M.Sc. et B. German Radek

Addictive behavior and codependency, two terms that are closely related. The dynamics of these concepts and the relationships linked by them have a great influence on the overall view of addictive behavior in the life of a given individual and the individuals around him

We often consider the emergence and development of addiction as a reaction to a long-term imbalance or discomfort in the life of the individual himself. Dependence and codependency are terms that relate not only to individual behavior, but also to dynamics in interpersonal relationships and are inseparably linked.

While addiction may reflect a strong need for something such as substances or certain behaviors, codependency then takes us into more complex realms of relationships where one person reacts strongly to the needs and behaviors of another. This often happens on a subconscious level. Let's look at addictive behavior in conjunction with co-dependency from those closest to us and how this dynamic can affect our lives.

As we know, addictive behavior can take many forms. It can involve addictive substances such as alcohol or drugs, or it can manifest itself in unhealthy patterns such as overwork or social media addiction, or a whole host of other forms. It is often rooted in the search for an escape from stress, emotions, pressure, insomnia, anxiety or depressive states. These forms of addiction are not always simple, and can have significant effects on the physical and mental health of the individual.

Codependency is a phenomenon associated with how individuals approach dependent people in their environment. It is characterized by a strong focus on the needs of others, often at the expense of one's own needs and boundaries. People suffering from codependency may feel compelled to control and solve the problems of others, often at the expense of their own comfort and well-being.

In the event that we do not understand these sentences, we need to realize that this is a pattern of traits that is often found in the family environment of an addicted individual, i.e. the circle of the closest people, who we often call and refer to as supporting persons. Family or closest members often enable addictive behavior and unconsciously support it. We are talking about the phenomenon when the closest person cannot bear the "independence" or responsibility for his life in an addicted individual.

By satisfying the needs of a person with addictive behavior, the co-dependent person often confirms his worth, thanks to which he creates the concept of a "false self", and this is a very strong foundation for the growth of addictive behavior. Of course, there are also opposite examples, when the closest people trivialize or underestimate addictive behavior. These closest people practically need the dependence of a close individual to satisfy their needs. Individuals often find the motivation or drives for this behavior in their insufficient sense of self-worth, or their inability to define themselves and push through their needs. Thus, they appear in the role of victims, when the domain is to endure the addictive behavior of the closest person, even though it bothers the co-dependent. This tolerance of addictive behavior can subconsciously trigger a corrupt environment, when the addict's immediate surroundings take precedence over the identified individual of addiction, often taking on a moralizing or judging role, which again feeds the co-dependent or supplies the necessary feelings that are absent in his life.

It is therefore necessary not to separate the concepts of dependence and codependence, which create complex dynamics in interpersonal relationships. A person with addictive tendencies can thus selflessly seek support and help from those around them, which can also cause unconscious or conscious co-dependency in those close to them. This creates a vicious circle where both parties reinforce each other in their specific behavior patterns.

So what is important to note? This association with codependency has significant negative effects on personal life. An addicted person may lose complete control over their life, while a codependent individual may also neglect their own needs and identity out of concern for the other, unconsciously satisfying their own needs. This can cause tension in relationships, leading to conflicts and, in the worst case, the breakdown of the relationship. Overcoming addictive behavior and codependency often requires support and professional help. The individual must accept responsibility for his own behavior and actively work to change the patterns that led to addiction, and thus also to co-dependency in a loved one. It is therefore equally crucial that loved ones are not neglected and that they realize their own role in the relationship. These intertwined and established dynamic relationships are a frequent indicator for family or couple therapy.

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