For more insight into the subject, we turned to an expert: Pia Mellody, Senior Clinical Advisor for The Meadows and Clinical Consultant for Mellody House and Dakota, who traces the origins of love addiction to early childhood trauma caused by neglect or abandonment.
As far as individual causes, therapists now consider a range factors which contribute to codependent behaviour.
For example, a five-minute trip to get a pack of cigarettes or milk from the grocery store will turn into a five-hour disappearance, during which time the addicted person will have gone to a friend’s house or a bar to engage in drug or alcohol use.
Akin to isolation, when a person is addicted, he or she often loses interests in hobbies and activities in which he or she used to participate.
In this case, codependency and addiction directly contribute to maintain unhealthy behavior.
Codependency was first noticed in the 1950s by psychotherapists treating clients with alcoholism.
Addicts often cite drug or alcohol use as a way to deal with stress or just “relax after a hard day,” and will either emotionally withdraw but still partake in their substance abuse in the presence of family and friends, or solitarily by escaping to a quiet spot in the home to drink or use alone.