Doctors use many tools to see what’s goin on under our skin. Diagnosing a problem might require an MRI’s, an X-Ray, or a CAT scan; sometimes, the power of asking questions can be even more effective. We can do the same by honestly evaluating ourselves, using honest answers to tough questions that identify patterns in our behavior.
Co-dependency can be defined as “an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as ‘relationship addiction’ because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.” We all may display some behaviors that cross into co-dependency at some time in our life. Identifying frequent, repeated habits can help us get a better picture if this is one of our struggles.
Mental Health America (MHA), a community-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting the overall mental health of all, offers this list of questions to identify signs of co-dependency. Please note that these questions are intended to start the conversation, as not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from co-dependency.
Here is their list:
1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?
3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?
4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?
5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
10. Have you ever felt inadequate?
11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?
12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?
17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?
19. Do you have trouble asking for help?
20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
If you identify with several of these symptoms; are dissatisfied with yourself or your relationships; you should consider seeking help. MHA indicates “a lot of change and growth is necessary for the co-dependent and his or her family. Any caretaking behavior that allows or enables abuse to continue in the family needs to be recognized and stopped. The co-dependent must identify and embrace his or her feelings and needs. This may include learning to say “no,” to be loving yet tough, and learning to be self-reliant. People find freedom, love, and serenity in their recovery. Hope lies in learning more. … Reaching out for information and assistance can help someone live a healthier, more fulfilling life.” If co-dependency is an issue, they suggest that you may want to arrange for a diagnostic evaluation with a licensed physician or psychologist experienced in treating co-dependency.
Celebrate Recovery® is also here to help assist you along the path to recovery from co-dependency. You may want to join into a Step Study to understand the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that contribute to your struggle, or talk with your CR Sponsor or Accountability Partner to about ways to build safer boundaries into your path to recovery.
We are here to help you!