Codependency refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem and excessive compliance.
Codependency affects people in a variety of ways. Common characteristics of Codependents include:
Excessive Care-taking: 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