Am I co-dependant? Exploring co-dependancy and beyond!

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Health, Healthy Divorce

Co-dependancy in its simplest form is a loss of our sense of self, our confidence and our ability to trust ourselves. Many codependants have never been taught nor have they experienced healthy ways of being in relationships with others or themselves.

Although co-dependancy is not a recognised mental or emotional disorder, it can impact one’s life significantly. Co-dependancy leads to dysfunctional and often toxic and even abusive relationships.

The following are some questions that you may wish to ask yourself, to determine whether you have co-dependant traits- they are not an exhaustive list and they are offered as an aid in your self-growth:

In Denial:

1. You have difficulty articulating how you are feeling.
2. You minimise, ignore or deny how you are really feeling.
3. You see myself as dedicated to the needs of others and you recognise yourself as unselfish.

In Agreement:

1. You often ‘give-in’ to avoid conflict or you don’t express your views honestly for fear of being rejected by others.
2. You are overly sensitive to the feelings of other people and go out of your way to ‘check in’ on them.
3. You are exceptionally loyal to the point of your own emotional detriment. You remain in situations that are not healthy for you.
4. You often ignore your own needs and prioritize another’s needs.
5. You neglect your hobbies or interests to do what others want.
6. You have confused sex with love and often agree to have sex when you want love and intimacy.

In sacrifice of Self:

1. You are unable to make decisions.
2. You need the approval of others.
3. You feel ‘incomplete’.
4. You often feel and say ‘I’m not good enough’.
5. You feel unworthy of love or respect.

It is important to know that co-dependant patterns of behaviour are learnt and arise in our early childhoods. They often occur when we have grown up in families where one parent was an addict, for example an alcoholic or where we as children have experienced abandonment, rejection or neglect by our primary carers.

In these families, you may have adopted the role of ‘the parentified child’ or ‘the family clown’ that becomes the ‘butt’ of jokes and kept the family ‘connected’ or perhaps you were the scape-goat, where you were blamed for everyone else’s poor behaviour.

Co-dependant adults often have difficulty saying no, without a sense of fear, guilt or shame.

In service of Self:

The great news is that you can heal yourself, through self-awareness, self-care and spiritual growth. It will take commitment on your part and time for you to learn new ways of being in the world. Thankfully we now know that the brain can ‘re-program’ or ‘re-wire’ old and negative co-dependant patterns.

Are you ready to take the next steps!


If you want to learn more from Pamela about the benefits of a happy and healthy life, then email for more information.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace any specific advice from a lawyer, counsellor or any other medical professional. The article is general information only.