What is Co Dependancy?

The Co-Dependent person has low self esteem and seeks approval from other people in order to feel better about themselves. They do not have a sense of self worth, so they base their worth on what they do; their achievements; their possessions; how attractive they are; and basically what other people think of them. This is called “Other Esteem”. In treatment the co-dependent comes to realise that they are valuable and precious and have inherent worth, not based on what they do, but for who they are.

The roots of Co-Dependency begin in a dysfunctional family environment which cultivates a deep sense of shame. Children are taught that they are either “not good enough”, or they are “better than other people”.

A co dependent can struggle with over whelming emotions and reactions or feel numb and unable to express or understand what their emotions are. Either way, this can cause them to have problems in their relationship with both themselves and others.

If the co dependent pushes their feelings down inside, this can lead to physical illness. Alternatively some may self medicate through alcohol, drugs or food in an attempt to reduce or numb out their feelings of unhappiness.

Don’t be fooled by how well turned out and by what a great achiever the co dependent may seem to be. Inside there can be a deep sense of inadequacy and uncertainty about who they really are.


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