Codependency is an emotional disorder that causes people to ignore their own needs while constantly fulfilling the needs of others. A codependent person may forfeit his or her own well-being and values in the pursuit of assisting someone else.
After experiencing relationship trauma, codependents often form unhealthy relationships due to feelings of low self-worth. Codependents often enter relationships with individuals who are irresponsible, emotionally detached or excessively needy. Such relationships are likely to be emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. As a result, codependents tend to be downtrodden and oppressed in their relationships.
Individuals suffering from codependency repress their emotions and needs to the point that they are subjected to relationship trauma and extremely low self-esteem.
If unaddressed, codependency continues, causing individuals to cope with their emotions by abusing alcohol, drugs, sex or food. Those who seek emotional relief in food can develop eating disorders without realizing the transition.
So what is Codependency and who really has it?
There are many definitions, but basically, Codependents are people who let the feelings and actions of another person affect them to the point that they feel like they have lost control of their own lives. These are just some of the ways Codependency effects human lives:
Excessive Caretaking: Codependents feel responsible for others' actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one's needs and often wonder why others do not do the same for them.
Low self-esteem: Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for anything that goes wrong.
Denial: Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that "things will get better when...." They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings.
Fear of anger: Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one's anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
Health problems: The stress of Codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma and high blood pressure.
Addictive behavior: Codependents may themselves develop addictions in an attempt to deal with their pain and frustration.
This condition appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms are on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale.
A. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? Or do you just rage out when you had enough?
B. Are you always worried about other people's opinions?
C. Have you ever lived with someone who has an alcoholic or drug gambling, sex addiction problem?
D. Have you ever lived with someone who hits you or belittles you?
E. Are the opinions of others more important than yours?
F. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or at home?
G. Do you feel rejected or abandoned when significant other chooses to spend time with friends?
H. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
I. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
J. Have you ever felt inadequate?
K. Do you feel like a "bad person" when they make a mistake? " I am a mistake rather then I made a mistke.
L. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
M. Have you felt shame when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
N. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without their constant efforts?
O. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
P. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority such as police or a boss?
Q. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with their life? R. Do you have trouble saying "no" when asked for help?
S. Do you have so many things going on at once that you can?t do justice to any of them?
T. Do you feel like you don't know who you are if you're not helping, fixing, rescuing?
U. Do you feel you know what everyone else feels and needs and you don't have a clue how you feel and what you need?
V. Do you feel taken advantaged of by others?
W. Do you have a deep need to be needed?
X. Do you worry and obsess about others?
Y. Does shame distort your self-image?
Z. Do you confuse love and pity?