Codependency is one of the mental health issues that we hear very little about. In fact, the vast majority of people probably haven’t even heard of it. This is a very real problem that affects many people however so here we have put together a guide of what is it and how it affects sufferers.
Codependency is excessive emotional of psychological reliance on a partner and is frequently witnessed in relationships where someone has an illness or addiction. Many codependents believe that their happiness depends on the other person and the relationship which can leave them feeling unhappy and worthless.
Being codependent can affect a person’s life in many ways. Frequently they will find they suffer from many of the following symptoms:
Low self-esteem: Feeling that you’re not good enough and continually comparing yourself to others.
People-pleasing: We all want to please the people we care about but codependents often don’t think they have a choice and saying ‘no’ will cause them a huge amount of anxiety. They will frequently sacrifice their own needs to please other people.
Poor boundaries: Codependents often have blurry or weak boundaries. They can be closed off and withdrawn which makes it hard for people to get close to them. Sometimes, sufferers will flip back and fourth between having weak and rigid boundaries which can make maintaining relationships very difficult.
Reactionary: A consequence of having poor boundaries is that you react to thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, a codependent may become incredibly defensive. When you have boundaries you realise that it was just an opinion and not a reflection of you and therefore don’t feel threatened by disagreements.
Control: Control helps codependents to feel safe and secure and this can limit their ability to take risks and share their feelings. Sometimes they will have an addiction such as alcoholism to help them loosen up.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with codependency, please feel free to visit our Codependency Treatment Programme Page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also call us today to get help.