Definition of codependency
: 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
Did You Know?
Dependency on addictive substances has been known for centuries, but the concept of codependency got its name only as recently as 1979. For many of us, codependency isn't easy to understand; we may keep asking "Why doesn't she just leave him?" and find it hard to accept the answers we get. Codependents usually don't share their partners' addiction, but their lives tend to be taken over with the burden of caring for and protecting the spouse or partner. In recent years, people have started claiming that all kinds of conditions—anorexia, overeating, gambling, fear of intimacy, etc.—can result in codependency. Many experts think all of this has gone too far; still, almost everyone agrees that spouses of alcoholics and drug addicts face unique difficulties and should look for support and advice anywhere they can find it.
First Known Use of codependency
Medical Definition of codependency
: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person manifesting low self-esteem and a strong desire for approval has an unhealthy attachment to another person and places the needs of that person before his or her own ◆In codependency, a person tries to satisfy the needs of another who is often controlling or manipulative and who may have an addictive or emotionally unstable personality. ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
Learn More about codependency
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about codependency
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