Codependency is a terrible term. It has endless connotations that have nothing to do with the disorder. Codependency itself is such a broad dysfunction that it is extremely hard to define in concise terms. However, codependency” is defined as “the addiction to a supportive role in a relationship.”More simply put, this means that you may be living through and for another person—taking care of their every need, trying to fix their problems, feeling constantly anxious about that other person, and taking on the blame for their failures. There are certain symptoms of codependency. Few have them all, some have a few, and many symptoms are contradictory, but that is the irony of Codependency.
Care Taking: the codependent individual feels responsible for other people. She/he feels anxious and even guilty when another has a problem. S/He feels compelled to help that person solve their problem. Repression: most codependents repress their own needs, their own desires. They are afraid to let themselves be who they are and often appear rigid and controlled.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: They worry about the slightest and silliest things: they focus on other’s problems; they spend money compulsively; eat or drink compulsively; and wonder why they have no energy and why they never get anything done. Controlling Behaviors: codependents try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.
Denial: codependents ignore problems or pretend they do not exist. They pretend things are not as bad as they are; they tell themselves it will get better; they stay busy to avoid thinking about things; they get confused, sick, depressed and visit doctors for a prescription.
Dependency: codependents do not feel happy or content with themselves. They look to others to supply them their happiness or their needs. They are threatened by the loss of anything or any person that provides them with their happiness. Poor Communication Skills: codependents blame, threaten, coerce, beg, bribe, and advise others. They don’t mean what they say and don’t say what they mean. They avoid getting to the point, asking indirectly for attention by sighing, crying, or moping around. Poor Boundaries: codependents say they won’t tolerate something from anyone, and then engage themselves in exactly that. Then they gradually increase their tolerance levels till they can tolerate most anything others do to. Then they finally get angry and become totally intolerant and the cycle begins all over again.
Lack of Trust: codependents do not trust themselves, their feelings, their decisions, other people, or even God. And then, right out of the blue, they’ll trust someone who is totally untrustworthy. Codependents have Sexual Problems: They have sex when they don’t want to or withdraw sex to punish their partner. They try to have sex when they are hurt or angry, and refuse to enjoy it. They withdraw emotionally from their partner, feel revulsion toward their partner, and don’t want to talk about it.
Progressively, if the codependent does not get help, the symptoms above just get worse. Not all codependents have all of the above symptoms. Normal people are, at times, codependent. Most people do not heal their codependency on their own. They do need help. They need a good therapist to help us see the light. We need to sit and read a bit about ourselves, our problems, and the way out. Most of all, we need to know that we can be healed. In the end, healing from codependency is ultimately up to the individual.