Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Co-dependency is a condition in which someone exhibits too much, and often inappropriate, caring for other people's struggles. Co-dependents may try to change, or feel shame about their most private thoughts and feelings if they conflict with this person's struggle. A classic example would be a wife making excuses for a husband's drinking problem.
Co-dependency can also be a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family which is experiencing great emotional pain and stress.
As adults, codependent people have a greater tendency to get involved in relationships with people who are perhaps unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy. And the codependent person tries to provide and control everything within the relationship without addressing their own needs or desires; setting themselves up for continued unfulfillment.
Some symptoms of codependency are: controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of feelings, intimacy problems, caretaking behavior, hypervigilance or physical illness related to stress.
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