image showing a person illustrating the brain and hart illustrating codependency as an addiction to helping.

Codependency Worksheet

What is Codependency?

Codependency is most easily defined as becoming addicted to someone. Codependency often begins to form when this other person is struggling and you step in to help them. But instead of them regaining control of their life, you begin doing more and more things for them. As time passes, they regress further and you begin to feel more and more responsible for their day to day well being. Eventually, your well-being becomes linked to theirs and you cannot feel happy if they are not. 

Codependency for Parents of Children with Substance Abuse Disorder:

If your child is struggling with addiction, you can become codependent almost automatically. Addiction is something that removes all priorities other than drugs and alcohol, even as those things threaten their life and livelihood. As a parent, you are hard-wired to do everything you can to keep your child safe by making sure they’re warm, in a safe place, well-fed, and happy. 

The problem is that this will only enable their addiction to grow even stronger. Addiction makes drugs and alcohol a person’s number one priority, and your willingness to provide resources creates a safety net. As their addiction progresses due to this safety net, you begin doing or giving more and more — at the cost of your wellness, values, relationships, or other responsibilities. 

Just as someone can lose themselves to addiction, you can lose yourself trying to save them from it.

Step 1. Recognition:

Changing any problem begins with admitting that you’re struggling. If you’re not sure whether you’re struggling, take our codependency quiz. Here’s another Questionnaire for Recognizing Codependency.

Step 2. Education:

If you think you are struggling with codependency, the healing cannot begin without education.  Start by looking at this complete list of all codependent behaviors. It may help to print it out and mark which ones resonate with you.

Step 3. Pay Attention:

Now that you know what the signs of codependency are, you can begin to recognize them in your everyday life. It’s important to pay attention to what things, emotions, or thoughts trigger your codependent behaviors — as well as what those behaviors are.  

To help, you can download this shortlist to help you keep track of day-to-day codependent behaviors. 

Want to Learn More?

There’s a reason that codependency is  called “relationship addiction.” 

Click here to see all the ways that codependency is identical to addiction.

If you think that you may struggle with codependency, you don’t have to face it alone. Tree House Recovery’s National Family Program specializes in helping families heal while their loved ones seek help with addiction. Please call us today to learn more about how Tree House can help you.