Codependency (or codependence, interdependency ) is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol or heroin); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of or control of another.
Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.
Codependency describes behaviors, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice or caretaking. Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior or feelings, but only those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree. Co-Dependents Anonymous offers these patterns and characteristics as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.
I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships. I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery. I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.


I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own. I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others. I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. This video was submitted with the permission from The Journey of Recovery DVD, Copyright 2006 by International Bible Society, All Rights reserved worldwide. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. For example parenting is a role that requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice and giving a child’s needs a high priority, although a parent could nevertheless still be codependent towards their own children if the caretaking or parental sacrifice reached unhealthy or destructive levels.


Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Generally a parent who takes care of their own needs (emotional and physical) in a healthy way will be a better caretaker, whereas a codependent parent may be less effective, or may even do harm to a child. In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. Another way to look at it is that the needs of an infant are necessary but temporary whereas the needs of the codependent are constant.



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