When people think about mental health recovery, they often think about depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Perhaps borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the first that come to mind.
Conditions like codependency oftentimes aren’t high on the list of conditions that need treatment, but its effects can be just as detrimental as many other mental health disorders. Can you heal from codependency? This often-misunderstood experience may seem like the thoughts and behaviors are set in stone. Thankfully, with the right intent and approach, you can overcome codependent tendencies.
What Is Codependency?
Codependency refers to a tendency to focus on other people and their feelings, needs, and problems while neglecting yours in the process. If you struggle with codependency, you likely see others as more important than yourself. Taking care of others lets you feel needed, loved, and worthwhile, and your self-esteem is often directly related to having someone to care for.
Some common codependent traits include:
- Feeling a sense of purpose when helping others or solving their problems
- Ignoring your feelings or needs in favor of another person’s
- Finding yourself in relationships where you’re always fixing or rescuing the other person
- Feeling responsible for everyone and everything around you
- Having extreme difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries
- Having trouble asking for or accepting help
- Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, or ashamed
- Giving unsolicited advice
- Trying to control people or situations
- Perfectionism and self-criticism
- Having a weak sense of self or low self-esteem
- Having little idea of what you enjoy independent of another person
How to Heal from Codependency
You may think your codependent tendencies are helpful, but they only harm you and your loved ones in the long run. Healing from codependency is the best thing you can do for yourself and those around you. It will feel challenging, uncomfortable, and even impossible at first, but the longer you stick with it, the more grateful you will feel. So, how can you heal from codependency?
Be Patient with Yourself
You didn’t learn your codependent behaviors overnight, and you won’t get rid of them overnight, either. Separating from codependent tendencies takes time, and you’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way. Commit to being patient with yourself as you start to heal from codependency and accept that it may even be a lifelong process.
Find People Who Understand
There are plenty of in-person support groups and online communities for people struggling with codependency. Having support from others who understand exactly what you’re going through is a crucial part of the process. Be careful not to fall into a group where people stay stuck in a negative cycle, though. Find one where people are actively working to overcome their behaviors and heal from codependency.
Seek Outside Help
You probably feel like you need to handle everything on your own or that you could never ask for help, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Seeking outside help is one of the best ways to heal from codependency. It’s difficult to find hope and healing in a silo. Instead, find a fantastic therapist who can support and guide you on your healing journey.
If you’re dealing with codependency as well as a mental health disorder, mental health treatment can help. Programs like those at Pasadena Villa are designed for individuals trying to overcome difficult symptoms and troublesome tendencies. Call us at 407-574-5190 or submit a contact form to speak with an admissions specialist and begin your path to healing today!