Girl Behind the Fence: Codependency
Per Mental Health America, over 40 million Americans, mostly women, have actually been diagnosed or labeled as "codependent". In fact, a study using the Beck Depression Inventory and the Codependency Assessment Tool revealed that 14.4 million (36%) of these Americans were also undergoing simultaneous treatment for depression. The study found that the more they answered "yes" to questions like those below, the more impaired they were by their codependency, and the more severe their depression. The next factors measured in this study were that of self-worth and authenticity. It was found that the lower their self-worth, the more they alienated themselves, the less self-awareness they had, and the more severe their depression was. As a natural continuance, the more severe the depression, the less independent they were, and therefore, the more codependent and debilitating their symptoms were. As you can see, it's truly a vicious circle.
Codependent relationships can be between friends, romantic partners, or family members, and often, the relationship includes emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. Friends and family members of a codependent person often recognize that something is wrong but will often not try to help because they would lose their "benefits" should the codependent person become healthy. Like any mental or emotional health issue, treatment requires time and effort, and a strong (but non-enabling and non-codependent) support system, including this book.
Are you codependent? Find out with the included questionnaire. The more you answer "yes", the more likely you could be co-dependent. The bad news is that the severity of codependency increases when the symptoms go ignored. The good news is that with the right help you can regain control of your life, set and maintain healthy boundaries, seek out your authentic and independent self.