Codependency is a pattern of relating that is characterized by living through or for another, controlling
others, attempting to fix other people’s problems, and intense anxiety around intimacy. It occurs when
someone (spouse, parent, sibling, co-worker, or friend) allows another person’s addicted or dysfunctional
behavior to consume their own thoughts, feelings, or behavior. Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No
More, reports that codependency is an addictive behavior and mental pattern that affects millions of people.
Symptoms of codependency include controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of
feelings, and care-taking behavior. Stress-related physical illnesses, such as gastro-intestinal
disturbances, colitis, ulcers, high blood pressure, depression, and hyperactivity have also been known to
plague a codependent person. Mental health professionals believe that it is important to be able to recognize
the signs and symptoms of codependency in order to avoid any permanent psychological, physical, or
Codependency is often learned from other codependent family members. Families with codependency
problems commonly set-up rules which promote codependency. See if you can identify with the statements
below, or if these statements seem like rules that are/were followed in your home:
His / her needs are more important than my needs.
I believe that it is selfish to take care of myself.
Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel.
If I do not take care of someone else, bad things will happen to me.
I feel it is my job to fix other people’s problems, such as my children’s, my mom’s, my dads, and / or
my spouse’s / partner’s.
These kinds of rules can constrict and strain the free and healthy development of self-esteem and coping
skills. As a result, children can grow up to experience behavioral problems such as poor problem-solving
skills, and difficulty handling life changes or adverse situations.
Read the full article here: BOUNDARIES AND CO - DEPENDENCY
Author: Dr Susan Kriegler