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Co-dependence is a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as substance or behaviour addiction)

The main difference between codependence and dependence is that the codependent depends on the dependence of another to something else. People in a relationship with those who have a dependence on alcohol, for example, can develop codependence, which will look like an unhealthy focus on the alcoholic needs of the other over their own.

Codependence is a type of dysfunctional relationship that involves one person’s self-esteem and emotional needs being dependent on the other person. The codependent person is normally an enabler of unhealthy behaviors. The codependent feels valuable and lives with the idea to be a savior many times because s[h]e was not able to save a relative, like the father or brother. Taking the suffering of the dependent feels redeeming.

Trauma or growing up in a dysfunctional family can be the root of:

Dependence after traumatization, or growing up in a dysfunctional family, means that the person has so little confidence and a sense of agency that believes s[h]e can’t do anything on his/her own, so the person becomes dependant on others to make decisions or live life. An example is a housewife that doesn’t know how to make financial decisions, doesn’t feel capable of earning money, doesn’t drive, and doesn’t know how to take care of the children without the mother’s guidance. 

Codependence after traumatization, or growing up in a dysfunctional family,  means that the person feels so worthless that considers his/her own needs unimportant, therefore will not express them or even recognize them, and will not have them met. This person will focus on satisfying the needs of the other to find him/herself valuable, who, most of the time, may be abusive and take advantage of the circumstances and low demands of the codependent. An example is a person that cries every time the spouse drinks but goes to the liquor store to buy the alcohol. Or the person that takes the abuse but defends the abuser in the eyes of others.

    Codependents are great candidates for “predators” like people with personality disorders, especially narcissistic because they are easy to control and “use” and they give much more than what they require.

    So, to heal from any of the these conditions, people need to develop a sense of agency, confidence, and self-esteem. On top of those characteristics, the codependent needs to develop a stronger sense of self, awareness of the abuse, learn to draw boundaries and find out his/her value.