Do I Have Codependency?



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 –

  1. 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’.
  2. 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?
  3. Do your friendships, work relationships, intimate partnerships involve lots of drama and crisis?
  4. Do you get a high or kick out of self sacrifice?
  5. Do you put yourself second in intimate relationships? Loving people who are extreme, damaged, dysfunctional and needing lots of support?
  6. 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.

Here are some more of our blogs on related topics you may find interesting

ACOA – Adult Child Of Addiction

How Child Trauma Lives On In The Adult 

Why Can’t I Leave My Abuser?


  1. This was very interesting for me and I did answer yes to the questions..I kind of knew I have possibly always been ‘needy’! Now I am almost 40 years old with 5 children and so many failed relationships..I have come to the understanding and faced the truth that I myself seem to have destroyed and pushed away people I have actually loved. In reality I am a loving, caring, giving and kind woman that is yearning to be loved and feel wanted. It is asif I struggle to allow? When things are good I seem to unconsciously worry or panic and then I depend on reassurance with my partner or parent (mum) or my children, even my neighbours!! The need for me to explain is vital and probably makes me look like an people pleaser or full of self pity but I just need to be understood. I get hurt and upset and angry alot and I struggle to contain emotions! I suffer with my ‘mental health’ ‘clinical depression’ ‘bpd’ and on the other hand nothing is too big for me when it comes to helping another? Money means nothing to me personally and giving really gives me joy! the pleasure I get from giving is huge and when caring for another I seem to be at my strongest and best. When I need help and love and basic support I always feel a burden and misunderstood, repeating the cycle of pushing away in order to then panic and need/depend.. Its sad and very frustrating for im so aware of this and have tried, still am trying to make changes/seek support and guidance in order for me to be basically settled and stop this pattern 😥
    Thank you for this post 💖

    • Hi Keele, thank you for your courage in sharing your experiences. It sounds very difficult. Please do get in touch if I can help, it is an area we have a lot of expertise in. Use the ‘contact us’ page on the website if you wish professional help. Best Noel

  2. I want to thank Noel McDermott for this you tube blog on co-dependency.
    After much therapy and taking a step back, I recognize these traits in myself. Unfortunately, I do believe I have greatly influenced my oldest son as well.
    I will encourage him to seek help.
    I will now continue my own healing with the new insight of why I behave as I do. I’m thankful for this vlog.
    I appreciate that it is currently free to watch and learn.

    • Hi Monica, thanks for your kind feedback. I’m glad you found the information useful. Please do get in touch if I can help you or your son. Best Noel

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