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How Codependency Develops in Adolescence: Part 2 of a Series| Gena D. Richardson

Codependency can develop at any age, but it often begins in childhood and continues into adolescence. During adolescence, young people develop their own identities and sense of self. They are also beginning to form more complex relationships with their peers and romantic partners.


Codependent adolescents may experience some of the same signs and symptoms as codependent children, such as difficulty making decisions, fear of abandonment, and a need for constant validation. However, there are some additional challenges that codependent adolescents may face, such as:

  • Difficulty developing healthy peer relationships: Codependent adolescents may have difficulty making friends and maintaining healthy relationships with their peers. They may be overly clingy or demanding, or they may avoid social interaction altogether.

  • Difficulty developing a sense of self: Codependent adolescents may have difficulty developing their own sense of identity and independence. They may define themselves by their relationships with others or by their need to please others.

  • Increased risk of substance abuse: Codependent adolescents may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their difficult emotions and relationships.

Treatment for codependency in adolescents

Treatment for codependency in adolescents is similar to treatment for codependency in children. However, there are some specific issues that may be addressed in therapy, such as:

  • Developing healthy peer relationships: A therapist can help codependent adolescents to learn how to make friends and maintain healthy relationships with their peers. They can also help adolescents to develop their own interests and hobbies.

  • Developing a sense of self: A therapist can help codependent adolescents to learn more about themselves and to develop a healthy sense of self-worth. They can also help adolescents to set boundaries and to express their needs and emotions in a healthy way.

  • Addressing substance abuse: If a codependent adolescent is struggling with substance abuse, a therapist can help them to develop healthy coping mechanisms and to get treatment for their addiction.

Conclusion

Codependency can be a challenging condition for adolescents to face. However, with the right support, codependent adolescents can learn to develop healthy relationships and live fulfilling lives.


Note: This is just part 2 of a series on codependency across the lifespan. Be sure to check back for future posts on this topic.

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