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Codependents, The Family

Codependent or (codependency or codependence) is a tendency to behave in overly passive caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships. Being codependent may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance and/or control patterns.

Codependence or being codependent "comes directly out of Alcoholic Anonymous, part of a dawning realization that the problem was not solely the addict, but also the family and friends who constitute a network for the alcoholic." It was subsequently broadened to cover the way that the codependent person is fixated on another person for approval, sustenance, and so on. As such, the concept overlaps with, but developed in the main independently from, the older psychoanalytic concept of the "passive dependent personality....attaching himself or herself to a stronger personality.

Some would say that the stricter interpretation of codependent or codependency, which requires one person to be physically and psychologically addicted, such as to heroin or alcohol and the second person to bepsychologically dependent on that behavior.

Codependency describes behaviors, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice or caretaking. For example parenting is a role that requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice and giving a child's need 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. Generally a parent who takes care of their own needs (emotional and physical in a healthy waywill be a better caretaker, whereas a codependent parent may be less effective or may even do harm to the child.

In the case of an alcoholic who consistently denies that he or she drinks to much and when they drink is constantly and consistently getting some kind of trouble that he cannot correct himself or herself and neds someone to take care of them and straighten out all the many mishaps that occur because of the drinking. It is a never ending cycle as long as the alcoholic continue to drink. Alcoholic cannot control the drinking and therefore is unable to control his/her attitude and behavior which causes everyone so much harm and destruction. This is true of every addict and the family friends and loved ones who depend on them for support that they are unable to give or sustain because of the habit/addiction. In the play addiction-denial is a perfect example of addiction first denial second and the continuing trouble it causes.


* I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.

* I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.

* I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.


* I have difficulty making decisions

* I judge every thing I think, say or do harshly, as never good enough

* I am embarrased to receive recognition and praise or gifts.

* I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.

* I value others' approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.

* I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.


*I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others anger.

*I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.

* I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.

* I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.

* I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.

* I accept sex when I want love.


.* I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.

*I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly feel.

*I become resentful when others will not let me help them.

* I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.

* I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.

* I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.

* I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.


Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a interpersonal relation or social relation. The topic includes both interpersonal rejection (peer rejection) and romantic rejection. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can either active, by bullying, teasing, ridiculing, or passive, by ignoring a person or giving th "silent treatment." The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipient, and it can be perceived when it is not actually present.

Although humans are social beings, some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, rejection can become a problem when it is prolonged or consistent, when the relationship is important, or when the individual is highly sensitive to rejection. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially negative effects, particularly when it results in social isolation.

The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem, aggression, and depression. It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection. Social rejection often carries the implication that the rejected person must conform in some ways in order to obtain acceptance by the group.

Rejection is emotionally painful because of the social nature of human beings and our basic need to be accepted in groups. Some have suggested that the need for love and belongingness is a fundamental human motivation. All humans even introverts, need to be able to give and receive affection to be psychologically healthy.

Psychologist believe that simple contact or social interaction with others is not enough to fulfill this need. Instead, people have a strong motivational drive to form and maintain caring interpersonal relationships. People need both stable relationships and satisfying interactions with the people in those relationships. If either of these two ingredients is missing, people will begin to feel lonely and unhappy. Thus rejection is a serious threat. In fact, the majority of human anxieties appear to reflect concerns over social exclusion.

Being a member of a group is also important for social identity, which is a key component of the self-concept. It has been said, that the main purpose of self-esteem is to monitor social relations and detect social rejection. In this view, self-esteem is a sociometer which activates negative emotions when signs of exclusion appears.


The phenomenon of rejection sensitivity is suggested to be a component of the neurotic personality and a contributing factor to codependent. It has the tendency to feel deep anxiety and humiliation at the slightest rebuff. The attraction of the addict and their codependent is an unhealthy relationship that borders on psychotic. The codependent is unable to function normally without the approval of the addict. The addict has the power to accept or reject the codependent and that is horrifying to the codependent. The codependency grows and grows until the only way for the codependency to break is for the person to go into some kind of treatment or group that is trying to learn a new way to live with or without the addict.


Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a twelve-step program for people who share a common desire to develop functional and healthy relationships.CoDA was founded in 1986 in Phoenix, Arizona. CoDA is active in more than 40 countries, with approximately 1200 groups active in the United States.

Codependence is described as a disease that originates in dysfunctional families where children learn to overcompensate for their parents' disorders and develop an excessive sensitivity to others' needs. The term "dysfunctional family" originally referred only to families with patterns of interaction associated with alcoholism. It is now, however, recognized as a disease occurring in family systems based on "denial" or "shame-based rules." This includes a wide-spectrum of pathological emotional interactions in families, but there is always an avoidance of confrontation and inability to resolve conflict. This is sometimes described in terms like "enmeshment" or "blurred ego boundaries." Adult children of dysfunctional families often suffer from a sense of confusion and deprivation that has continued into their adult life — a feeling of "not knowing what normal is" — that has become an anguished desire to recover something emotionally missing in their upbringing. Co-Dependents Anonymous was formed to help individuals who grew up in all forms of dysfunctional families, not just those involving alcoholism or substance abuse.

Codependence can be defined as a process addiction — an addiction to certain mood-altering behaviors, other such examples being eating disorders, gambling, sexual activity, overwork, and shopping. Process addiction can be seen as a unifying principle, providing those in CoDA with a language to describe their disease. Codependence has been suggested as an underlying disease pervasive in all forms of addiction.[4]

CoDA created a 38-item Likert-type checklist allowing one to evaluate how codependent one is. Possible scores range from 38 to 190, with higher scores representing greater codependence.[5] The results of this instrument are strongly related to those of the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale and other such tests measuring codependence.

CoDA has one book approved for use as standard literature in the organization, titled Co-Dependents Anonymous. In addition, there are two more CoDA-endorsed books including a workbook and a book of daily meditations

Codependents Anonymous


Are You Troubled by Someone's Drinking?Al-Anon Is for You!

Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:

* Do you worry about how much someone else drinks? * Do you have money problems because of someone else's drinking? * Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else's drinking? * Do you feel that if the drinker cared about you, he or she would stop drinking to please you? * Do you blame the drinker's behavior on his or her companions? * Are plans frequently upset or canceled or meals delayed because of the drinker? * Do you make threats, such as, "If you don't stop drinking, I'll leave you"? * Do you secretly try to smell the drinker's breath? * Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout? * Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker's behavior? * Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking? * Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse? * Do you search for hidden alcohol? * Do you ever ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking? * Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety? * Do you feel like a failure because you can't control the drinking? * Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved? * Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker? * Do you feel angry, confused, or depressed most of the time? * Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

If you have answered "Yes" to annswered yes to any of these questions, you may need to contact Al-Anon and Alateen at this number: 757-563-1600

Al-Anon's Three Legacies

Al-Anon's program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps are the foundation for personal recovery in Al-Anon, and the Traditions help Al-Anon groups sustain their unity and fellowship. The Twelve Concepts of Service provide guidance for service in the Al-Anon fellowship.


Go From Codependent To Codependency

Go From Codependent To Alanon