Codependence (or codependency) is a prevalent psychology term popularized by Twelve-Step program supporters (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2005). A “codependent” is simply identified as a person who demonstrates excessive, and often unsuitable, concern for people who relies on him or her. A codependent is a one-sided relationship between common persons in need. The reliant person or group, or apparently the people in need may possess expressive, physical, financial struggle, or obsession they on the face of it are not capable to get through. The “mutually dependent” person/s show/s signs of behavior which controls and constructs excuses for misfortunes and undergoes other actions to bring about the noticeable situation of the person or groups in need, as they crave to be wanted and worry about performing whatever thing that would alter the relationship.
The indications of codependence are controlling behavior, skepticism, fastidiousness, escaping of feelings, troubles with closeness, unnecessary care taking, over alertness or physical sickness associated with constant worrying of things (Wood, Wood, & Boyd (2005). Codependence goes along frequently with clinical despair, as the inter-reliant individual gives in to thoughts of disturbance or depression on his or her incapacity to recover over the circumstances.
Codependence can as well be a series of uncontrollable activities learned by members of the family with the aim of surviving in a situation wherein a family or group is subjected to profound emotive hurt and strain brought about, for instance, by a family member’s addiction to alcohol or drugs, sexual exploitation in the family, a family member’s persistent sickness or abject poverty.
Codependency supporters assert that a mutually dependent person may undergo embarrassment or strive to transform his or her most personal views and feelings if they differ with those of other people. Such actions, which may well diminish disagreements and relieve stress in the family in a short time span, are counterproductive in the long-run, given that, as an example, the wife is in fact supporting her husband’s addiction. As a result as claimed by Wood, Wood, & Boyd (2005), the mutually dependent person represents an “enabler.” It is as well notable that as the wife in this example relies on the husband’s addictive behavior, she may essentially undergo stress if she perceives evidently that he is emerging from his reliance. Likewise, a codependent close relative might oppose his or her kid’s steps near self-determination.
Inter-reliant individuals have a superior inclination to go into dealings with persons who are psychologically occupied. The codependent seeks to be in charge of an affiliation without exactly recognizing and speaking to his or her particular wants. This consistently signifies that codependents places themselves up for sustained self-insufficiency. They think that they are acting in other people’s advantage at all times, making it hard for them to understand the scheming character of their manners.
The concept of indications of and therapy for codependence develop from the medical model signifying an illness progression that causes the deeds. There is no proof that codependence is triggered by an infectious sickness, or otherwise.
There are three major methods in dealing with codependency. These are self-assistance, group treatment, and individual psychiatric help. Many codependency self-help manuals are accessible at bookstores; a number of which are more wide-ranging and contemporary than others. Additionally, the arrangement of self-help groups based towards aiding codependents in their healing has been instituted. These conferences are regularly free and complete roughly an hour. Groups such as Codependents Anonymous partake in a twelve-step curriculum that appears to entail effective outcomes.
Group treatment is as well a common therapy method. According to Mellody, Miller, & Miller (2003), the best group size taking part in this kind of treatment is approximately eight or nine persons. Weekly charges are habitually a part of group rehabilitation and the bill extends from a sliding levels to costs that are compatible with society principles. Persons intending to partake in group treatment have to craft a genuine exertion in treatment. Partakers must be eager to be patient, be persistent, and be courageous. It may often take long periods of time for a person to feel prepared to end group rehabilitation.
Personal psychiatric help is another medication alternative for codependent people. As more healing period is required than the period obtainable in group psychotherapy, strong personal psychiatric help may be required (Mellody, Miller, & Miller, 2003). Personal psychiatric help might also be a healthier choice for persons that are not at ease sharing private concerns in a group situation. Moreover, people struggling on matters exterior of codependency may help the most from personal psychiatric help. Sadly, personal psychiatric help is the most costly medication option, therefore it would not be a reasonable alternative for numerous persons.
Since codependency is typically rooted in an individual’s upbringing, medication regularly entails exploration into formative years matters and their association to recent damaging action patterns. Therapy consists of education, through which codependents relive themselves and distinguish self-defeating performance trends. Medication in addition concentrates on facilitating codependents in getting in touch with thoughts and feelings that have been hidden at some stage in childhood and on rebuilding family dynamics. The objective is to let them come across their complete extent of thoughts and feelings once more.
Throughout the revitalization procedure, several general obstructions do exist. Simply being alert of these obstructions makes it more trouble-free to identify them when they arise in recuperation. A lot of recuperating patients are afraid of the unknown. Various other obstructions are missing out treatment assemblies, being deficient in knowledge about the revival procedure, being terrified of condemnation, contending low sense of worth, having trouble confiding, coming across problems with commitment, placing blame on other people, and being deficient in suitable finances for treatment. Several experts advise appraising the general obstructions in revitalization as a person starts to sway from treatment.
Criticisms on codependence model
The characterization of codependency is extensive and still indistinct. Specialists still disagree on whether or not codependency is a sickness, an observable fact, a mental construct, a character attribute, an obsession, or a disease. Distinguishing codependent persons is not a simple undertaking. Codependence comes out by means of a variety of character roles. It can be considered as a sickness with both psychosomatic and physical indications. The therapy alternatives for codependent persons are generally long term and the effectiveness of these programs is not noticeably determined. Codependence is treatable, and with suitable medication, there is still hope for persons that are fighting with this disorder.
Codependence may be taken as a disorder which is over-diagnosed, and that a lot of individuals could be assisted with shorter-term medications as a replacement for becoming needy on long-term self-assistance programs. It may also be considered as an unconstructive characteristic, and does not require to be dealt with, as it is more possible that a person in good physical shape with character attribute will be taken to overindulgence. Codependency in non-clinical populace encloses a few links with beneficial traits of family performance.
Differences between caring, loving, and codependence
Simple caring for a person with a physical addiction is not similar with having the sickness of codependency. To identify the caregiver as a co-addicted accountable for the staying power of their partner’s addiction for instance, is not fair for the mere caring behavior of the person. The caregiver may simply involve assertiveness training abilities and the addict responsibility for handling his or her patients is just his or her job. Individuals who have underwent calamities, life threatening sickness or misfortunes, and personal or society disasters have been identified to recognize an advantage from the trial like constructive character changes, adjustments in priorities and improved relations. Caring for survivors provides a meaningful ethic of empowerment both for the caregiver and the survivors. Loving on the other hand is a deeper sense of devotion. It is described as a feeling of affection, a sensation or an emotional condition. In common application to this context, it customarily represents interpersonal love (Logan, 2007). Moreover, this is constantly immersed in unconscious habits that take in adjusting attitudes and customs, which sequentially fully self-encouraging in holistic manners. However, codependency is “loving without learning” As stated by Logan (2007). Most of the time, the effect of codependency is negative and is just self-fulfilling or accomplishing for the codependent person. Nourishment to other people and aid of distress mostly take place as a result of automatic being rather than determined endeavor. Individual limitations are less deliberately sustained, and rather than being flexible, codependents stay absorbent, a transformative strainer for every person that they interrelate with.
Logan, Collins T. (2007). Compassion and Codependence. Integral Lifework Center.
Retrieved October 31, 2007, from
Mellody, P., Miller, A. W., & Miller, K. (2003). Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself
The Power to Change the Way You Love (1st ed.). New York: Harper One.
Wood, Wood, & Boyd (2005). The World of Psychology (5th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson