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Social relationships significantly impact an individual’s physical and mental health. Codependency is an example of an unhealthy relationship dynamic. According to Innovation Imaging, “The quality of family relationships, including social support (e.g., providing love, advice, and care) and strain (e.g., arguments, being critical, making too many demands), can influence well-being through psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological pathways.”

Codependency can damage relationships and increase the risk of developing mental health disorders. Avery Lane provides clients with the tools they need to establish healthy boundaries within relationships.

Woman with small smile having dealt with codependency successfully.

What Is Codependency?

    Every healthy relationship requires compromise, empathy, and balance. However, some women may struggle to establish or maintain balanced relationships with their loved ones. According to the International Journal of Addiction and Mental Health, “Codependency is described as a characteristic that develops in dysfunctional families, which is associated with neglecting oneself and focusing excessively on others, not being able to express their feelings explicitly, and gaining special satisfaction from their relationships with others.”

    Some relationships enable self-destructive behaviors or have an imbalance between two people. A few examples of codependency include:

    • A partner caring for their significant other even when it negatively affects their own health and well-being
    • An adult child not making their own decisions to avoid confrontation with a parental figure
    • Couples doing whatever it takes to keep a relationship even if both individuals are unhappy

    Codependency is especially dangerous for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD), untreated trauma, complex mental health disorders, or dual diagnosis. Loved ones may try to interfere with treatment if they believe it may come between them or cause a shift in their relationship. Even a positive change may cause conflict unless the codependent behavior is addressed in treatment.

    Common Risk Factors

    Sometimes, maladaptive behaviors like codependency are caused by trauma or symptoms of unmanaged mental health disorders. Women may not even realize their relationship is codependent until someone with an objective view of their relationship points out the unhealthy behaviors.

    Some known risk factors for developing codependent relationships include:

    • Childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse
    • Emotionally restrictive parental figures
    • Family history of SUD
    • Unmanaged trauma
    • Chronic stress
    • Attachment issues as a child or young adult
    • History of domestic abuse
    • Chronic health issues or mental health disorders
    • Active substance abuse

    Codependency is most commonly experienced by individuals with mental health disorders. Often, the maladaptive dynamics are protective. For example, a partner of someone with depression may try to shield their loved one from the consequences of their symptoms. Instead of helping, all this does is reduce the need for their loved one to seek treatment, prolonging and worsening their symptoms. Codependency is unhealthy and may interfere with a person’s ability to access and follow through with professional mental health treatment.

    Break Free from Codependency

    Codependent relationships have a profound impact on a person’s well-being and their sense of self. Women with substance abuse and mental health disorders may struggle with overcoming codependency during treatment. Avery Lane uses psychotherapy, peer support, alternative holistic therapies, and other treatments to help women heal from unhealthy behaviors and maladaptive relationships. To learn more, call us today at (800) 270-2406.

    How to Recognize the Signs of Codependency

    Most people who develop a codependent relationship gradually fall into unhealthy habits and routines. An outside perspective is often the best way to recognize if a behavior or relationship has become maladaptive. For example, people concerned about the quality of their relationships can imagine a loved one in their shoes to see how they would feel about their experiences. Increased self-awareness helps people recognize warning signs and get help early before codependency affects their quality of life.

    A few potential signs of a codependent relationship include:

    • Lack of boundaries
    • Low self-esteem or self-esteem tied directly to the other person or the relationship
    • A need to act as a caretaker for the other person regardless of their ability to care for themselves
    • Relying on the other person to act as a caretaker for you to function day-to-day
    • An excessive need to please the other person, even at risk to your own mental or physical health
    • Problems communicating needs
    • Chronic pressure, stress, or tension within the relationship
    Codependency can happen in any relationship between partners, parents, children, extended family, and close friends. Professional relationships may also become codependent.

    Treatment for Codependency at Avery Lane

    Avery Lane is an award-winning treatment facility where clients work with a compassionate team of clinicians to identify, process, and manage primary or secondary mental health disorders, substance misuse, trauma, and any underlying issues. The care team helps clients repair damaged relationships, establish clear boundaries, and build a healthy foundation for personal growth. Individuals struggling with codependency often benefit from spending time away from the unhealthy relationship to get treatment.

    Avery Lane offers a full continuum of care, including the following:

    • Medically assisted detox for women with primary or secondary SUD
    • Residential treatment
    • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
    • Intensive outpatient program (IOP))
    • Outpatient
    • Supportive living

    Treatment options include psychotherapy, psychiatry, trauma and family therapy, group therapy, peer engagement, support groups, and other services. Clients have access to a wide range of treatments and collaborate closely with their care team to ensure all aspects of their recovery are addressed within their treatment plan. A family program is also available to help loved ones replace maladaptive behaviors with healthy alternatives.

    Moving Forward and Building Healthy Relationships

    Women in recovery benefit from positive social interactions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “When people are socially connected and have stable and supportive relationships, they are more likely to make healthy choices and to have better mental and physical health outcomes.” Avery Lane provides women with the information, resources, and skills they need to make healthy choices in their relationships. Codependency does not have to negatively impact a person’s recovery from substance abuse or mental health disorders.

    Transform Your Life with Mental Health Care

    Avery Lane provides expertly designed treatment programs for various mental health conditions, including:


    Therapy, anti-anxiety medications, and mindfulness.

    Bipolar Disorder

    A multi-faceted approach to bipolar disorder.

    Borderline Personality Disorder

    Addressed with DBT, CBT, and medication.


    Overcome codependency with healthy boundaries.


    Combining multiple therapeutic methods.

    Grief and Loss

    Nurturing resilience indifficult times.

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    Actively confront and overcome PTSD.

    Verify Your Insurance

    Avery Lane has admissions specialists ready to help you determine insurance coverage and financing options. We accept most private, commercial insurance. Please note that we are unable to accept 
Medi-Cal, Medicare, or Medicaid at this time. Click below to fill out our Confidential Insurance Verification Form and we will contact you promptly.

    Addiction recovery health Insurance logos that covered at Avery Lane

    What Women Experience

    Hear What Our Alumni Has To say about Avery Lane

    Camille Open Door at Avery Lane Womens Rehab Novato

    We were all so fortunate to find Avery Lane when our daughter was at a low point. An initial diagnosis was confirmed by staff and the time spent there in recovery was very beneficial to both our daughter and ourselves. Our daughter was able to find out why she was behaving the way she was and was given many tools to help her recovery.

    D.A. and J.A. - Parents of Avery Lane Alumni

    What Women Experience

    Hear What Our Alumni Has To say about Avery Lane

    I can only say that seeking help is the first big step. I am so grateful to have found the team at Avery Lane…this past year has been far from easy or simple. I’ve had my moments of doubt, crisis, despair, loneliness…. but in each of those instances I had an incredible group of women to help me through my journey…reminding me of the many tools at my disposal, the strength of my soul and the freedom that comes when you face your worst fears.

    D.R. - Avery Lane Alumni

    My daughter chose to go to Avery Lane because it was founded by a woman, run by women and only treated women. It gave her a safe sanctuary to heal as well as peace of mind for us, her parents, who did not want her in a co-ed treatment program."

    C.H - Mother of Avery Lane Alumni