Occasionally referred to as “relationship addiction”, codependency describes behaviors, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal caretaking and people pleasing. While often thought of as a problem in romantic relationships, codependency can occur in many types of associations including friendship, family or work. Codependents often have low self-esteem and are disproportionately preoccupied with other people’s needs while placing a low priority on their own.
People who are codependent sometimes have a strong fear of being alone or abandoned and a controlling desire to be needed. While they usually have the best of intentions, codependents take on the unhealthy and self-sacrificing role of a martyr. Codependent relationships can keep people from living their best lives. Codependency symptoms can worsen if left untreated, so it’s important to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Co-dependency is a disorder and addiction that leads to dysfunctional relationships; the person suffering from co-dependency is affected in the relationship they have with themselves and with others. This type of addiction can be just as dangerous as those involving substance misuse, and sufferers responds well to treatment applied addicts. Co-dependents may suffer from another addiction as well such as with alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or the internet. An individual suffering from co-dependency puts obsessive efforts into an individual and neglects their personal well-being. In other words, they consider the welfare of others before their basic needs. Symptoms of a co-dependent addicted individual is that they need to be needed and feel lost without this with feelings of emptiness and hopelessness.
Co-dependent and abusive/violent/narcissistic relationships:
Individuals who suffer co-dependency have no perception of acceptable behaviour and believe their actions will help the person of their obsessions will change. They put the blame on themselves, or consider their feelings an overreaction, they excuse harmful and abusive behaviour from their loved-one, they lack healthy boundaries in relation to their own safety and well-being. They tend to stay in relationships for far longer than is healthy. Their fears of being alone are stronger than the fear of an abusive episode with the loved-one. Within this destructive cycle the co-dependent becomes extremely withdrawn socially, physically and is emotionally harmed.