What is Codependency?

Codependency is a psychological condition or a relationship where one is dependent on the needs of or control by another. That person may often be seen as overly controlling, excessively dutiful, or even too nice- putting up with painful situatuons for way too long.

They can be great people to come to the rescue of others, but at the expense of their own needs. They may be martyrs, and eventually suffer with deep resentments and low self esteem. They may be involved with someone that seems to need them a lot- an alcoholic or addict. They can be characterized by low self-esteem,needing to be needed, obsession, denial and excessive compliance or control patterns. Codependency affects any sort of relationship be it in families, friendships, work, romance and community.

People who are dysfunctional have probably dealt with earlier life abuse or experienced some form of limited parenting.  If codependent symptoms are left untreated, it could get worse as time progresses. However the effects are reversible if treated early. If you would like to know the actual signs and symptoms of codependency, they are listed below:-

  • Low Self-Esteem – When you compare every minor detail about yourself with others and not feel good enough, then you are suffering from low self-esteem. You actually feel unlovable or inadequate but put on a different face in front of others by thinking highly of yourself.  Perfectionism and guilt go along with low self-esteem.
  • People-Pleasing – When you are codependent, you will have a hard time saying no to people, simple because you don’t want to lose their relationship. You may even go out of the way to sacrifice your own needs in order to accommodate someone else’s.
  • Poor Boundaries – Codependents usually get into trouble when it comes to drawing the line. They feel responsible or guilty for other people’s failures, emotions or problems. They are withdrawn and closed up, which makes it difficult for others to get close to them.
  • Reactivity – A consequence of setting poor boundaries is that you react badly to people’s thoughts and feelings in a negative way. When someone says something you disagree with, you will become defensive or agree with them. You tend to absorb their words and characterize it with yourself. If you have proper boundaries, you will easily realize that it just an opinion and not a reflection of your persona.
  • Control – Codependents feel safe and secure when they start controlling others. This is because their mind is in constant chaos and uncertainty. This prevents them from taking risks and sharing their feelings. To bottle up their feelings, they either have an addiction which loosens them up. They need other people to behave in a certain way, so that they feel ok. However this leads to them being bossy which violates and oversteps the person’s personal space.
  • Dysfunctional Communication – If you don’t know what you feel, think or need, it becomes a problem. Codependents have problems with sharing and communicating their opinions, thoughts and feelings with others. They are afraid to be truthful and end up pleasing others just for the sake of it. They will try to manipulate the other person out of distrust and fear on you by becoming dishonest.
  • Obsession – If you are spending a lot of time thinking about other people and their relationships more than about yourself, you are definitely obsessing over them. It keeps you from living your life and staying in denial as you lapse into fantasies about how you would like things to be.
  • Denial – You need to know you have a problem before you can fix it. Codependents think that someone else or some other situation is the cause of all the problems and situations in their life. They either complain or move on from one relationship to the next. They have trouble receiving advice and help from others by pretending to be self-sufficient. They are in denial of their vulnerability and are in desperate need of love and intimacy.
  • Painful Emotions – When you are under stress from being codependent, it will lead to rethinking of painful emotions from the past. There is constant fear of being abandoned, unloved, rejected, being a failure or making mistakes. When this feeling reaches a high point, you will go numb and oblivious to the world around you.

Codependency is the most basic form of addiction. The first step in getting over this condition is to recognize and get guidance and support. These symptoms are ingrained habits which are difficult to change and rectify on your own free will. Come to the realization that any form of addiction leads to attachment and then to control.

Addiction – Attachment – Control (Ego)

Get introduced to alternative healing methods and get in touch with your inner self. The only way out of this dilemma is through a healthy detachment from the object of one's need or addiction and to truly find and nurture one's own inner Self.  Balanced and interdependent healthy realtionships will follow, after one has a stonger sense of Self- love and inner harmony.

Acceptance – Surrender –Detachment-Love