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Counsel For Hope

Mind, Body, and Spirit Counseling                                               

Available in Lincolnton or Statesville, NC

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Signs of Codependency

Posted on 10 April, 2020 at 9:45

Building healthy relationships is a cornerstone for our overall mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. Unfortunately, this can be very difficult for people who live with codependency. Codependent behavior can be destructive in a variety of ways, but with the proper guidance and professional care, it can be overcome. If you’re concerned that you or someone you care about is struggling with codependency, consider the following warning signs and contact a mental health care professional for help.


Codependency Warning Signs


Codependency is a behavioral and emotional condition that can negatively affect a person’s ability to have a healthy, functional relationship. While the following is not a fully comprehensive list of characteristics, most codependent people will exhibit at least a few of these traits.


Extreme need for approval or validation


It’s normal to enjoy pleasing people we care about. However, this natural desire to strengthen social bonds becomes unhealthy and codependent when an individual places too much importance on receiving approval, whether it is from their parents, spouse, significant other, or peers. Codependent personalities tend to become hurt when they feel like their efforts are not recognized, applauded or rewarded. They may also feel the need to go “above and beyond” in order to win love and/or approval. In essence, codependents gauge their self-worth through the eyes of others.


If you feel a strong link between your self-worth and the approval or accolades of others, your feelings may come from codependency.


Tendency to confuse love with pity


Codependent individuals may feel an obligation to care for a person, not because of true feelings of love, but out of fear that without this care, the other person may suffer. A person who is codependent may unintentionally be drawn to people who have a perceived “weakness” or unhealthy trait, giving the codependent person a feeling of being needed.


If you feel the need to maintain a relationship because you’re afraid the other person needs your love to survive, or you feel an intense responsibility for the actions and behavior of others, you may be dealing with codependency.


Doing anything to save a relationship


People struggling with codependency often feel the need to do whatever it takes to stay connected to another person, even if the relationship is toxic. This often stems from a fear of abandonment, discomfort with being alone or an exaggerated sense of guilt for taking care of their own needs. Codependents often feel lost or lonely when they are not in a relationship, which further drives their need to save whatever relationship they are in currently.


If you’re finding yourself constantly thinking that you have to “make it work,” or you’ve realized you’re sacrificing a lot of your own needs and boundaries in order to fix a relationship, you may be dealing with codependency.


Inability to trust oneself


People with codependency issues often feel as though they can’t trust their own judgement and need frequent input from others to feel safe enough to make a decision. Sometimes codependent people may even feel as though they cannot trust their own emotions, especially if they have been through traumatic relationships in the past.


If you constantly need advice from others before making a decision, or are afraid to trust your own instincts, you may be suffering from codependency.


Learn More About Codependency


Remember, not everyone who experiences these traits is necessarily codependent. And not all codependents will experience every one of these characteristics. If you think you might be suffering from this condition, seek the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.


At Counsel for Hope, we specialize in treating a wide range of mental health issues, including codependency. Please reach out to us for more information or to set up an appointment.



Posted on 16 January, 2017 at 20:10

Addiction to another person and the need to control them! When co-dependents take ownership of another person's problem, they get their sense of wellbeing, by directing the behavior of the dependent person, however, they end up being controlled by the person they are trying to help. A person who has a relationship with an addicted / abusive person demonstrated certain characteristics: Increased tolerance of unacceptable behavior; denial of the level of severity of the personal impact and damage; value system that has been compromised to manage pain; reduction in life areas such as spiritual, physical, work, and family; a feeling of being trapped; strategically planning exit; and developing their own addictions.

People in most cases are not aware they are enabling and becoming co-dependent. Loving too much, or trying to do the right thing, however many times they feel guilty because their attempts are not good enough to make the person they love change. It is common for children to become codependent when a parent is either abusive or addicted or an immediate family member is.

It is documented that co-dependents often feel guilty because they believe they did something to cause their loved one to go out of control. They have tried to change the person and think somehow if they try harder, they can control the person with a problem that is controlling their life. The irrational belief is that a person can control another person, which leads to a painful cycle of failure and loss of self-worth.

Co-dependents live in a pain filled world. They live with a constant feeling of shame and fear. The ones they love cannot give them support, so they lose trust, shutting down their feelings. Since they are hiding the problem, they cannot talk to anyone. The emotional stress can create medical problems. To address this pain, co-dependents sometime make poor decisions that lead to personal addictions of their own or other behaviors that are harmful.

Christians are often susceptible to co-dependency and the church by accident can teach co-dependency behaviors. It cases where Christians attempt to love others as Christ tells us to, Christian's slip into actions that lead to co-dependency relationships, where they love too much and enable. We are all codependent on each other, but as Rom. 12:7-16;1, Cor. 12:12-27 we are to be interdependent and avoid polarizing behaviors of independence and co-dependence.


Addicts Abusers, and Co-Dependents

Posted on 13 November, 2016 at 11:00

This is a summary of common actions, feelings, and thoughts addicts, abusers, and co-dependents have. They have difficulty making decisions, judge what they think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough, value others' approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own, and do not perceive themselves as lovable or worthwhile persons. They seek recognition and praise to overcome feeling less than, have difficulty admitting a mistake, need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and may even lie to look good, are unable to identify or ask for what they need and want, and have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries. Addicts, abusers, and co-dependents believe people are incapable of self-care, try to convince others what to think or feel, offer unsolicited advice and direction, and become resentful when their help is rejected. They try to use lavish gifts, favors or sexual attention on those they want to influence, they demand that their needs be met by others, use blame and shame to control, adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes, use recovery jargon to control the behavior of others, and pretend to agree with others to get what they want. In general addicts, abusers, and co-dependents have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, the need to control, fear, abandonment, use relationships to comfort or numb their pain, minimizes, denies, and blames to protect the relationship, and the relationship becomes the addict's abuser's, and co-dependent's primary focus. They have difficulty identifying what they are feeling, lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others, mask pain in various ways, such as anger, humor, or isolation, and they experience significant aggression, resentment, and negativity.

Co-Dependency and

Posted on 5 November, 2016 at 16:05

Co-dependency can serve as an alternate addiction or distraction. People that are co-dependent may use relationships to try to deal with depression or anxiety. In the long run, co-dependency is self-defeating, since the few things that cannot be controlled is the will of another person or the environment around us and how things work out. As mentioned in previous blog's, co-dependency in a relationship is when one person identifies their worth based on someone else. Many times, the codependent person chooses relationships where the other person needs to be rescued and this creates a dependency to want to fix/control the other person. Over time, a co-dependent relationship becomes increasably defined by the identification with the other person. If there is a period apart from the target or they cannot control the target, the co-dependent experiences extreme anxiety and/or depression. For the co-dependent, the relationship takes the place of self-love. Despite the negative consequences of depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, loss of other friends, physical stress, and poor job performances, a co-dependent cannot let go of this attachment to the target.

Some of the Patterns of Co-dependency

Posted on 30 October, 2016 at 16:55

Some of the patterns of codependency are: Individuals are controlling because they believe that others are unable to take care of themselves; They typically have low self esteem and a tendency to deny their own feelings; They are excessively compliant, compromising their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger; They often react in an oversensitive manner, as they are often hypervigilant to disruption, troubles, or disappointments; They remain loyal to people who do nothing to deserve their loyalty.

Co-dependency- A Loss of Self

Posted on 22 October, 2016 at 21:00

There has been a significant amount documented about co-dependency. It is the loss of self. A person losses their inner self and develops a false self. They require happiness to come from outside of them. There is a need for others to make a co-dependent happy and they require others to self validate their worth. It has been said that co-dependency is rooted in internalized shame. Shame can be healthy or toxic. We are all co-dependent on each other to some extent, however when we cross the line, and feel that we are more than human or less than human, that is when co-dependency becomes a problem.