A dysfunctional pattern of behavior and an unhealthy relationship dynamic in which one person excessively relies on another for their self-worth, identity, and emotional well-being. It typically involves an imbalance of power, control, and dependency within the relationship. Codependency often occurs in relationships where one person has an addiction, mental health issues, or problematic behaviors, while the other assumes a caretaking or enabling role.
Codependency often stems from early childhood experiences, such as growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive family environment, where individuals learn maladaptive coping strategies and unhealthy relationship patterns. Factors such as low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, and a desire for control can contribute to the development and perpetuation of codependency.
Addressing codependency typically involves self-awareness, self-care, and therapeutic interventions. Overcoming codependency is a gradual process that requires patience, self-compassion, and ongoing effort. Seeking professional help from a therapist can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the journey of healing and establishing healthier relationship dynamics.