What is Codependency and How do you Treat it?
Codependency is a term used that in lay man's terms essentially means 'relationship addiction.' You tend to form relationships that are destructive in that that they tend to be either abusive, one sided, or emotionally unfulfilling.
Developing a healthy, mutually fulfilling relationship is near impossible because you tend to live out of the 'eye's' of the other person in the sense that you're always trying to control (mostly unconsciously) - and your self worth is derived from you constantly trying to rescue and fix others because of your desire to feel needed.
On the other side of the coin, you could also be described as codependent when you are the one being controlled in an abusive relationship, but because of your desire to continuously please and feel loved, you let the abuse continue and often blame yourself for the abuse that occurs.
It's a topic that has become popularized and increasingly understood because of the role it plays in particularly alcoholism and drug addiction - in that it tends to effect spouses, children, family members or anyone else intimately connected with the addict.
You become an enabler to their addiction because you're constantly covering up, making excuses for, or even justifying the addicts drinking or drug using.
And being constantly exposed to an alcoholic or addict often can create a pattern for dysfunctional relationships to develop in future because of the increasing guilt and shame you tend to feel - which leads to low self-esteem - so developing healthy relationships becomes harder and harder.
Today it is treated by many main stream treatment centers like an addiction because of the compulsive behavioural patterns it shares with the likes of alcoholism and drug addiction.
To gain a greater understanding of the subject, and if you suspect yourself of suffering from this affliction, I suggest that you definitely make the effort to get it treated so that you can break the pattern of 'relationship addiction' and learn how to create healthy, fulfilling relationships.
Other articles I suggest you read that compelement the topic of codependency and deal with alcoholism and addiction in relationships and the family dynamic are:
The piece on Alcoholism and Marriage which talks about the devestating effects alcoholism has on a marriage or relationship and what you should be doing if you're in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict.
Knowing what an addiction or Alcoholism Intervention is and how to do one - because it can be the most powerful way if done properly to get a loved one into treatment for their addiction.
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