OK to think of the whole family as you take the quiz. Of course, your “no” may be another family member’s “yes.”
Take the Codependency Quiz:
- I have focused far more attention on the substance user than I have on myself and others, including members of my family
- I make excuses for my behavior and actions when doing something that isn’t right for the substance user
- I feel guilty when I say no
- I protect other people’s feelings when I am really protecting my own
- I believe that if I can get my loved one to change, everything will be OK
- I find myself accepting the situation as the new normal, and I am fearful to change and face the fears of the unknown
- I try to believe things are better than they are
- I am afraid to confront the substance user with an intervention because I am afraid of how he will react, feel, or that he will just say no
- I believe that if not for what I am doing for the substance user, the situation would be even worse
- I feel better when I feel needed in the relationship
- I lie to other family members about what or how the substance user is doing
- When the love one is upset, I’m upset
- When the loved one is OK, I’m better
- My fear determines what I say or do
- I frequently think it is my fault (guilt and shame)
- I try to manage or manipulate the feelings and emotions of other family members who are affected by the substance user
- I feel uncomfortable and lonely when I am with others
- I have trouble being alone without keeping busy
- When other family members complain, I often defend or minimize the substance user’s behaviors toward them
- I am afraid I will lose my purpose as caretaker if the substance user becomes independent
- I have avoided trying to help because the loved one says he (she) will never accept help
- I often wonder if this is my new normal and what is normal
- I put my own interests and needs aside to focus on the substance user’s needs
- I rarely set boundaries for myself that would hold the substance user accountable
- I am a people pleaser
- I tend to withdraw when there is conflict with the substance user
- At times, when he or she has become better or independent, I find myself lost and either angry or scared
- I feel uncomfortable when I am complimented by others
- It is hard to let go and do what is best for me for fear he or she will suffer if I do that
- I feel taking care of the substance user gives me a purpose
What Is YOUR Role in Your Loved One’s Addiction?
Is it time for an intervention?
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