Last Updated 21 May 2021


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Not a formal psychiatric diagnosis, codependency is a psychological syndrome noted in relatives or partners of alcoholics or substance abusers. " How It is created within a person Including the orally of the dysfunction. Also covered are what the symptoms of codependency are. I will also cover how to identify codependency in yourself or others. How the codependency affects a person's wellbeing & how to change that. The conclusion of the paper focuses on how to stop being codependent. This topic is near & dear to me. As I have predisposition towards codependency (more on that later). It seems to be a family tradition.

Thinking about my relatives I could label all of them codependent. As well as most people especially In any type of caregiver role or job. Careers that have a propensity toward codependency are nursing or health care including therapists. All run the risk of wanting patients to get better so we can feel validated that we are skilled at our Job. Of course, we all want people to be relieved of their suffering but when that goal starts to interfere with our own sense of self, it becomes very detrimental. It goes from healthy caring to over caring & enmeshment, which can ruin our lives.

When It started Innocently enough encouraged by society. It seems expected to be selfless, caring & loving to others sometimes to the determent of the self. If the individual is not, then they are deemed selfish & cold, which people would rather be, sick with someone (while helping them of course) then be labeled as self-involved or egocentric. Codependency is also being portrayed in movies. One particular story line about modern day vampires comes to mind. As I watched, I could not help but think wow way to encourage young impressionable minds to become enmeshed & codependent on one another to an extreme.

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Making statements such as "l would die for you" obviously not a statement to be taken lightly. Sadly, often they mean it. There seems to be a gender difference here as well woman are much more likely to become codependents than men are. I liken that to the stereotypical role & societal expectation that woman will be the nurturers & caregivers for everyone in the family. This expectation could be expected at an early age expecting the little girl of the house to take on mommy's role if the mother is absent or sick possibly even too drunk or high to take on her duties.

This loud also be the case for a boy whose Daddy is absent or sick. Mom may need the son to be a breadwinner at an early age or help tend the house. Worse, these single parents could expect these children to take on adult situations like bills emotional support or sexual incest. My experience as a codependent started as a child. I grew up in a dysfunctional home where my mother was an alcoholic. Her drinking was a secret from the outside world. My brother was the family scapegoat he had some behavioral issues. My role was the perfect child.

There were many empty promises about the drinking stopping but it never did. I never really understood the impact of growing up with an alcoholic until I learned about codependency. As a teenager, my first dating relationship was unhealthy. In the past, I have found myself in codependent relationships with men. Trying to help them & becoming immersed & obsessed. I have many of the symptoms of codependency that are listed below. I have since vowed that I will no longer enter into a codependent relationship with an unhealthy partner.

With the awareness of them & by reading about the disease, I am dedicated to healing that within myself. With some insight into the disease, I see that y entire family is codependent. I tried for many years (l probably still do on some level) to help them to change their lives but I see how that is a futile pursuit. This "helping" continues to keep me codependent & sick with them. In the end, they are the only family I have & I need to accept them as they are. According to Facing Codependency Pip Melody describes "five symptoms:

  1. Experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem
  2. Setting functional Boundaries
  3. Owning & experiencing their own reality
  4. Taking care of their adult needs & wants
  5. Experiencing & expressing their reality moderately. "

Codependency is called a disease it is a chronic & progressive illness. It is suggested that codependents want & need sick people around them to be happy in unhealthy ways. For example, a girl who grows up with an alcoholic father will unconsciously marry an alcoholic to perpetuate her addiction to creating, which is like a drug in it of itself.

She gets fulfillment or validation while caring for the alcoholic like "he couldn't survive without me. " The reason it is called progressive is that the sicker people become around us the more intensely we exact. Codependency may not be an illness but it can make you sick & keep people But do not take action. They react to the problems, pains & behaviors of others with a disregard for their own feelings. They Justify theses creating roles as "helping" someone who has problems who cannot help themselves, I am the only one who can help, or I am the only person that cares.

Is a common attitude among codependents. What they are actually doing is enabling the dysfunctional person to continue to be dysfunctional by helping them out of legal, financial, or accountability type situations. The codependent will bend over backwards, dedicating enormous amounts of energy & time & give their last dollars for the sick person. All hoping that the alcoholic or sick person will become better or change because of their help. Maybe the hope is that the alcoholic will become sober if he Just gets through this tough patch or gets the charges dropped.

Meanwhile the codependent has done beyond their share of household, parenting & fiduciary duties. All the while, the codependent has lost some of themselves to the sick people. They have lost their pride their sense of worth, their sense of respect, their time, their money etc. With the grand hopes that the sick person will see what I have sacrificed for them & they will acknowledge this & I will now get my needs met. This is unlikely to ever happen. How are the symptoms created? You guessed it childhood Just like a diseased tree its origin is in the root system.

When children grow up in a family, that is less than nurturing or abusive & dysfunctional that creates codependent adults. The type of abuse or neglect that these children sustained can be vast. Abuse can be far & wide. Some forms are emotional, physical, psychological, verbal, or sexual, as well as neglect not providing or their needs or being too lax with them. Alternatively, being too rigid by expecting children to be more mature than they are capable for their age, which would include sharing adult subject matters with them being emotionally dependent, or financially and so on.

Regardless of how we were treated as children, a core belief that what & how we were treated was normal & or loving. The dysfunction withstood is not recognized until later after the damage has been done. As children, we wanted to please our parents when this was not the case we internalized a sense of failure. We ere up with a distorted sense of what happened to us was normal & appropriate even it was not. We think the way our family & caregivers behaved toward us was correct & they are good people.

The confusing part is if they are good & right then why do I feel unhappy or uncomfortable with certain occurrences that took place. How can they be wrong? No dysfunctional family is all-negative or without some good times. That is the main part of the dysfunction where the family or its individuals are not functioning normally. One of the hardest parts for children is the lack of consistency in the histrionically family. Whether it is with their needs being met consistently or how a parent disciplined or treated them when they were sober or high the baffling part was it always changed.

A child may interpret this inconsistent behavior or treatment as "their fault" like "l did something wrong today & Mommy is mad & now she is drinking because I am a bad kid. Later when Daddy comes home there's goanna be a fight & it's all my fault if I could Just be more perfect then there wouldn't be fighting. " This is where the child internalizes shame & not being good enough or perfect heartsickness of codependents are: "Creating- they may feel responsible for other people's feelings, thoughts, choices, needs, wants, well-being or lack of & their destiny.

Feeling compelled to help others with problems & offer unwanted advice, give multiple suggestions, or fix the feelings. They anticipate people's needs. Find themselves saying yes when they want to say no. Find themselves attracted to needy people & vice versa. They feel angry, used & unappreciated. Feel bored, empty or worthless when they don't have a crisis or someone to help in their lives. Overcoming themselves. Will give up routines to go out of their way for others. Feel safest when giving to others. Low Self Worth- Come from dysfunctional, repressed or troubled families, which they deny these issues.

Blame themselves for everything. Reject praise or compliments. Never feel good enough. Feel they can't do anything right. Feel a lot of guilt. Feel ashamed of who they are. Think their lives are not worth living. Have a lot of "should". Have been victims of abuse. Get depressed when not praised or complimented (stroke deprivation). Believe they do not deserve good things. Long for others to like & love them. Settle for being needed. Believe good things will never happen. Repression- Many push thoughts & feelings out of their awareness due to fear & guilt. Are afraid to let themselves be who they are.

Can be controlling & rigid. They feel anxious about problems & people. Worry about silly things. Think & talk a lot about others. Lose sleep over other peoples issues & behavior. Never find answers. Check on people. Abandon their routine because they are so upset with about somebody or something. Focus all their energy on other people & problems. Wonder why they never have any energy. Controlling- Many have lived with through events & with people who were out of control. Are afraid to let others be who they are & thus allow events to happen naturally.

Get frustrated & angry. Feel controlled by people & events. Try to control events & people using various tactics. Denial- Ignore problems or pretend they are not happening. Pretend circumstances aren't as bad as they are in reality. Tell themselves tomorrow will be better. Stay busy so they don't have to think about things. Spend money compulsively. Overeat. Lie to themselves. Become workaholics. Believe lies. Go to Doctors for tranquilizer.  Look for happiness outside themselves. Don't feel happy, peaceful or content with themselves. Don't love themselves.

Worry if others will like or love them. Look to relationships to provide all their good feelings. Often seek love from people incapable of loving. Desperately seek approval & love. Feel terribly threaten by the loss of a person or thing they think provides their happiness. Latch onto whoever or whatever they think can provide happiness. Center their lives around other people. Don't take time to figure out if others are healthy for them to be around. Lose interest n their own lives when they love. Worry other people will leave them. Tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.

Don't believe they can take care of themselves. Leave bad relationships to form new ones that are Just as unhealthy. Wonder if they will ever find love. Feel trapped in relationships. Poor Communication- Blame, bribe, beg, coerce, threaten, don't mean what they say, don't say what they mean, don't know what they mean, don't take themselves seriously, find it difficult to get to the point, gauge their words carefully for desired effect, talk too much, say everything is their alt, say nothing is their fault, lie to protect themselves, have a difficult time people.

Weak Boundaries- Say they won't tolerate certain behaviors from others, gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate & do things they said they never would, let others hurt them, keep letting others hurt them, wonder why they hurt so badly, complain, blame, & try to control while they continue to stand there, finally get angry & become totally intolerant. Don't trust themselves, or others, don't trust their feelings don't trust their decisions, try to trust untrustworthy people.

Feel very scared hurt & angry, live with people who feel the same, are frightened of their angry are frightened of others anger, feel controlled by other peoples anger, feel safer with their anger than with hurt feelings. Are caretakers in the bedroom, have sex when they do not want to, have sex when they rather be held, nurtured & loved, withdraw emotional from their partner, are afraid of losing control, have strong sexual fantasize about other people.

Codependents tend to be extremely responsible or extremely irresponsible, find it difficult to feel close to people, have a hard time having fun & eyeing spontaneous, become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness & that of others for causes that don't require sacrifice, vacillate in decisions & emotions, stay loyal to their compulsions & people even when it hurts, be ashamed about family, personal, or relationship problems, cover up, lie & protect the problem. Changing Codependency As we can see from the above list, codependency can be easy to identify with.

The goal to changing the codependent behavior is not to detach from the person whom we are codependent with but to detach from the agony of involvement. Attachment occurs when we become overly worried about & preoccupied with a problem or a person. This uses up a lot of our mental energy. Obsessing, worrying & controlling are illusions. They are distracting us from ourselves & the real issues. The goal is to change that obsessing & extra energy that we are expending on someone or something other than ourselves. We need to let go with love. This can be done by detaching.

Detaching does not mean we don't care about the problem or person that we have been obsessed with. Detaching means, we release the person with love & an attitude that if the problem isn't ours to solve than we can't change it. No matter how much we want someone to change or someone's problem to change WE ultimately are not able to. If the problem is someone else's then we need to realize that it is theirs to deal with not ours! When we detach we accept reality & the facts. It means to live in the present moment. We become neutral. The benefits from detaching & becoming neutral are many.

We have a sense of serenity & peace the problem is no longer taking over our lives. If people have created disasters for themselves then we allow them to face those consequences. Without feeling like we are the only one who can rescue them. When we allow someone or something outside of ourselves to control our feelings then we are always at the mercy of something other than ourselves. This creates a victim mentality by giving away our sense of peace to outside sources it manifesting itself into inner turmoil. We are powerless or out of control of our wellbeing.

Another key to overcoming codependency is to become less reactionary. We become oversensitive to every emotion, feeling, thought, behavior & problem that comes our way or someone else's. We allow ourselves to get so upset & distracted by little things or big things. That in turn creates a loss of control over our almost manic state. Letting go is a powerful & necessary step to recovery. We let go & let god as the twelve steps of recovery quote. Instead of trying so hard to make things happen, we Just let go of the outcome instead of trying to control, the outcome.

When we try to control results, we never get what we want. We may expend a lot of energy. Expecting if we try harder, we will get exactly what it is we want. Instead, we get frustrated, hurt, disappointed, sick & victimized. We cannot change people. When we think that we can we are deluded. When we try to control another they will either resist our efforts or try twice as hard to prove that we cannot control them. When we detach that person will notice something is different here. "Why wasn't I nagged or in trouble for this incident that I used to get in trouble for? Eventually they may realize "Oh no" this person is no longer going to rescue me & now I have to be accountable for myself more. When you remove yourself from the creating role, the other person will notice. They will eventually get the message. Start to focus on your own life. Find what interests you & pursue it. It is important to have a healthy interest in yourself & what makes you happy. Fall in love with yourself. Be your own best friend. Stop doing things for others that you do not want to do. Say that one very powerful word "no" when you want to.

If you do say no then do not lay a guilt trip on yourself afterward about saying no. When you start putting your needs above others, you will become more peaceful & feel better about yourself. It is the opposite feeling of bending over backwards for someone & them not noticing. When you go out of your way for yourself, you will feel more valuable. It seems that overcoming codependency is a lifelong Journey with no quick fix available. There will always be people who enter our lives who will test our boundaries & challenge us to stand up for our wellbeing & ourselves.

But, if you value yourself & understand, you have this propensity toward being codependent then that awareness will be helpful in creating healthy boundaries with others. As they say, awareness is the first step towards change. It is suggested to work the steps of a twelve-step program to facilitate the healing process as well as to help you bring peace to your new life, success, & leaning. It also helps to relate to others who have had similar experiences with codependency or another 12-step program.

Codependency essay

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