Do I have codependency? is a question many people ask us in the psychotherapy service. It’s often a label applied to anyone in a difficult or dysfunctional relationship. That’s not the case.
As with other chronic relationship and mental health issues it’s more than a single event. Codependency is not a list of behaviours but a pattern in several relationships.
To answer the question Do I have codependency? you have to have the patterns in a range of relationships. Those relationships spanning a period of time.
So in trying to answer Do I have codependency? ask yourself –
- What was your childhood like? Codependency can often be traced to then. Often one or both parents will have been unable to parent effectively meaning you have to become a ‘caretaker’ for them. Taking the role of parent for yourself or other siblings. One parent may have been labelled ‘bad’ and another ‘good’. Usually the good one was themselves very codependent. Valued because they loved without boundary or limit. They will have provided the role model for ‘codependent love’.
- Do you have a pattern of applying enabling behaviours such as caretaking and rescuing to dysfunctional relationships. Do you minimise the consequences of difficult behaviour in people around you to protect them. It could be your children, or partner, or colleagues. Maybe you take the blame when someone else should?
- Do your friendships, work relationships, intimate partnerships involve lots of drama and crisis?
- Do you get a high or kick out of self sacrifice?
- Do you put yourself second in intimate relationships? Loving people who are extreme, damaged, dysfunctional and needing lots of support?
- Do you regularly find people who you try to change and make better, try to fix people with damage or problems. This may be at work, or in voluntary activity. Do you believe some people cannot help themselves and need someone like you to save them?
If you are answering yes to these questions then you are probably answering yes to the question Do I have codependency?
If you are worried that you answer yes to the question Do I have codependency? then you can seek help
Call or email us, we can help as specialists in this field.
Join groups such as Al-Anon or Fam-Anon.
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