Codependency is defined as an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
It also describes someone in a relationship that comes off as needy, or too concerned with how their partner makes them feel. However, as with any personality response to trauma, codependency characteristics fall on a spectrum.
The Codependency Spectrum
Someone who is codependent has a mental and emotional attachment to someone else’s actions. And an obsessive desire to be well aligned with this person’s perceived best interest.
In severe cases, this most often occurs when a partner is engaging in a relationship with a partner who abuses substances. The dynamic between the “savior” and the “victim” wears at the bond.
What happens instead, is that the bond becomes toxic, yet no less binding. The relationship can be so strong that a codependent person can be lost entirely on the fact that they are being lied to, manipulated, or emotionally abused. Some cases even lead to physical abuse.
Other codependents even find themselves becoming abusive, despite all preconceived understanding of who they are.
Codependent to Not Dependent Can Happen
Codependency is a diagnosable condition that can have highly impactful mental, emotional, and physical effects. The buds of codependency form far before they become everyday issues. They are detectable, and might often be mistaken for healthy behaviors and personality traits of the even the kindest and most caring individuals.
Speaking with a mental healthcare provider is always the best option in identifying and coping with codependency. However, some sneaky staples generously hint at the likelihood that someone is codependent. It is possible to heal and recover from the tendencies and effects of codependency. The first step is simply knowing.
Take our quiz to find out if you could have symptoms of codependency in one of your relationships, or if you should keep a mental note going forward to be more conscious of your relationship dynamics.