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Continuing Education Resources

Online Newsletter Committed to Excellence in the Fields of Mental Health, Addiction, Counseling, Social Work, and Nursing

Why Codependent Relationships are Harmful

Nicole Hiltibran April 18, 2016 Codependency

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Do you agree? Codependent relationships can be harmful and even destructive. Codependent relationships are defined by various sources as the following

  • “Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement
  • a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another.
    1. A relationship wherein two people are overly obsessed with needing each other’s love and approval is an example of a codependent relationship.
    2. An unhealthy relationship where the two people involved are overly reliant on or controlled by each other is an example of a codependent relationship.
    3. A relationship where one person is addicted to alcohol or drugs and is dependent on the other person for them to continue their addiction is an example of a codependent relationship.
      The definition of codependent is a situation where two people mutually rely on each other.”

True codependency ultimately leads to harm for all parties involved. Supporting maladaptive and sometimes harmful behaviors ultimately imprisons all parties in continuing the harmful behavior. Many people have been helped improve their codependent behavior by attending Codependents Anonymous (CODA) and receiving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

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