Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Symptoms Of Codependency

Codependency and Adult Children Of Alcoholics go hand in hand. Being Codependent is not "bad". It could even be seen as a valuable coping mechanism that helps those growing up in dysfunctional families survive. This reaction may now work against us and keep us locked in unhealthy behaviors. 

 Codependent behavior may have been such an intrinsic part of our lives for so long that it may be hard to consciously realize now when we are doing it. The following list can be used as a reminder of what defines it and a yardstick to measure how far we have come:

1. External focus, never looking inside-  always focused on other person or people.

2. Tries to control behavior of others through approval-seeking and people-pleasing behavior.

3. Experiences intimacy by discounting own feelings, and empathizing with feelings of others.

4. Loss of healthy boundaries, generally resulting from doing things for others that violate one’s values, and from accepting unacceptable behavior from others.

5. Frozen feelings, numbness with regard to one’s own feelings. Depression may also result from repressed anger.

6. Low self-esteem. Self is valued according to others’ opinions. Uses martyr, victim, and messiah role to bolster self-esteem.

7. Generalized anxiety, related to lack of control of one’s life.

8. Mental preoccupation. Racing thoughts. Inability to enjoy mental silence and serenity. Inability to relax and stay in the moment.

9. Lack of assertiveness: inability to ask directly for one’s true needs. Inability to confront unhealthy behavior in others.

10. Narcissism. In the absence of healthy, legitimate boundaries, others are seen as for or against self.

Take the "Am I a codependent?" test here:

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children