Special for USADT.
As human beings with self-awareness and the need to be part of a unit, however large or small that unit is, we can often fall into a trap of our making and of other persons’ making, if we allow it to be so. And that is the crux of the matter when it comes to being dependent – in an unhealthful way-on others, for their problems can soon become your own, in addition to the problems you believe yourself to be suffering.
Though often mistaken for enabling, co-dependency is at once different from such a thing but also far more harmful on a personal level to the person who is caught up in the act of co-dependency. This is because of a type of “spillover” effect in which the harm that the dependent person – whether it is in something physical or some mental/spiritual dysfunction – does affects the person who is acting in the co-dependent role.
Think about the Nicholas Cage movie “Leaving Las Vegas,” in which his significant other (Elisabeth Shue) struggles to work with Cage and break him of his self-destructive habit, though this is doomed to failure. Fortunately for Shue, she did not fall completely into co-dependency with Cage though her acquiescence – for her own reasons – and acceptance of his behaviors not only brought her to harm but did nothing to help Cage escape the prison of his own making.
True co-dependents often do not see the problems in their relationship with their dependent “other” or partner. They will rationalize negative behaviors on the part of the dependent and make excuses for them, even though they may not engage in those same behaviors at all. In this way, the relationship is something like what is seen when a person acts as an enabler for another. A co-dependent relationship, though, can hurt the co-dependent personality in deeper and more long-lasting ways than in a standard “enabler” type relationship.
This is because, on a psychological level, the co-dependent can actually feel the same psychic and physical insults that the dependent may experience from the acting out of such behaviors. What is also true is that even relatively innocuous behaviors which may not even be physically harmful in and of themselves can leave a psychic scar on both persons’ psyches. On a physical and emotional level, co-dependent relationships can be a source of anxiety within the person acting as the co-dependent.
Ultimately, the issue that really leads to harm in the co-dependent is how truly harmful the dependent person is to the other. Manipulation and controlling on the part of the dependent person can lead to the co-dependent, in extreme circumstances, to engage in the exact same behaviors, such as drug addiction, that are afflicting the dependent personality. Unfortunately, the co-dependent, so bound up in a relationship with the dependent, ends up perpetuating the negative behaviors in that dependent.
There are many signs and symptoms of co-dependency besides just anxiety, though. In general, they include obsession to the point of unhealthy perfectionism, problems with intimacy with others not captured in the relationship, and actual physical illnesses related to stress brought about as a result of the relationship. People should not make the mistake of assuming that co-dependency is nothing but a lightweight pop psychology concept, because it is not. It is an actual, recognized physical medical condition.
There are also some mechanisms that can help a person caught up in a co-dependent relationship. In severe cases, chemical therapies that have as their aim the treatment of the depression which a co-dependent quite often feels when caught up in the relationship can be of assistance. And there is a group of sufferers called Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), in addition to more traditional organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the like. All rely on a 12-step program in an attempt to help.
Co-dependency affects both in the relationship in similar ways and in slightly different ways, both at the same time. It can be a tough row to hoe for the person who is the co-dependent, for sure, and some never manage to make it out of the relationship with all of their mental and physical attributes intact and in relatively good health.
For more in dept information you can go to Holistic health practitioner
Helena Ederveen is an Associate Member Australasian College Nutritional&Environmental Medicine; Clinical Nutritionist;Certified Master Practitioner NLP& Advanced Practitioner Eriksonian Hypnosis; Counsellor. 25 Years Experience. Are You Serious About Discovering Your Own Individual Blueprint Of Health? Free “Health Blueprint” Assessment.
My own health is what has driven me to become supremely qualified as a holistic health practitioner.
By 2002 I was involved in looking at pathology profiles with completely different eyes. It deepened my understanding of certain scientific laboratory technologies that can define and suggest how to rectify health imbalances before they mature into full-fledged disease.
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