Services Codependency

Codependency has become a popular topic in the area of addiction. Codependent individuals have a high degree of compassion for others who they perceive are hurting or are incapable of properly caring for themselves. The codependent person will sacrifice their time, emotions, finances, hobbies, and personal desires to help others. The lack the ability or willingness to say “no” when requests are made of them. However, underlying the codependent’s extreme sense of compassion and helpful behavior there is a deep need and a strong desire to control other people. They believe the person they are caring for is actually incapable of caring for themselves and needs the codependent to help them function. In the case of addictions, the codependent may be trying to prevent a person from engaging in their problematic behavior by keeping a close eye on the person and by controlling the actions of the addict. Ultimately, the codependent gaining a sense of self-esteem and self-worth by their ability to control and take care of the other person. Hidden emotions of anger and resentment result from their lack of attention to their real needs.

Behaviors of codependency may include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Minimize their true feelings
  • Focus is on helping others
  • Denying their own needs
  • Difficulty identifying their own feelings
  • Judge themselves as not good enough
  • Place high value in the approval of others
  • Feel unlovable and/or unworthy
  • Compromises their values for others
  • Overly sensitive to the feelings of others
  • Extremely loyal, even when harmful
  • Afraid to express alternative points of view
  • Will accept sex for love
  • Neglects hobbies and interests for others
  • Feels others are incapable of caring for themselves
  • Feel resentful at others when they cannot help
  • Freely offers advice
  • May use sex to gain power and control
  • Must be “needed”
  • Find their self-worth through others or through their ability to help others

Transitioning From High School to College - Teen Group
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