Question: What is the root of codependency?

Codependency is usually rooted in childhood. Often, a child grows up in a home where their emotions are ignored or punished. This emotional neglect can give the child low self-esteem and shame. They may believe their needs are not worth attending to.

Where does codependency stem from?

Codependency is a learned behavior that usually stems from past behavioral patterns and emotional difficulties. It was once thought to be a result of living with an alcoholic parent. Experts now say codependency can result from a range of situations.

What is the history of codependency?

History. The idea of codependency may have its roots in the theories of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In 1941, she proposed that some people adopt what she termed a Moving Toward personality style to overcome their basic anxiety.

What leads to codependency?

Codependency may arise when someone is in a relationship with a person who has an addiction. The partner may abuse substances, or they may have an addiction to gambling or shopping. The person with codependency may take on a “caretaker” role for their partner.

Why do people struggle with codependency?

Codependency can also develop from living in an abusive household or relationship. Emotional abuse can make people feel small or unimportant. Codependent behaviors can develop as a way to counteract those feelings. For example, someone may act as caretaker for a person with addiction in order to feel needed.

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