22 Signs of Codependency

22 Signs of Codependency
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22 Signs of Codependency will help you understand if you or a loved one suffers from codependency issues. The main consequence of codependency is that codependents, busy taking care of others, forget to take care of themselves, resulting in a disturbance of identity development.

So where does codependency come from? Some adults who did not feel safe or attached to their parents as children may have an ongoing struggle with insecurity in their relationships. They may feel unwanted, uncertain of their attachment to others, worried about possible rejection, or afraid they will lose someone they love. When they find themselves with a partner who is abandoning or inconsistent (for whatever reason), they respond and behave in a fearful way. They may become hyper-vigilant, dwelling on the problems of the people they love, or angry, isolated, jealous, possessive, or obsessed with trying to change or help their partner or child. In the process, they begin to lose their way and find themselves hurting and alone. Since the late 1970’s, this was called codependency and the 22 Signs of Codependency will help you navigate the symptomology for yourself.

The term became commonplace and evolved into a caricature of a passive victim, compulsive caretaker, controller, or enabler often blamed for causing the problem. Drug addiction and anxiety are also commonly matched up. Because codependency is often misunderstood, many professionals are seeking a new way to describe this pattern of loss of oneself and difficulty with regulating emotions—one that does not have a stigma or cause shame. The 22 Signs of Codependency form a rough guideline to see whether you or a loved one needs help to recover from codependency which is also commonly linked to addictions, depression, emotional and personality issues. 

Here are 22 Signs of Codependency 


  • My good feelings about who I am stem from being loved by you


  • My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you


  • Your struggle affects my serenity and peaceful vibes


  • My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or relieving your pain


  • My mental attention is focused on pleasing you


  • My mental attention is focused on protecting you


  • My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems



  • My own hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing your interests and hobbies


  • Your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me


  • Your behaviour is dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.


  • I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel


  • I am not aware of what I want – I ask what you want


  • I am not aware – I assume


  • The dreams I have for my future are linked to you


  • My fear of rejection determines what I say or do


  • My fear of your anger determines what I say or do


  • I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship


  • My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.


  • I put my values aside in order to connect with you


  • I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own


  • The quality of my life is in direct relation to the quality of yours.

Many of us struggle with the question: What is co-dependency? Am I co-dependent? We want precise definitions and diagnostic criteria before we will decide. Thats’s what makes us draw up a list of 22 Signs of Codependency in the first place. Co-dependents Anonymous, as stated in the Eighth Tradition, is a nonprofessional fellowship. We offer no definition or diagnostic criteria for co-dependency, respectfully allowing psychiatric and psychological professionals to accomplish that task. What we do offer from our own experience are characteristic attitudes and behaviours that describe what our co-dependent histories have been like.

Codependency and addiction recovery

How to work on codependency issues

Boundaries are our sense of ourselves, and our perception of how we are different from others physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.  Boundaries exist for our protection.  Our boundaries are not fixed; they change with what we feel and the people we are with.

When our boundaries are intact, we know that we have separate feelings, thoughts, and realities.  Our boundaries allow us to know who we are in relation to others around us.  We need our boundaries to get close to others, since otherwise we would be overwhelmed.

For more help with 22 Signs of Codependency email or call or +27824424779. We help people recover from all addictions, emotional and mental health disorders.