What Are The Signs Of A Codependent Person?: Codependency is a complicated and controversial concept in which behaviours that look or are intended to be supportive, in fact, perpetuate or ‘enable’ unhealthy behaviour in another person and in turn start making sacrifices for ‘the enabler’.
Codependency was originally used to describe dynamics between people with substance abuse and addiction issues and their partners/family, but has since become more widely applied to many dynamics, most often romantic but including familial, social and professional.
If you are codependent, you might be invested in your identity as someone who helps others and is invested in people-pleasing. You might experience low self-esteem, poor boundaries, a ‘saviour’ (or martyr) mentality, perfectionism and control issues. It’s easy to think of codependency as a circular (merry-go-round) relationship in which one person needs the other person, who in turn, needs to be needed.
It is thought that codependency is likely rooted in childhood issues such as emotional neglect, often within households where a parent has a mental health condition or a substance abuse issue and the child’s emotions are mostly ignored or punished. Children in these situations learn to associate caretaking with gaining approval or love, and those patterns persist into adult life.