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


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you opened up with Codependency isn't a bad thing and that it was a means of survival, very true to my upbringing. The survival role is something I'm trying to move away from and accepting the fact I'm codependent may help me to make some progress.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. Codependency is NOT a good thing in and of itself. Its a coping mechanism and if you mean its good in that sense I guess thats sort of true.

Anonymous said...

I think its a good thing only in the sense of SURVIVAL and is inherently a childhood response to impossible crazy making environments. Its funny though in that the incidence of these behaviors is in my mind MUCH worse than it was 20 some years ago. I see more and more folks playing childhood games in real life because our culture is extremely childish. I find it easy to fall back into some of that- the big difference is it hurts to much for me because I know better and it doesnt work.