Codependency

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Codependency

By | March 2013
Page 1 of 3
Co-dependency is an issue that I see on a fairly regular basis. Mostly, women, but some men are affected by it, and it is defined as learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. This condition involves emotional and behavioral aspects that prevent an individual from experiencing a healthy and mutually satisfying relationship. Co-dependency has also been referred to as “relationship addiction” because people who suffer from it will very often seek relationships that are one-sided or extremely abusive. Most often these choices are made unconsciously. It is not like we just go out there with the intent on finding that person we are going to try and save. People who suffer from codependency are typically drawn together because of issues from his or her past. For men and women past issues that can impact them are growing up in an alcoholic home, living with sexual/physical abuse, or by watching role models suffer with codependency. Debra is a client that I have seen recently. She entered the Crisis Recovery Center because of severe depression. In talking with her on several occasions, I was able to determine that she was in an abusive relationship, she came from a background of physical/sexual abuse, and she was unable to make decisions on her own. Since I have a history similar to her, I could certainly relate to her depressive symptoms and feelings of hopelessness. Some professionals in the field agree that codependency involves various “themes of caretaking, pleasing others, and association with a person who has alcohol or drug problems” (Rotunda & Doman, 2001, p. 258). In speaking with Debra, she described all of these to me as she talked about her boyfriend who is in active addiction. He often blames Debra for his use because she is always nagging him about his using. Debra described her boyfriend’s drug use as expensive and has financially depleted her because he is hooked on opiates. Per day, he spends anywhere...