Thursday, October 28, 2010

Untreated Co-Dependency

Physical, emotional, and psychological problems often result from untreated "co-dependency." According to psychiatric/psychological literature, "co-dependency" is a personality disorder born out of a dysfunctional relationship with one's self by "living through or for another." An example is that of a young woman in therapy suffering from gastro-intestinal disturbances, migraine headaches, insomnia, and other stress related illnesses. In the course of therapeutic exploration, she revealed how deeply she believes that her mother and others are at fault and responsible for her unhappiness and problems. An expert in knowing how her mother and others should behave, she tried to "fix" them and take control through threats, manipulation, helplessness, coercion, advice giving, and domination. This resulted in ongoing painful relationship dysfunction, depression, anger outbursts, severe anxieties, and a cycle of hyperactivity/lethargy. Therapy for "co-dependency" involves reframing one's relationship with one's self, taking responsibility for one's own actions and feelings, and "letting go" that frees one to use energy to more productive purposes.

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load."  (Galatians 6: 1-5)

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