- compiled by
Philip St. Romain
; all rights reserved.
Three types of codependents
relate to others primarily through roles that put them in a position of the
giver, helper, supporter, nurturer, etc.
“Everyone’s needs are more important than my own.”
must be in a “relationship” and be “special” to someone
in order to be OK with oneself; may use caretaking and sexuality to gain
approval/acceptance; goes from relationship to relationship.
“You’re nobody unless you're in a special relationship with someone else.”
savior of the family, church, world; over-responsible, doesn’t ask for
help, tries to make self indispensable.
“If I don’t do it. it won’t get done.”
Symptoms of codependency
1. External-referenced on another person (or people).
2. Tries to control behavior of others through approval-seeking and people-pleasing
3. Experiences intimacy by discounting own feelings, and empathizing with feelings of
4. Loss of healthy boundaries, generally resulting from doing things for others that violate
one’s values, and from accepting unacceptable behavior from others.
5. Frozen feelings, numbness with regard to one’s own feelings. Depression may also
result from repressed anger.
6. Low self-esteem. Self is valued according to others’ opinions. Uses martyr, victim, and
messiah role to bolster self-esteem.
7. Generalized anxiety, related to lack of control of one’s life.
8. Mental preoccupation. Racing thoughts. Inability to enjoy mental silence and serenity.
9. Lack of assertiveness.: inability to ask directly for one’s true needs. Inability to confront
unhealthy behavior in others.
10. Narcissism. In the absence of healthy, legitimate boundaries, others are seen as for or
Problems often related to codependency
1. Other addictions--codependents use drugs, shopping, food, TV to cope with feelings. The
majority of addicts--even alcoholics-- are codependents. Recovery from other
addictions is jeopardized if codependency is ignored. As long as one is codependent,
one is in the addictive process.
2. Neuroses and psychoses--mental health problems with their own specific symptomology
and dynamics may develop out of codep.
3. Physical health problems--stress reduces effectiveness of Immune system to fight
If you find this material helpful, please
support this ministry.
A Daily Spiritual Seed
Keep in Touch
Essential Symptoms of Codependency