A concept that individuals who live with a person having an alcohol (or other drug) dependence suffer themselves from difficulties of self-image and social independence” ( Levinthal, 210).
The essence of codependency is the false belief (conscious or unconscious) that sacrificing oneself to another person in any form, will produce positive results. Manifestations of codependency include attempts to control another person's behavior. A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior. A codependent is also someone who accepts responsibility for someone else's irresponsible behavior. A pattern of behavior in which those who are in a close relationship with an alcoholic/addict become in turn dependent upon that person's chemical dependency. The codependent builds his or her needs and life around the dependent person. The addict is addicted to the drug, but the codependent is addicted to the addict. The addict may also be codependent.
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 associated with an alcoholic or drug addicted family member.