Unhealthy Codependency Relationships

The word codependency gets thrown around a lot: There are unhealthy codependency relationships, codependent companions, and codependent caretakers. But what does codependent actually mean — and is it really all that bad?

What Is unhealthy Codependency?

Codependency is typically discussed in the context of substance use, where one person is abusing the substance, and he or she depends on the other person to supply money, food, or shelter. But codependency is much broader than that,” says Jonathan Becker, DO, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Codependency can be defined as any relationship in which two people become so invested in each other that they can’t function independently anymore,” Dr. Becker says. “Your mood, happiness, and identity are defined by the other person. In a codependent relationship, there is usually one person who is more passive and can’t make decisions for themselves, and a more dominant personality who gets some reward and satisfaction from controlling the other person and making decisions about how they will live.”

Jose Rojos, now 36, was in such a relationship for close to three years. Seven years ago, the professional dog groomer was living with a boyfriend in the South with whom he was madly in love. There was one problem: His partner was insanely jealous, clingy, and prone to dramatic mood swings.

“He would hide my driver’s license so I would stay put,” Rojos recalls. “He would also buy me all sorts of gifts, including a pet schnauzer, to keep me around. I was in love with him and couldn’t leave, but his mood swings grew so severe that I became afraid and knew I had to get out.”

And get out, he did. Rojos relocated to New York City and severed all ties with his ex. “He was not a bad person, but he was bad for me,” says Rojos, who is now in a healthy long-term relationship.

While the jealous and controlling behavior in Rojos’s former relationship was definitely an issue, “Codependency [also] becomes problematic when one person is taking advantage of the other financially or emotionally,” Becker says.

Enabling is another sign of an unhealthy codependence. Mary-Catherine Segota, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Counseling Resource Services in Winter Garden, Florida, describes enabling as a behavior that’s used to ease relationship tension caused by one partner’s problematic habits. Enabling behavior, which is rarely seen in healthy relationships, includes bailing your partner out, repeatedly giving him or her another chance, ignoring the problem, accepting excuses, always being the one trying to fix the problem, or constantly coming to the rescue. 

Source – http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/do-you-have-a-codependent-personality.aspx

Save

What is being co-dependent and how do I know if I am?

“What is being co-dependent and how do I know if I am?” The definitions of co-dependency seem countless and the characteristics can be blurred and unclear. Most would certainly not see the term as a positive one and though we don’t know exactly what it is, we know we don’t want to be co-dependent. In the 70’s the word was used to describe a person living with an alcoholic and later included being in relationship to those abusing other substances as well. It became the word that described the dysfunctional actions of those trying to adjust and adapt to destructive behaviors of the substance abuser; their lives becoming unmanageable as a result. Today we generally use the term for someone who is dependent on another person to the point of being controlled or manipulated by that person.

Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.

“Co-dependency is a relationship addiction. Just as the alcoholic is dependent on alcohol, the co-dependent is dependent on being needed by the alcoholic… or on being needed by someone who is dependent. The “enabler” is a co-dependent person who enables the alcoholic (or other dependent person) to continue with the addiction without drawing and maintaining boundaries. Co-dependency involves being too dependent on someone or something that cannot meet your needs.”1 What’s wrong with being dependent? Dependency is when we rely on someone for support or some need to be met. When this support or need is distorted and unhealthy, the person relies solely on another person to get all of their needs met; there is no mutual give and take or inter-dependency where both love and value the other and work toward the health of the relationship. This dependency looks like: “I have to have this person meet this need in my life; they must do this in order for me to be happy.” Enabling is where a person maintains, and can be responsible for, another person’s destructive behavior by keeping them from painful consequences that could help them change for the good. Many times the co-dependent person allows dysfunctional patterns by not setting boundaries, protecting the other person or even lying for them in order to cover up unhealthy behaviors.

Characteristics of Co-dependency

In a co-dependent relationship one person is generally obsessive and controlling and emotionally weak though they may appear strong, capable and self sufficient. But they are insecure, have self doubt and have an excessive sense of helping and pleasing. They need approval and feel responsible. They generally have low self- esteem, carry guilt and shame, feel anxious and worry over even the slightest details, get frustrated and angry as they attempt to control people and situations, lie to themselves and others in order to protect, have a hard time saying ‘no.

Healing Solutions

In a healthy marriage the relationship is interdependent where each values and encourages the other to overcome difficulties and utilize their strengths while being responsive and accessible emotionally to each other. They help each other feel safe; safe to explore their thoughts and feelings, safe to be themselves knowing they will be loved and valued. They don’t obsess and worry.

There is freedom from co-dependency. Instead of taking things into our own hands in our relationships, we can start by realizing emotional addiction and over-attachment leads us to destructive and damaging behaviors. We can be honest and admit the truth to ourselves and to others. We can also take responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and actions in order to make the changes that will lead us to healthy relationships and a healthy understanding of our own pain and our own emotions. We can stop trying so hard to make things, and people, happen the way we feel they should.

Source – http://www.flomocounseling.com/index.php/services/blog/50-understanding-co-dependancy

 

 

Damaged children – Family breakdowns

Damaged children – Children are suffering an epidemic of mental health problems due to family breakdown, body image worries and too many school tests, a report warns today. Under far greater pressure than youngsters a generation ago, they are increasingly falling victim to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and severe anti-social behaviour, it claims. The report, based on an inquiry by the Children’s Society, reveals 10 per cent of boys aged 11 to 15 and 13 per cent of girls have mental health problems  –  a some of 300,000 damaged children in total.

child

300,000 damage children are suffering from mental health problems (picture posed by model) Official estimates suggest more than a million youngsters between five and 16 have a ‘clinically recognisable’ mental disorder.  Today’s report  –  compiled from the evidence of hundreds of parents, children and experts  –  paints a worrying picture of a generation forced to grow up too quickly, with mental health problems ‘on the increase’. Causes of mental health problems include poor family relationships, rampant marketing leading to pressure to look attractive, binge-drinking and over-testing at school, the report says.

It also singles out poor parenting, either by a lack of affection or the failure to show authority and set boundaries.

Source – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1016642/Damaged-children-Family-breakdowns-tests-toll-mental-health.html

 

Save

Teenage Boys Mental Health

New research shows that half (49%) of teenage boys would not feel comfortable talking to their dads about their mental health (including stress, anxiety and depression). When asked why, more than a third said it was because their dad doesn’t talk about his feelings and 31% said they wouldn’t want to burden them.

The survey revealed that 37% of young men chose to ‘put a brave face on’ when struggling with mental health problems and 33% would rather keep it to themselves.

The poll[1] of 16-18 year old men is released today by Time to Change, the campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to change public attitudes towards mental health. The research, which found that a quarter of teenage boys experience mental health problems at least once a week, aims to uncover the extent to which teenage boys’ attitudes and behaviour towards mental health is influenced by their fathers.

While a high number of teenage boys consider talking about mental health with their dads to be off limits, Time to Change is highlighting the positive impact of role-modelling behaviour from fathers to sons. 70% of sons felt completely comfortable talking about their mental health when this had been encouraged by their father. The research also showed that virtually all teenage boys who were comfortable opening up to their father about mental health (98%) said that they would want to have a similarly open relationship with their sons in the future.

Time to Change is now urging all dads to talk more openly, so that if and when their sons develop mental health problems in the future, they can be on hand with support. The newly released research also offers a helpful insight into how teenage boys would like their dads to reach out. The majority of young people wanted their fathers to talk to them (57%) with others stating a preference for a less direct approach such as going out somewhere together (26%).

Over the next five years, Time to Change will introduce a targeted campaign to encourage men to think and act differently about mental health problems and be more open and supportive of friends, family and colleagues.

Source – https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/news/half-teenage-boys-dont-feel-they-can-open-their-dads-about-mental-health