Written by Kim and Justin Enders

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Table of Contents
Disclaimer (3) Distribution Notice (4) Introduction (5) What is Codependency? (5) What Are The Symptoms of Codependency? (5) What Causes Codependency? (6) Possible Consequences? (7) Am I Codependent? (7) How Do I Get Help For Codependency? (8) My Codependency (Briefly) (8) In Closing (10)

Copyright 2007 www.My-Resell-Portal.com

Disclaimer
The advice given within this Ebook is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used for diagnosis. If a reader feels that they or someone else are indeed codependent, then they are responsible for seeking professional help (and encouraged to do so.) The author will not be held liable for any diagnosis, misdiagnosis, damages or actions on the part of the reader. Reading this ebook indicates agreement with this disclaimer.

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Introduction
I write about codependency with a very personal knowledge of it. You see, as a teenager and on into adulthood, I have struggled with codependency. Even at the height of codependency, I didn’t like being that way. However, I couldn’t seem to find it within myself to live any other way. Nowadays, of course, I’m doing much better. It’s still a struggle but I’m not alone in dealing with it. Within the following pages, I’m going to familiarize you with the condition. You’ll find a lot of basic information about codependency including symptoms, causes and treatment. Note: If you or someone you care about suffers from codependency, take a deep breath and let it out. Things will get better.

What is Codependency?
There is a lot of information out there on what codependency is. To sum it up in a way that I feel makes the most sense, codependency is the inability of a person to function independently, often characterized with that person becoming totally dependent on another person (or persons) to make even the simplest of life decisions.

What Are The Symptoms of Codependency?
Symptoms vary from individual to individual. A codependent can have many of these but no two people will have the same symptoms. The symptoms include: Inability to comprehend what ‘normal’ is. Distrust. Low self esteem. Projecting feelings of low self esteem onto others. Feigned illnesses and stress-induced illnesses. Controlling others or trying to live through or for others. Being extremely judgmental. Inability to maintain or develop meaningful relationships. Inability to enjoy oneself or have fun. Feelings of minimized self worth. Feelings of being victimized and unappreciated. Over-committing oneself. Inability to accept praise. Constant self-criticism. Constant worrying. Repressing one’s own needs and feelings. Withholding anger until it explodes. Placing blame and responsibility for the codependent’s emotions and actions on others.

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Blowing an accomplishment out of proportions in order to validate one’s worth to others. Expecting others to make them happy and satisfy their needs. Tendency to get involved with people who are unreliable, or just emotionally unavailable. Overreacting to change or inability to adapt rationally. Inability to consider alternatives to situations and instead responding impulsively. Frequently pursuing approval from others, even if it means doing something the codependent doesn’t want to do. Feelings of inadequacy, fear, guilt and shame. Behaving over responsible (wanting to be responsible for things to the point of overdoing it) or totally irresponsibly, sometimes bouncing between the two. Shirking responsibility. Ignoring or denying problems. Inability to or lack of confidence to make decisions. Isolation, fear and being anti-social. Resentment and rebelling against authority figures, whether actual authority figures or not. Being oversensitive to criticism. Inability to set and maintain boundaries. Drama making.. ‘stirring the pot’.. causing crises to keep the excitement and drama going. Depending heavily on other people. Fear of abandonment or displaying an abandonment complex. Avoiding relationships to fend off abandonment fears. Inability to discern the difference between love and pity. (i.e. the codependent misinterpreting another’s pity for them for love.) Being in hurtful relationships.. and going from one bad relationship to the next. Showing the need to control others. Compulsive lying, even if telling the truth would’ve been just as easy to do. A constant inclination to find people to take care of. Intimacy problems.

What Causes Codependency?
The research I’ve done suggests a common factor in this venomous condition: an extended period of oppression or exposure to an unhappy home life with the codependent being exposed to a major problem such as alcoholism, mental illness, abuse or neglect. For example, in my case, I grew up in a very dysfunctional family where my parents separated when I was 10, and I went to live with one of my parents who was emotionally unavailable. One of my parents also favored my elder sibling. All of these things contributed to my own feelings of abandonment, inadequacy and unhappiness.

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In another example, a woman (who we’ll cally ‘Toni’) grew up in a family where her mother openly favored her elder sister and she was treated more as a domestic servant than as a loved child. Due to her mother favoring her elder sister and only sibling, Toni was left to get her emotional needs fulfilled by her father. So, the family’s demographic was this: Toni, was the “Daddy’s Girl”, and her sister was “Mama’s Little Angel.” This might’ve not been a big problem except for Toni’s father was a member of the United States Air Force and due to his job, he was gone from home quite often. To this day, Toni still exhibits her codependency heavily and since she’s never received any professional counseling, she shows no signs of ever changing. Another cause for codependency (which I’ve found to be true for several codependents) is living with others on into adulthood (never being able to live alone). Several former friends all cited this as a problem they were aware of. They were so used to living with others, they said, that they found themselves incapable of living alone without fear and loneliness.

Possible Consequences?
The possible consequences of being codependent run between emotional problems (such as depression and anxiety) to physical problems (such as stomach problems, migraines and sleep disorders) to loss of relationships and alienation of the codependent.

Am I Codependent?
Can you relate to the symptoms described in the preceding list of codependency symptoms? Please consider the following questions: Do you feel an overwhelming need to be responsible for others, even at your own expense? Do you feel bored unless you have someone to take under your wing and ‘help out’? Do you feel like it’s too hard to live without someone there with you? Are you terrified of living alone? Afraid to make your own decisions? Do you obsess about someone else and make them the sole focus of your life? Do you bounce from one bad relationship to another OR stay in a bad relationship in order to retain the feeling of ‘belonging’ or being loved?

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After considering the above questions and the symptoms you read earlier, you should be able to discern whether you are codependent even if in the slightest. If you feel you are codependent, then please don’t be ashamed to get help. You are definitely not alone in being codependent.

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How Do I Get Help For Codependency?
What works for one person may not necessarily work for the next. I’ve listed several ideas below on treating your codependency. These are all worth a try although I highly suggest getting a counselor involved before you try anything else. Acknowledge that you have a serious problem. (Your counselor can’t help you if you don’t first acknowledge the codependency issues you have.) Let go of other people and their problems! Accept responsibility for your own feelings and actions. Abandon the need to control other people. In doing so, you free up time and energy to concentrate on yourself and things that will make you happy. Learn to like yourself and base your contentment on yourself and your own actions. Spend time with emotionally healthy people. Get out of destructive relationships. Staying in a bad relationship just because it’s more comfortable than making changes is detrimental. Get professional help. Get one on one counseling to teach yourself how to be more assertive and communicate better. Counseling also helps you identify your self-defeating behaviors and learn better coping skills. Set and keep boundaries. Find a self-help group (often called CODA groups) Look in your phone book or on the Internet for information on the group located nearest to you.

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My Codependency (Briefly)
Admitting to being codependent isn’t easy. Revisiting the symptoms and aspects of my own codependency is galling as well. However, I didn’t feel this ebook would complete with a brief account of my own struggles. My codependency notably started back when I was a teen. At around age 16, I began to latching onto friends. I became clingy and called them all the time. I called them constantly to help me decide how to feel. I called them also to validate myself and to get over my ‘bumps in the road.’ I only felt better if I could get a friend on the phone and vent. I only felt better if I was constantly connecting with them.

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One friend I began to obsess over. I knew it was unhealthy and although I didn’t try to control her like some codependents do, I did spend an unhealthy amount of time with that person. Moving away from where I lived (I was a teen at that time and had no choice) put an end to that relationship. Within months, I moved in with my boyfriend (I’d just turned 18) and got pregnant. A sordid story follows but that doesn’t fall within the scope of this ebook. Needless to say, I found myself a single parent of a little boy, working my butt off at a technical support center for a popular satellite television company. It was my first time living alone and I hated it, pure and simple. I fell back to clinging to others, deathly afraid of going anywhere by myself. (Yes, anxiety does figure into the picture.) Out of the list cited before, my symptoms over the years have included the inability to comprehend what ‘normal’ is, inability to trust others, low self esteem, stress-induced illnesses, living vicariously through others, being extremely judgmental, inability to maintain or develop meaningful relationships, inability to enjoy myself, doing stuff I don’t want to do in order to make other people happy, lack of self worth, feelings of being victimized and unappreciated, occasionally over-committing myself, inability to accept praise, frequent worrying, poor control of needs and feelings, withholding anger, blaming others for my own feelings and actions, blowing accomplishments out of proportion in order to get praise from my hubby, expecting others to make me happy (no longer a problem, fortunately), tendency to get involved with people who are unreliable, inability to consider alternatives to situations and instead respond spontaneously, frequently pursuing approval from others, feelings of inadequacy and shame, behaving irresponsibly and over-responsibly, ignoring or denying problems, isolating myself and being anti-social, rebelling against authority figures, being oversensitive to criticism, inability to set boundaries, depending heavily on my husband, avoiding relationships to fend off abandonment fears and fear of abandonment. Obviously, that is a large portion of the list. Since then, I’ve dropped some of these habits and continued with others. My husband says I’ve become stronger, that I’m a doing a lot better. As of yet, I haven’t undergone counseling for this condition but I am fully aware that I need to seek out counseling. Knowing and acknowledging the problem is the first step to recovering.

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In Closing
My struggles aside, I must say this insidious disorder or condition, whatever you want to call it, is more common than most of us realize. I’ve seen it in my sister, my brother, myself, 3 former friends and people at work.. it’s sad, really. Codependency can be, in all reality, a very real cancer to a person and their loved ones. I know this from firsthand experience. Knowing what it is and acknowledging it is the first step to beating it into submission. Hopefully, this ebook has given you a better insight into the condition and how to do just that.

Copyright 2007 www.My-Resell-Portal.com