Emotional dependence treatment

Emotional Addiction: Causes and Ways to Combat It

Emotional addiction, like a good half of the “psychological baggage”, originates in childhood. It is not a disease or deviation, but a consequence of child-parent relationships, which are not always ideal.

Emotional dependence: the causes of occurrence

Where does emotional dependence come from? If a baby’s basic needs are fully met from birth (the need for food, safety, love and care), then the child develops an awareness of its value and necessity. As he or she grows older, the foundation for relying on himself or herself is laid – I am allowed, I am valuable, I am worthy, I am loved. As a result, a complete personality with an adequate assessment of oneself and other people grows up.

However such variant of development develops not always. If a child, for various reasons, is not heard, not supported, not respected or overprotected, not allowed to make their own mistakes and get their own experience, then already in childhood the little man becomes uncertain, anxious, dependent on the opinions of others. Such a person always needs a dope – something or someone to feel full, worthy and alive.

Types of Emotional Addiction

Emotional addiction has a wide range of types, kinds and classes. Addiction can range from an obsession with art, to gambling addiction, to relationships built on dependence on a partner, and in severe cases, to alcoholism and drug addiction.

Most often, fear and low self-esteem are at the root of addiction.

Relationship addiction is provoked by a fear of loneliness and insecurity. This pushes the person to enter into a relationship, it does not matter with whom, it is important the very fact of having a partner.

Dependence on public opinion is caused by a fear of responsibility for one’s actions and life. As a consequence, the addict develops victim syndrome, a desire to blame everyone around him for his failures.

Alcohol addiction, besides genetic factors, arises due to low self-esteem. An addicted person feels the need to drink when the slightest obstacles and unpleasantness arise (they are not appreciated at work, their partner does not understand, the cashier shouted at them).

The addict tends to have poor self-awareness, is unaware of his desires, is unable to say no, has difficulty making important decisions, and craves acceptance, positive feedback, and love. All these qualities interfere both in building reliable relationships and in life – in work, friendship, communication.

What are the dangers of emotional dependence

All this often leads to the most deplorable consequences and broken fate – alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, game addiction, overeating, Internet addiction, lack of time syndrome, unhappy marriages. Often an emotionally addicted person steps on this path simply out of a desire to be as good as their friends – doing the same things as their classmates, wanting their approval and the opportunity to communicate. The addict seeks to escape unpleasant reality by replacing it with a virtual world; escapes from loneliness into a relationship, even with a drinking abuser.

Emotionally dependent people strive to create a strong partner relationship, to lean on the other, to give their partner the role of a loving and caring parent, but due to the low self-esteem of the addict an equal union is impossible.

Often such people choose difficult partners, suffer in the relationship, but do not change anything for years. An addict always feels an exaggerated painful attachment to the partner, waits that he or she will be satisfied, plays the victim, breaking the life of his or her loved ones.

Ways to treat emotional dependence

Getting rid of emotional dependence – the process of deep and multifaceted, requiring serious inner work. Recognizing the problem and honestly admitting to yourself that you have an addiction is a huge step on the road to freedom.

It is impossible to go this way without qualified and sensitive professional help.

For the treatment of emotional dependence different methods are used according to the type and severity of the disease.

Detoxification, medication support, intervention and social adaptation are effective in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.

CBT has been used since the 1960s and works with the patient’s thoughts and feelings. The essence of therapy is to direct the thoughts in a positive direction, thus eliminating the need for doping.

This type of therapy involves not only conversations with a therapist, but also a great deal of practice-exercises, assignments, classes.

This is one of the most sensitive and effective treatments to help improve self-esteem, control the flow of negative thoughts, the ability to bypass triggers, in general, a more positive attitude towards themselves and life.

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If the disease doesn’t go away, it progresses! A consultation with a physician at our medical center is a step toward recovery.

The 12 step program is a support group, the best type of group therapy with 95% success rate.

The group is created for a specific type of addiction, goes through the 12 steps and follows the 12 traditions. The therapy program is universal, which helps to apply it in the treatment of various addictions.

The essence of the program is 12 consecutive steps which are based on spiritual principles. Each step reveals to the patient a new vision of his/her illness, corrects behavior and lifestyle and prevents a return to addiction.

The power of the program lies in appealing to the good will of the addict who wants to get rid of it and in a supportive environment.

Specialists of AlandMed will carefully and with great understanding help to correct the life scenario, to start living a full life, relying on yourself and your strengths. With the support of a psychologist, it is possible to restore personal boundaries, regain responsibility for your life, get out of toxic unhealthy relationships, and stop making excuses for abusive relationships.

Everyone deserves a full and happy life, everyone has the right to be loved without drama and suffering, remember: you are the main person in your life.

Emotional addiction – what is it and how to deal with it?

Today this problem is widespread in modern society. Very often we hear the phrase “I can’t live without him (her)” from both men and women. Strong jealousy, constant claims to the partner, the desire to be together 24 hours a day are a manifestation of emotional dependence. The flip side of a dependent relationship is loneliness, when, tired of the pain, a person decides to avoid an emotionally close relationship and becomes aloof. Such loneliness is quite painful and takes a lot of mental energy, as well as emotionally dependent relationships.

What is “Emotional Dependency” is a state in which a person feels too strong (almost narcotic) a need for a relationship with another person.

It is a state in which the partner becomes over-valued. His interests, his opinion, and himself are the priority for the addict. If we are talking about female-male relationships, emotional dependence is commonly referred to as love addiction or addiction. However, this behavioral dysfunction is much broader than the relationship between a man and a woman. It can be overdependence on parents, on friends, etc.

In essence, co-dependency is an excessive need for other people, a need for a relationship with other people, a dependence on their opinions and assessments. An addict (here and hereafter referring to an emotionally dependent person) usually experiences intense fear if there is a threat of alienation of the object of dependence. And if the addict once experienced the fear of losing a partner, he or she will now cling to that partner with a deadly grip. The relationship with the addict becomes filled with constant anxiety, tension and insecurity on the part of the addict. This is followed by anger and irritation and jealousy. It is commonly said of such relationships: “Together is difficult and apart is unbearable. Once upon a time, this relationship brought the addict a feeling of fullness of life, happiness and unbelievable pleasure from the opportunity to be around. And the memory of former happiness preserves the hope that everything can be returned.

The addict sincerely, with all his soul, wants this. And he tries with all his might to make everything go back to the way it was before. He falls into dependence when, on the one hand, he tries to get what he passionately wants, but does not get it, but, on the other hand, he retains the hope of getting what he wants from this particular partner. It is as if he is “on the hook” for the future. But, more often than not, he doesn’t receive, or receives a very small “dose”. And the more the emotionally dependent person tries, the angrier he/she becomes at the partner. He has, on the one hand, a feeling of deceit, and on the other, a feeling that he is not good enough for his partner, that he is doing something wrong. This situation is reminiscent of childhood, when a child tries to be good in order to get his parents’ approval and love. And if he doesn’t get it, he considers himself not good enough, or simply put, bad. As a child, it does not occur to him that there is something wrong with the parent and that is why the parent is rejecting. More often than not, it is in childhood dissatisfaction with the relationship with parents that lies the cause of a person’s addictive behavior.

And to elaborate, what happens is approximately the following. Once upon a time there was a child who needed parental warmth, love and care. For any child the parents’ love and care is a guarantee of survival.

But in our case, the parents were not attentive enough to the child:

– perhaps too harsh; – perhaps they psychologically suppressed or ignored him; – perhaps they rejected him; – perhaps they even beat him; – perhaps the child had parents who were unpredictable, and he grew up anxious because he did not know what to expect from them; – or maybe they took their discontent out on him; – or he was brought up in conditions where he had to meet his parents’ expectations all the time. And for some reason, expectations were always too high, and the baby could not meet them. He could hear a lot of criticism in his address and parental dissatisfaction with him.

There can be many variations, but as a result, this child did not feel loved by his parents. All the time he had to do something, somehow try to deserve love, support and recognition. To feel loved, he had to be someone, but not himself. He always remained emotionally hungry. They say about such people: “unloved.” The basic idea that such a child will grow up with is that he is not good enough. He doesn’t deserve the good things in life. At times, the feeling of his own badness can be projected onto the world around him and onto certain people. And then the person has an acute sense of the unfairness of the world. He may feel like a victim of circumstances, feel powerless.

But in both cases, the addict cannot rely on himself, he is always doubting the correctness of his judgments. He desperately needs the recognition of other people. And he is very afraid of what people will say about him. But if in childhood this need for parents was justified – a child cannot survive without parents, then in adulthood the person is already able to take care of himself, but emotionally dependent – as if he does not know it. Doesn’t notice his or her abilities or doesn’t appropriate himself or herself. It may be a socially successful person, but all his successes remain insufficient. Or it could be a very attractive woman who feels unworthy of attention and love. Emotionally dependent people live with a sense of inner emptiness, and they need a partner to fill that emptiness. That’s how sad life is… However, co-dependency can be corrected, although it is not easy, but it can be corrected!

The main reasons for the development of a relationship addiction.

A person’s consciousness and subconscious are multifaceted, one’s feelings can be recognized and verbally analyzed, but it is difficult to get out the anxiety lurking in the depths of the soul. The fear of being rejected is an intuitive fear of the subconscious that many famous psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, including I. Yalom and Z. Freud, worked with. This phobia is the root cause upon which emotional dependence in relationships arises. The primary causes of relationship addiction, in addition to the above phobia, include:

1. Lack of parental love in childhood. This cause has already been discussed by us in detail in the section above.

2. lack of an example of correct, mature relationships in the family. Children becoming adults in their future families often copy their parents, their behavior and reactions to certain events. Therefore, the habits of a parent who is significant to the child will play a crucial role. If the mother has always been dependent on the father, never had the right to vote, lived under his constant moral pressure, then the daughter is also likely to be dependent on him in her relationship with her boyfriend (husband).

3. low level of self-actualization and self-esteem. The person believes that he/she has no right to happiness, and if now he/she is loved and appreciated, he/she is “obliged to put himself/herself on the altar of this relationship, to sacrifice himself/herself and his/her desires” in order not to lose the love of loved ones.

4. lack of hobbies. The personality spends a huge amount of time on his partner, his hobbies, as his own interests are absent. He becomes the center of the universe for the co-dependent.

5. Fear of being alone with his experiences, inner emptiness. When the person develops harmoniously, he or she develops a system of communication with himself or herself and the surrounding world. Versatile interests, a favorite job, the presence of certain achievements – all this contributes to the fact that there is a process of self-improvement and self-realization. When this component is missing in the structure of a particular person, she is “filled up” at the expense of another person, so the loss of the object of meaning in life causes obsessive anxiety and fear.

6. Childhood psychological trauma. If there was child abuse by a parent or sexual harassment in childhood, in the future it will distort the perception of gender relations and lead to dependence on a partner in a relationship.

7. Feelings of personal insecurity. Also comes from an underlying fear of being rejected, when the self-preservation instinct kicks in. The only protection and support for the dependent individual is the partner, who is idealized to the highest degree. As a rule, his shortcomings are either ignored or greatly downplayed.

Signs of addiction in a person.

Like any addiction, love addiction (passionate attachment to another person) has a number of clearly limited signs that allow one to identify this condition:

– Inability to end the psychotraumatic relationship – no addicted individual can exit his or her condition on his or her own without external intervention.

– The desire to merge personalities into one – the addicted individual tries to “absorb” or “dissolve” into his partner.

– Fixation on the object of his or her love – all thoughts and feelings are only about him or her.

– Denial of dependence – no individual under another’s influence voluntarily admits to being subordinated.

– Feeling of his own worthlessness in the relationship – the person cannot end or change the nature of his relationship.

– Breaking the already established personal ties inevitably leads to depression and an overall aggravation of the individual’s psycho-emotional state.

– Development of a pathological personality structure, where the absence of the internal semantic factor prevails. The person on whom the person is dependent acts as an inanimate factor giving meaning to existence.

It is worth noting that the psychology of dependence in a relationship is a search for positive factors to fight the inner emptiness and anxiety, obsessive fears. The lover acts as a knight who protects his beloved from all troubles and misfortunes.

Varieties of relationship addiction in a person.

The search for the object of affection is based on what a person needs most, what needs he wants to satisfy and in what way. Therefore, there are several types of addiction. Types of relationship addiction:

1. Dependence on the feeling of love. It is important for a person to personally experience these emotions of falling in love; the relationship with the person he or she loves is not particularly important.

2. Dependence “hatred. Destructive forms of relations between people, when conflict situations that have not found their logical resolution prevail.

3. Addiction “my duty”. Type of dependence based on the strongest feeling of own duty to the partner, as extreme variants of behavior of the other person after breakup are considered: suicide, alcoholism, overdose.

4. Dependency “addiction”. When the individual is completely subordinated to the will and feelings of the other person, feels his or her own helplessness. Slave behavior.

Ways to deal with relationship addiction.

At the core of the fight against addiction is the destruction of the pathological intrapersonal bonds that form it. How to get rid of obsessive compulsion at home and who to turn to for specialized help, consider below. You do not always want to go to a specialist with your problems, so you can fight them at home, but only if the process of addiction to relationships has not dragged on to the emotional and mental exhaustion of the individual on the background of constant stressful stimuli. Methods applicable in the home environment:

– Find a favorite activity for yourself. It will be the impetus for personal self-development, as well as adding a sense-making factor.

– Write down your own feelings and emotions. This will help you reflect on what destructive relationships gave you and what positive emotions you are experiencing now.

– Analyze childhood experiences and emotions. Allow you to identify the root cause of the addiction.

– Replenish information resources. Broadening your horizons is an important step in combating your problem, allowing you to consciously move towards getting rid of it.

– Analysis of previous relationships and the reasons for the relationship breakdown. Maybe among the methods used to get out of a bad union for you will find a suitable one.

– Enlist the support of loved ones. Parents know us like no one else, perhaps they can help you make sense of this difficult situation.

– Variety of leisure. Not only hobbies, but also study, work and help around the house will get rid of obsessive thoughts and improve your self-esteem.

– Work on mistakes. It is recommended to take apart all the relationships and make a list of “How not to behave in a relationship.

– Computer test “Level of personal anxiety. Anyone can take it at home. He will help to monitor the internal state of mind on their own.

All these methods of struggle are suitable only in that situation, if the addict realizes the degree of responsibility for his life and is ready to change it. Otherwise specialized intervention and correction of person’s addiction with the help of psychotherapy will be needed. Psychological methods of struggle against dependence on relations:

1. training of self-development and increase of self-esteem. In a group some processes proceed faster, the emotional component is brightly expressed, the support of others, which an addicted person needs so much, is felt.

2. Method of accelerated growth. More often than not, the addicted person is infantile, lacks initiative and is tormented by doubts and guilt. Therefore the psychologist gives tasks in which the infantile person is obliged to take responsibility for him or herself, to make a decision or to express him or herself in some way (it is easier to work in creativity – drawings, expositions, theatrical genres…).

3. Psychotherapy. The person gets rid of the obsessive state and forms a plan of further action in life. Gestalt or Transactional Analysis techniques are used.

Work on oneself.

Answering the question “how to get rid of psychological dependence on a man” and maintain the relationship, psychologists recommend:

– Acknowledge and accept the problem. It is important to understand the seriousness of what is happening.

– Determine the object of dependence – the reason for the man’s personality or your own feelings for him.

– Shift your attention to another object. Maybe devote yourself to sports, career, think of some interesting occupation or hobby. In other words, you need to occupy your mind with something else.

– Keep your emotions in control. Stop controlling your loved one every minute, not boring him constant calls and his presence.

– Respect yourself and your partner, and love your personality.

– Set personal boundaries. If, for example, the emotional problem is related to the material issue, then the woman should find a job that will allow her to feel like an independent and established person.

– Learn to stand up for her point of view, make her own desires a priority.

Dependence on relationships or addiction in a mild degree is very rarely treated by specialists, when the person himself can cope with it and the general psycho-physiological state of the body does not suffer, but in its extreme manifestations (phobia of losing a loved one, thoughts of suicide because of the breakup of relationships, etc.) needs psychological control and correction. It is quite difficult to recover from love addiction, but it is possible by putting new interests on the forefront. Getting rid of addiction requires a lot of effort and constant work on yourself.

Love implies a healthy dependence of the partners, and the perverse nature of addiction creates co-dependency in the relationship. For example, a co-dependent spouse needs the relationship so much that she tries to get it from her husband by any means, using scandals, manipulation and in some cases physical force. Psychological dependence differs from falling in love in that it does not bring joy, but brings suffering and depression.

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