Codependency is a behavioral pattern that can affect one's relationship with self, partners, and others. Codependency may be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. Codependency can cause you to have difficulty opening up and being honest about your feelings because you worry that doing so may trigger conflict in the relationship. Codependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior. It can be passed down from one generation to another.

Codependency is also referred to as:

  • Relationship addiction

Key Things to Know About Codependency

Codependency can result in a loss of sense of self, as you try to please others and put their needs first.

Codependency & Mental Health Wellness

People with codependent traits have a hard time doing things for themselves; they would much rather do things to lighten someone else’s load or make other people happy than take care of their own mental wellness. It’s hard for people who are codependent to recognize and value and meet their own needs through self-care. Even when it does not come naturally, we encourage individuals to add self-care into their routines by trusting their feelings, honoring their needs, and trusting themselves.

Common Misconceptions About Codependency

Some people may think codependency is a mental health disorder, but it is not. It is a term that describes a dysfunctional relationship or pattern of behavior. It is also sometimes believed that codependency only exists with addiction. This is not true as codependency can exist in any relationship where one person takes an excessive amount of responsibility for the other person.

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