Codependency is excessive emotional or psychological reliance on another person who typically has an addiction. That addiction can be multiple things, including work, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or anything else. In many cases, co-dependents come from dysfunctional families, but that is not always the case.
You can think of codependency as a never-ending circle. The person who is dependent needs the other person, while the enabler needs to be needed. The codependent usually feels a minimal need to share the load.
Difference Between Dependent and Codependent
In a healthy relationship, each person relies on the other to do their share and offer support. In a co-dependent relationship, the enabler feels worthless unless they are constantly giving.
• Have an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of other people
• Show a tendency towards an unhealthy love relationship for those they pity and feel they can rescue
• Do more than their share repeatedly
• Need to be recognized for their efforts
• Feel guilty when they assert their opinion
• Fail to trust themselves or others
• Feel abandoned and alone
• Experience difficulty identifying their feelings
• Set in their ways
• Repeatedly get angry
• Find it difficult to communicate their thoughts
• Find it rough to make decisions
Help Is Available for Codependency
If you saw yourself in many of these characteristics, help is available. Since co-dependency runs in families, it’s imperative to break the cycle as soon as possible.
Generational Curse of Codependency
After identifying the problem, the first step in getting help is to work with a competent mental health professional who can help you identify factors in your childhood that may have caused you to become codependent. Once you identify those items, then you can learn better coping methods.
Codependency affects the whole family and those they encounter at work and school. Therefore, usually, family therapy is a great idea. Everyone can benefit from learning new behavior patterns and eliminating negative ones. This helps ensure that children are not passing those traits on to the next generation through the jobs, spouses and social activities that they choose.
Often co-dependents can benefit from group therapy. Usually, the discussion and activities done in groups can help people rediscover who they are and make positive changes that will impact their future.
At American Behavioral Clinics, we are able to provide help to break the cycle of co-dependency. If you are hesitant about coming in, then consider teletherapy with one of our specialists. This also allows individuals in underserved areas to get the help that they need.