Experts have various definitions of codependency. Codependency is a pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behavior and on seeking approval, with the hope to attain safety, identity and self worth. Recovery is possible. Codependency is a condition or state of being, that results from adapting to dysfunction (possibly addiction) in a significant other (Addiction Professional). Codependency is a learned response to stress which, over a person’s lifetime, can lead to the development of the following characteristics:
· External Focus
· Repressed Feelings
· Comfort with Crisis
· Boundary Conflicts
· Stress related illness
· Compulsive Behavior
Codependent patterns thrive in a painful family system which is why family involvement in therapy is essential. Family members adapt to maintain emotional attachments. Adaption can create anxiety. Anxiety increases when family members lack a secure and consistent connection, especially as children. The inconsistency in connection can lead to an attachment injury. An attachment injury is created when person feels abandoned or betrayed at critical moments where comfort and connection are essential. Illustrations of pivotal moments might be during an illness or injury, a time of loss, childbirth, affairs, a time of vulnerability, etc.
Healthy Ways to Approach Codependency May Include:
1. Develop a healthy solid sense of self: Focus on developing a healthy relationship with yourself.
2. Attain a calm heart and mind. Learn to center yourself in your mind and body.
3. Manifest a grounded response. Make decisions when you are in a rational place.
4. Meaningful endurance. Have healthy boundaries in your relationships and endure challenges in relationships that result in growth. Enduring suffering without growth is not meaningful (Schnarch).
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Carmel Valley 92130 area.