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Codependency is a myth
January 26, 2005
9:25 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Sorry, I meant to say "Martyrdom is also a form of manipulation."

January 26, 2005
9:37 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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Hmmmm...

I'm thinking on this WD. It's ironic, but I'm more of a mosaic in sobriety than I ever was drunk.

PL

January 26, 2005
9:54 pm
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Whew! WD, well put. You took a whole afternoon's work and processed it into a single posting. Not to say there is more to be said about the subject title. Thanks for seeing the big picture as well.

Just to add that the bantering was a good exercise, too.

January 26, 2005
10:27 pm
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Here is another problem I have. Codependency, the term, has been so widely used to cover a vast amount of different dysfunctional traits. Neverminding the masking of "real" personality disorders, consider that the word itself is used by people who see themselves as suffering and have a need to identify the illness they suffer from.

When I see a posting like "My life is falling apart from codependency." I see that there is misery there but not much else. It is literally like people have capitulated to this concept, that codependency is anything in a relationship that makes me feel bad, and in so doing found a way to avoid the real issues behind their pain. I don't think this is what anyone wanted. I just think this is what has happenned.

WD touched on it, in that it is a label which re-victimizes victims, but where is there any empowerment in the assumption of such a degrading label. It assumes such a vast degree of dysfunction that one is instantly confounded once it has been bestowed upon them.

Also, no one, has been able to tell me what codependency is. There are trite regurgitations that seemingly throwback to when I first heard the term in 1988 but no one has been able to say Codependence is this or that.

I have seen people diagnose themselves with codependent behaviors or say their thinking was codependent but that I should be able to dissemenate the reasoning behind their deductions remains enigmatic, at best.

The thinking seems to be I am miserable, and I am in a relationship, and I am not getting what I want or need or the other person is doing something to me that makes me upset, and by the virtue of being in that relationship and being miserable in it, I must be codependent. Since I am codependent, all of my thinking is flawed, or maybe not all of my thinking is flawed but enough of it to make me miserable and since I am miserable I have to be on gaurd against all of my thinking, scrutinizing it for any vestige of codependency. The only cure for codependency is to not be codependent so I am going to make sure that every thought I have, and every feeling I have, will be scrutinized and filterred so that I won't be codependent. And before you know it all that I am is one gigantic feedback loop, talking in circles at CODA meetings, sounding like a blithering idiot because I have lost my train of thought and the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, up from down, left from right, codependent from noncodependent.

It makes no sense. Everyone who maintains that they are codependent seems also frightfully lacking in any kind of solution for the problem. This is understandable since the problem isn't really a problem but only exists because people believe it is a problem.

So, tell me. If you really believe in it, what is codependency? What is the solution for it?

January 27, 2005
11:48 am
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Cici
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Codependency, is just a word. Like every word, occassionally (very occassionally) it is used appropriately, and more often than not it is used inappropriately. Anyone who has the balls to self-diagnose themselves is probably suffering from the most common problem of the human condition: a lack of appropriate coping skills to deal with the normal stressors of life.

"codependents" have certain common traits - most come from abusive homes, most have severe low self-esteem, most repeat the abuse they suffered during their formative years by re-enacting the trauma repeatedly in various ways through their interpersonal relationships, both with friends and lovers, and hell, with co-workers and family members.

They re-enact the trauma because familiarity is comfort, and low self-esteem is self-propogating. Most of these individuals consistently choose to sabotage opportunities for healthy intereactions, and many have substance abuse problems because, drug of choice (whatever it is, from porn to work to religion to drugs and alcohol) allows them to distance themselves emotionally from situations that are stressful, or, in extreme cases, from reality in general.

Having worked with the SPMI (severely and persistently mentally ill) population in the forensic mental hospital setting, I can assure you - personality disorders can and do exist. Most are difficult to treat and some, in all honesty, my mentor told me outright that in his opinion, borderline personality disorder takes a minimum of 10 years in-patient treatment to even make a dent. Because, of course, you have to basically destroy and recreate an entire personality. The military engages in this practice a lot, it's called DEPROGRAMMING.

Codependency is a label. Useful because it is an umbrella set of symptoms/reactive behaviors.

The way to treat it, like any disease, is to identify triggers, inappropriate reactions, and consequences, and to use cognitive behavioral methods to re-train the individual to approach similar life situations in a healthy manner.

A "codependent", say, has manipulative tendencies - you identify which situations increase manipulative behaviors, identify triggers, help the individual perceive those unhealthy interactions and reactions, and teach them new coping skills to deal with stress. Say they use manipulation in relationships in response to insecurity stemming from low self-esteem. Identifying this, and giving other options, such as stating aloud the perceived injury, and giving options for how the partner can help their "codepedent" lover make amends, for example.

teaching new conflict resolution skills.

It's a long process to re-train yourself to approach life in a more balanced manner. It is ultimately about percetion. You are unhappy. You do something about that unhappiness. You become more satisfied with life.

Whether this requires a specific label is (to be redundant) specific to the individual. Some people simply need to have that.

Treatment for any mental illness or dysfunction is individual-specific.

The issue is wanting to get better. Familiarity is comfort, even if what is familiar is abusive and painful. Few people have the courage to face their demons. Most medicate or avoid. Overcoming codependency is like overcoming addiction.

You say you were in AA. I have had severe addiction problems, on and off, for nearly 7 years now. In my experience, AA and NA helped very little. I believe in God, but believe my "salvation" lies in my own actions, thoughts and choices, not in a mere belief in something greater than myself. For me, I will battle addiction for the rest of my life. Lucky you that it seems to have disappeared. I'm jealous. I have to fight the urge to drink, or do any of the drugs I've abused (everything, at this point, but crack cocaine), on a pretty constant basis.

In my opinion, it is the same with codependency. At any moment you could be triggered to indulge in the familiar and comfortable habituations from your past.

January 27, 2005
3:49 pm
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Codependency, is just a word. Like every word, occassionally (very occassionally) it is used appropriately, and more often than not it is used inappropriately. Anyone who has the balls to self-diagnose themselves is probably suffering from the most common problem of the human condition: a lack of appropriate coping skills to deal with the normal stressors of life.

~I would submit that self-diagnoses is a last resort. I believe that it is something undertaken with great suffering in mind and done long after any vestige of balls has been dismantled.

-What are appropriate coping skills? It is commonly assumed that many psychological disorders are precipitated by a prolonged, habitual adaptation in order to effectively respond to an adverse environment. Behaviors and thoughts that are adaptive in one environment bring a person into conflict in another. I would submit that a great deal of emphasis has been put in studying what is dysfunctional and that not enough has been placed in functionality.

"codependents" have certain common traits - most come from abusive homes, most have severe low self-esteem, most repeat the abuse they suffered during their formative years by re-enacting the trauma repeatedly in various ways through their interpersonal relationships, both with friends and lovers, and hell, with co-workers and family members.

-Conversly it could be said that persons with antisocial personality disorder have high self-esteem. There was an experiment in prison populations a while back that illustrated this in abundance. It even eclipsed their ability to register that their own actions were the cause of their incarceration. I'll stop short of saying that self-esteem is a non-issue but this topic alone could take hours to unfold and in the interest of proceeding I cede this point currently.

They re-enact the trauma because familiarity is comfort, and low self-esteem is self-propogating. Most of these individuals consistently choose to sabotage opportunities for healthy intereactions, and many have substance abuse problems because, drug of choice (whatever it is, from porn to work to religion to drugs and alcohol) allows them to distance themselves emotionally from situations that are stressful, or, in extreme cases, from reality in general.

-Or perhaps, through a combination of habit and ignorance of appropriate behavior they unknowingly sabotage healthy interactions. Miss Manners has an excellent series of books that have been helpful to me, despite some current appearances to the contrary, in modulating my behavior to accomodate all social situations. The bottom line is that results count and if one continues to achieve a lacklustre existence one is certainly going to not feel good about it. Is this low self-esteem or beneficial critical thinking. I do think that, as a species, we have a tendency to do too much self-evaluation and in that endeavor manifest harm to ourselves, and one another, that is often counter-productive.

Having worked with the SPMI (severely and persistently mentally ill) population in the forensic mental hospital setting, I can assure you - personality disorders can and do exist. Most are difficult to treat and some, in all honesty, my mentor told me outright that in his opinion, borderline personality disorder takes a minimum of 10 years in-patient treatment to even make a dent. Because, of course, you have to basically destroy and recreate an entire personality. The military engages in this practice a lot, it's called DEPROGRAMMING.

-I agree with you, that mental disorders do exist. I've read numerous books, including the DSM, that indicate they do as well. One has only to shift over to the support threads to see them in their glorious manifest.

-I would submit a more apt term for the behavior modification that the military engages in is reprogramming. I would also say that military training is not the equivalent of legitamate psychotherapy.

Codependency is a label. Useful because it is an umbrella set of symptoms/reactive behaviors.

-Is it a label OR an umbrella set of symptoms/reactive behaviors? I think it is a term that lazy therapists use to diagnose patients for whom no other problem can be readily identified and treated. The patient has too few of or the therapist can't recognize al of the symptoms that the patient is presenting. The patient is, however, exhibiting behavior that is consistent with the model put forth for codependency so the therapist, lacking in ability otherwise, now has an easy diagnoses with which to entrap an individual in endless circles of logic that further serve to precipitate the patient's symptoms, lending credence to the therapists orriginal diagnosis, and tertiarily extending the length of time it takes to treat the customer. I mean patient. Sorry. Not customer. Patient.

The way to treat it, like any disease, is to identify triggers, inappropriate reactions, and consequences, and to use cognitive behavioral methods to re-train the individual to approach similar life situations in a healthy manner.

-Here, right here we are getting closer to the crux of the situation. Linear thinking at its worst. Reducing life to an IF THEN statement is not an adequate approach.

A "codependent", say, has manipulative tendencies - you identify which situations increase manipulative behaviors, identify triggers, help the individual perceive those unhealthy interactions and reactions, and teach them new coping skills to deal with stress. Say they use manipulation in relationships in response to insecurity stemming from low self-esteem. Identifying this, and giving other options, such as stating aloud the perceived injury, and giving options for how the partner can help their "codepedent" lover make amends, for example.

-I'll submit to you that the above is an example of the flaw in Western Medicine. Too much emphasis has been placed on treating the symptoms; low self-esteem, poor social interaction, maladaptive stress reactions, and not enough on the cause of the symptoms and definately not enough on the solutions.

-The only thing that is accomplished in the theraputic model above is that the individual is being trained to react the same way to all situations that bare similarity to the present example. Momoru Oshii, in Ghost in the Shell, says that within both individuals organizations any system that reacts the same way to all things is a system with a fatal flaw.

teaching new conflict resolution skills.

It's a long process to re-train yourself to approach life in a more balanced manner. It is ultimately about percetion. You are unhappy. You do something about that unhappiness. You become more satisfied with life.

-I'm unhappy. I shoot heroin. Okay.

-A long and frustrating process that is made more harmful and frustrating, not less, by the use of such words as codependency and the overly misdiagnosed borderline personality disorder.

Whether this requires a specific label is (to be redundant) specific to the individual. Some people simply need to have that.

-I think the onus of need falls squarely into the lap of the segment of psychology professionals who for no other reason than a need to cultivate in another person, a solution which is vague and unreliable, for a problem that is enigmatic and intangible, perhaps not to line thier pockets with the invariably numerous visits that are to take place in the course of treatment but rather because no other solution is readily sought after. How about just plain laziness and dishonesty?

Treatment for any mental illness or dysfunction is individual-specific.

-True.

The issue is wanting to get better. Familiarity is comfort, even if what is familiar is abusive and painful. Few people have the courage to face their demons. Most medicate or avoid. Overcoming codependency is like overcoming addiction.

-True with the exception that alcoholism, crack addiction, herion addiction, and compulsive gambling exist. There is no such thing as codependency.

You say you were in AA. I have had severe addiction problems, on and off, for nearly 7 years now. In my experience, AA and NA helped very little. I believe in God, but believe my "salvation" lies in my own actions, thoughts and choices, not in a mere belief in something greater than myself. For me, I will battle addiction for the rest of my life. Lucky you that it seems to have disappeared. I'm jealous. I have to fight the urge to drink, or do any of the drugs I've abused (everything, at this point, but crack cocaine), on a pretty constant basis.

-My problem with drinking didn't just disappear. I did wake up the next day after my last drink having decided to never drink again but then I spent 9 months in a living hell of cyclonic thinking and mood. The difference is that I went to AA and was able to find a group of people, not just one or two, but upwards of 100 who used all twelve of the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity then and there.

-That's great that you believe in God but you've only done two of the steps by my count and the second one is lacklustre at best. It has been said to me that if you want to know what you want, take a look at what you've got.

-You may just have said the magic words when you indicated that for me, the drinking problem has disappeared. I would suggest you read the Big Book and there in, the doctor's opinion, the first 164 pages, and the appendix on the Spiritual Experience.

-"In a previous post I wrote: Alcoholics Anonymous, a once thriving concern, is now irrelevant. It has become poluted with multiple streams of thought that have corroded the Big Book's meaning and sabotaged a message that could once be conveyed with merit and accountability.

-"The codependence movement, among others, is partly responsible for the loss of efficacy within that organization."

-In response to this tragedy, and one of the many courses of actions that I am pursuing myself, secret enclaves of AA are being established throughout the country that exist separately from the intergroup chapters and central offices that now only function as nodes that provide contact to massive dysfunction. I emerged from one such group but they are hard to find and it was not until I had given up on finding a meeting where the discourse wasn't relegated to talking in circles about issues having nothing to do with alcoholism or its solution that I found a vestige of this enclave in the city I was living in.

In my opinion, it is the same with codependency. At any moment you could be triggered to indulge in the familiar and comfortable habituations from your past.

-Unlikely. Triggers are another concept that have diminished and poluted the content of AA meetings. In the last three homes I have lived in I have had access to alcohol and have been through what some would consider a living hell throughout my tennancy in those homes. Through all of that I never came close to taking a drink. If you have a program that is based, in whatever portion, on the recognition and avoidance of triggers and you are a real alcoholic of the hopeless variety than you are fucked.

January 27, 2005
4:17 pm
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Cici
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Functionality? See Martin Seligman's Learned Optimism - the pioneer in learned helplessness and depression research.

Also, the entire philosophical approach of humanistic psychology. See Viktor Frankl.

The key component in APD is a lack of personal morality, less ego, more inability to function within the boundaries established by society.

Deprogramming is legitamte psychotherapy and is used for people with severe PTSD. It is also used for deep cover operatives. My father was deprogrammed after going to permanent shore duty. Apt term or not, this is the term they employ.

Circular logic re: drug abuse. I've done heroin, hon. It doesn't make you feel better or more satisfied with your life, no drugs do. My drug probelm is part and parcel of my maladaptive reactions to stress, but they never leave me feeling better.

The onus of need falls on the psychotherapist? Heck if the patient doesn't want a label, they don't give you one. I have gone months in therapy without asking for my specific diagnosis because I didn't want the label, it didn't help me.

The issue isn't avoidance of triggers. That's what a person with PTSD tries to do, they end up hitting the ground every time someone's tire blows. The issue is identifying and learning new, appropriate coping skills.

Seligman's research on positivistic psychology, the new en vogue movement in psych research (so you are merely a tragic victim of zeitgeist more than anything else, this isn't a revelation) focuses on the coping skills that are employed by what we could typify as "psycholgically healthy people" - people who, when confronted with the normal stressors of life, don't fall into the trap of substance abuse or self-abuse.

per Seligman, any individual can train themselves through cognitive behavioral exercises, to be "optimistic."

your frustration is yours, that's cool. accept the fact that people view the world differently - as the buddha instructed us, there are many paths to the same end. if a person is stuck in suffering that is their choice. but there is also the adage, the deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blossom.

and yes i do find it hard to believe that you've learned more appropriate methods of socializing through ms. manners.

therapeutically, people get better when they want to, period. In my undergrad practicum my mentor said that 90% of the effort in therapy comes from the patient, not the therapist. so it's your choice to be so bothered and frustrated by the issues of others, with whom you have no other attachment or interaction other than very biased self-reports typed on a website.

January 27, 2005
5:13 pm
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But I do have an interaction with them. They come to AA meetings and talk about avoiding triggers and however else they are fucked up and they share and they share and the share to no end and then when they find that they are just as fucked up as when they came in they leave having crapped all over the place they now decry.

You seem to so readily have taken up this cause but I haven't read anything from you that points to any enlightenment. You still seem to be suffering on a constant basis.

I doubt Buhda had in mind the degree of dysfunction to which we are speaking of in his rumanation on mud.

Where are the clinical trials per Seligman? The last I read corporate psychologists were still having problems distinguishing between psychopaths and people without that pathology who had successfully climbed the corporate ladder. (Popular Science - November/December '04 - I think.) Have they already developed a model for appropriate behavior that has since been successfully incorporated in the treatment of dysfunctional individuals? With what degree of success? My perception still maintains that much of our own understanding of how the mind works remains unrevealed. I suppose I'll need to read the book but from all appearances you haven't seemed to be able to incorporate it or much of anything else that would show me even a nominal efficacy of the theories you are advocating.

You're right. I suppose deprogramming is a more apt term to treat people who suffer from PTSD but in the limitted context provided I thought you were talking about basic training, not ASD or PTSD.

I am not botherred by the choices of anyone unless it directly affects me. Even in the case of people who come to AA meetings presenting with codependent issues I suffer a nominal degree of pain. I'm certainly not going to drink on it and regardless of the content of this discussion won't lose any sleep tonight either.

I will say this, that AA is it stands currently, kills more drunks than it cures and I will say that the psychiatric community in this country posesses a large degree of responsibility for that. My aim here is to understand the nature of the problem and in so doing find its solution. Remember, I am just a child throwing rocks into the stream to watch the ripples and understand their meaning.

You want to point out that you are more qualified than me because you are more acquainted with fucked up than I am, go ahead. If you want to reduce this to a discussion of qualifications rather than elevate it to rational dialogue I hope it makes you happy. Go ahead and keep on slamming your credentials down on the table. It is a far easier thing to do than to actually provide a dialogue on your part that is in any way useful.

January 27, 2005
5:49 pm
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Hello Phalic!

I like what you have to say about our general lack of understanding about how the mind works. I'd like to take that a little deeper and state that we have even less understanding of how spirit works. It could be compared to your observation that we spend too much time treating symptoms, not the problems. Spirit is the "deeper" force.

I also like your statements about being not unlike a child throwing rocks in water and seeing the impact of the ripples. If the surface of the water was infinite, would the ripples also be infinite? If one could compare our actions to the tossing of a pebble into a pond, could we not also have the potential to create tsunami-like ripples?

In the midst of all of this, how important is it to you whether or not codependency is "real?" In the grand scheme of things, this debate is somewhat beneath your level of intellect and spiritual maturity...

Love,

Ren'ai

January 27, 2005
6:39 pm
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I am neither above or beneath anything. Perhaps in studying the ripples in one part of a stream light can be shed on the whole. Perhaps in reflecting on the whole revelations about parts of it will be revealed.

I agree with you, that there is a spiritual problem, that isn't being addressed but now I'm switching back to your thread to ponder the jewel I just found there.

January 27, 2005
11:25 pm
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hi everyone,

I wonder why it is, so much time is spent debating issues so unimportant as "codependency is or is not real"

My knowledge is limited. I agree with Phalic in the sense that FOR ME, codep would become a prison of symptoms if I dwelled on the why's and when's. My choice is to ask what can I do to stop that? I read Sark, who tells me she painted, went to lunch or dinner alone and entered the building feeling everyone would be happy to have her company. This thought process might be considered narcissistic in some circles but to a person exhibiting "codep" actions this is salvation thinking!!!

Self esteem is a huge part of this cycle of behavior as is manipulation. Personally, as I look back at my life, I gave into manipulation as a defense against being manipulated. When in Rome!

Now though, I'd like to live by the Four Agreements as set forth through Toltec wisdom.

1) Be impeccable with your word.

2) Don't take anything personally.

3) Don't make assumptions.

and

4) Always do your best.

Couldn't boil it down any further than that!

January 28, 2005
10:44 am
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hey i love a healthy debate. i am annoyed by people who bait others merely to stand on a soapbox.

my point is, some patients not only require, they demand a label to identify themselves. Others, like me, attend to the therapeutic process without the necessity of labels because I am aware enough and have enough insight that I know what direction I am trying to push my cognitive re-training in.

The buddha, well - he spoke of dysfunction far greater than you and I could ever relate or understand. Upon achieving enlightenment, he was made aware of all previous lifetimes, some of which took place in hell.

That said, google "Martin Seligman", and google "Positivistic Psychology". That should answer your questions.

The personalization of your attack was pretty amusing. In our current age of delusion, no one is supposed to be able to achieve enlightenment, until the maitreiya buddha arrives.

again, you mention "avoiding triggers" - but I have, twice, mentioned "identifying triggers and retraining behavioral reactions". Apples and oranges, my friend.

thanks for the intellectual stimulation.

January 28, 2005
10:52 am
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BTW I've seen so many trolls come and go on this site. Even trolls I didn't think were trolls. Remember the tone of the site. SC does a great job maintaining control.

January 28, 2005
2:21 pm
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And sometimes even I am wrong, Cici.

January 28, 2005
3:35 pm
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Cici,

And a lot of times I am wrong. I'm sorry, looking at my statements objectively on this thread, if I take a somewhat conceited if not altogether narcissistic tone and I am happy that you are amused by them. I'm also glad that I could at least provide you with some intellectual stimulation.

Believe me, you have provided me with more than a simple intellectual challenge and I would hate to see that discontinued.

In the end I submit the Buhda quote to you that you submitted here first in that these are sufficiently muddy waters. Thanks for planting your seeds here.

Sincerly,

PL

January 29, 2005
6:41 pm
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Cici makes a good point. There are scads of people out there who, when they ask the question "What's wrong with me?" want to be diagnosed.

Dangerous, because I've seen lots of misdiagnosis and it is hard as hell to get that shit off your medical records once it's there...

Phalic, you are also right. If someone diagnosis me with terminal cancer, what good does it do if I get hit by a train and killed when I walk out of the doctor's office?

I feel like I may have just opened a can of worms here, I'm just not sure what it is...

Love to all,

Ren'ai

January 29, 2005
8:56 pm
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Ren'ai,

You mentioned that Cici stated that when people question :'what's wrong with me?' they are looking for some diagnosis. Very often true. Having something concrete, putting a 'label' on the problem, provides some reasurrance. It can calm the dragon of fear to know what the diagnosis is, to better cope with the illness.

This can be good. It can be positive with taking a step forwoard in our treatment plan. It gives one ownership of themselves with this diagnosis/illness. It provides the opportunity for decison making on what shall be done for treatment? How do I handle this illness? What plans do I immediately need to take care of in my life, for my family and for myself? What are the possible outcomes for my future? What plans do I need to do with my future?

Yes, a diagnosis gives them an 'answer', so to speak of what their problem is. However, with that in mind, people often believe there is a simple quick fix to their 'issues' or problem, as they see it. Having a label and taking a little pink pill takes care of everything. It makes for less work in identifying what the real issues are. The magic pink pill is seen to magnificently take care of what ails them for healing all problems, whether mental or physical.

In this case, having a diagnosis and a handy pill can be harmful. People whom want a ready made answer with diagnosising and pill popping can irresponsibly ignore the real problem or what they need to do to remain in the best mental and physical they can. It can also be used for making excuses for ones own actions, because after all, the illogical reasoning of labeling masks the truth.

As for your logic in what good does it do knowing that you have cancer, if tommarrow you are hit by a truck? I suppose if you had no plans for the future or had high medical bills, then the truck might be the quick fix. However, since we look where we are going, and as humans do not go looking for pain, I wonder what your odds are of that happening? I would say better to take care of the illness, as your future/outcome and quality of life depends upon it.

Sew

January 30, 2005
1:36 am
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Sew,

You hit on it perfectly and I also think it's a point that has been touched on a number of times. Codependency is a panacea diagnosis. It's a one size fits all grab-bag of dysfunctions.

When I think of codependency, and try to apply a meaning to it, I think of a condition that is more akin to passive aggressive or dependent personality disorder. I was told, by therapists and by my best friend, who herself was in recovery, that I was codependent. It struck me as wrong. So wrong that I was infuriated by it and me being the introspective kid that I was, bought into it in the belief of that which makes me angry must be true.

When you assume that codependency is real you assume that every action made by another person, no matter how trivial, or how special, has at least the capacity to harbor an ulterior meaning.

You also start looking for ulterior motives harbored within yourself. Life becomes more about trying insure that there are no hidden agendas and less about enjoying all that life has to offer or, for that matter, contributing to the enjoyment of life for others.

Sew, There was an entry you made, jokingly, earlier that illustrates my point precisely:

Sew: A play on words with my nickname? Cute.

Then again, if I see myself as insecure and codependent, I could be: A) overly, unreasonalbly flattered OR B) hurt that you jest at me?

Neither, I assure you. But I could not resist!

in reply to:

Me: Sew close and not Sew far away. Sew with words Sews what she says. Sew closer now and closer soon. So we all may reap what Sew will Sew.

In this paradigm, and I have been trying to never have to use that word, we assume everything is not what it seems. In short, that life is a perversion or at least contains, with every action, a capacity for perversion.

The way I approach life with regard to a specific action I take is to ask one simple question before I do anything: Is this the right thing to do? (Disclaimer: It is impossible to always do the right thing.) It's simple. I don't weigh the implications of anything.

I'm staying at a friend's house. Being unemployed he and his family have extended me a kindness beyond normal consideration. In return I elect to do some chores on a regular basis while I try and find work. Their is no ulterior motive in it. It is simply the right thing to do.

When I am dating someone I like to do things that make them happy, regardless of the return. The last woman I dated I purchased a book for. Of course, I wanted it to work out better than it did, but in the end I wanted to make her happy. It was not an effort to 'buy' her affection. It was the right thing to do. It made her happy at a nominal cost to me.

January 30, 2005
8:44 pm
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SweetAmanda
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PL,

I like what you said in your last post...

I don't think codependency is a myth however. It has been (like so many other things) stretched out and expanded to include things that can sometimes be ridiculous. And if one is not careful, they can get too analytical and start second-guessing every single thing a person does.

I do this. Then I argue in my head about it. Then I wonder what is wrong with me. Then I mess up relationships. Then blah blah blah.

Bottom line: I miss out on LIFE. That's what the whole point is, I think. There is a balance that must be achieved: Don’t overthink and ruin a good thing when you have it... Yet learn from a first mistake, or better yet learn from other’s!

Once someone is hurt and they try to get better, I think it's natural for them to be extra-careful.

Yeah I will admit, I may have been a frigid bitch to people who had no intentions of hurting me... I may have missed out on some good opportunities in my life because I was scared of getting hurt... But those are the very traits that saved my life when all I could depend on was me! I like a quote from a song about that very thing: "It used to be the reason I breathed, but now it’s choking me up."

My goal now is to learn when to be on guard and when it’s safe to learn to be me.

~Amanda~

January 30, 2005
10:27 pm
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sewunique
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PL,

In referring to my post, you said that :
"Codependency is a panacea diagnosis. It's a one size fits all grab-bag of dysfunctions."

I disagree to your statement as an absolute. It may be used as a panacea in many cases, and in many situations in which I belief people are self diagnosing as an answer to "what is really going on with me".

This is may be used rather than getting to the crux of the real issues of what is going on in their lives, or when many people may indeed have problems where seeking the advice, evaluation and diagnosis of what the true problem is, such as true mental health problems.

The term "codependency", is a popular term right now. Being 'fashionable', if you may, is currently more socially acceptable. Many books that are best sellers address it. It is used on TV by popular celevrities on their shows. And as you said, it has entered into the 'safely socially acceptable' groups of AAA and Al-anon. Which, these groups are a lesser benefit to codependent seeking guidance than going to the Coda groups. So when something becomes 'socially acceptable', many people climb on board the bandwagon and self label as being codependent. It is much easier to say :I am codepent" than to say; "I allowed myself to be abused in an adult relationship or as a child." There is shame and misunderstnading when one finally realizes or may begin to be able to talk about their having been, or currently are in, an abusive situation. Not only hard to talk about to others, but when doing so, many people who may not understand abbuse or codependency, may turn away, or return with negative, unsympathetic feedback. the erson verbalizing the abuse, may give up and return to the safety of the 'socially acceptable term', "well, I am just codependent."

The other reason persons may reach for the term and self label themselves as being codependent, is the continured fear and stigma of mental illness. Who wants to be labeled with the illnesses that once in our society, mental institutions was the only answer? I believe many people are afraid of finding out that they will be labeled/diagnosed with something that is listed in the DSM IV for the rest of their lives.

So I believe their are many reasons that people capture this word of codependency, and use it for a safety net. There is so much information on codependency out there right now, that when one is searching for answers, this may be the easiest way to start to identify and resovle some of their problems and issues. The term codependency covers such a vast area of 'symptoms' that it is easy for one to at least identify with it, rather than seeing there may be many other choices of what their true problems are and what the true cause of their problems are.

At least when people begin to identify with being 'codependent', they can begin to deal with improving their lives. It gives them hope, it gives them a'name' to put on their problems so they can begin to go forward.

Sew

January 30, 2005
10:49 pm
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Amanda,

In referring to your post, I agree with how well you put how using the term copendency, can be overstretched to simple be used as an excuse for every little thing a person does. We can see the person not as they truely are, but in everything they say and do, in relation that their traits all are do to being codependent. We may miss who that person has to offer or who they really are by labeling, as you said:

"don't think codependency is a myth however. It has been (like so many other things) stretched out and expanded to include things that can sometimes be ridiculous. And if one is not careful, they can get too analytical and start second-guessing every single thing a person does."

You make a very strong point and express it so clearly when you explained that becoming too analytical about what a person does in labeling codependency:

"Bottom line: I miss out on LIFE. That's what the whole point is, I think. There is a balance that must be achieved: Don’t overthink and ruin a good thing when you have it... Yet learn from a first mistake, or better yet learn from other’s! "

Yes, I agree that we need balance in our life, rather than becoming totally fixated on just what codependency is and how it should or will govern our lives. Whether we are seeing ourselves as being codependent or not, should we not be learning from our mistakes, rather than returning to them repeadtedly?

"Course, some people attend the 'school of hard-knocks' to learn how to how to just repaeat their mistakes over and over and never get past them.

Sew

January 30, 2005
10:53 pm
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sewunique
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I believe that PL also addressed in his post, saying:

"When you assume that codependency is real you assume that every action made by another person, no matter how trivial, or how special, has at least the capacity to harbor an ulterior meaning.

You also start looking for ulterior motives harbored within yourself. Life becomes more about trying insure that there are no hidden agendas and less about enjoying all that life has to offer or, for that matter, contributing to the enjoyment of life for others."

Sew

January 31, 2005
7:47 pm
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Phalic_Liberator

In your posting of 27-Jan-05 you said:

"I will say this, that AA is it stands currently, kills more drunks than it cures and I will say that the psychiatric community in this country posesses a large degree of responsibility for that."

I have the impression that alcoholism kills alcoholics, not AA. Given the slim possibility that what you say above might have a shread of truth in it, I am puzzled. Why do you still attend meetings? Isn't it dangerous to do so??

If on the other hand AA has some saving graces, I am somewhat puzzled by your lack of gratitude for having AA there when you needed it. You seem to have forgotten your last drink, my friend.

And:

"My aim here is to understand the nature of the problem and in so doing find its solution. Remember, I am just a child throwing rocks into the stream to watch the ripples and understand their meaning."

Me thinketh that the proverbial 'bull in a china shop' might be a better analogy. Be very careful my friend - there may be another drink left in you, even yet!

January 31, 2005
8:49 pm
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Phalic_Liberator

In your posting of 27-Jan-05 you said:

"I will say this, that AA is it stands currently, kills more drunks than it cures and I will say that the psychiatric community in this country posesses a large degree of responsibility for that."

I have the impression that alcoholism kills alcoholics, not AA. Given the slim possibility that what you say above might have a shread of truth in it, I am puzzled. Why do you still attend meetings? Isn't it dangerous to do so??

~You've taken something out of context. I said AA kills more alcoholics than it helps. You twisted the meaning of it to say that AA kills more alcoholics. You want to battle semantics? Fine: AA kills more alcoholics by feeding them a continuous supply of bullshit cookies that don't work and since they don't work Alcoholics either drink until they die or put a gun in their mouth.

~Actually, I don't attend meetings. I am trying to find other ways to form my fellowship but I absolutely refuse to go to meetings because, aside from the steps on the wall and what they call themselves any semblance of solution isn't there.

If on the other hand AA has some saving graces, I am somewhat puzzled by your lack of gratitude for having AA there when you needed it. You seem to have forgotten your last drink, my friend.

~My last drink was a Well Vodka & 7-up on September 18th, 2002 during an argument with a Taoist at Sancho's Broken Arrow on Colfax, Avenue in Denver, Colorado. That was after 8 beers and another vodka 7.

And:

"My aim here is to understand the nature of the problem and in so doing find its solution. Remember, I am just a child throwing rocks into the stream to watch the ripples and understand their meaning."

Me thinketh that the proverbial 'bull in a china shop' might be a better analogy. Be very careful my friend - there may be another drink left in you, even yet!

~And you'd have to be another Alky. Bull in a China Shop. What are you afraid of? What was the last step you worked?

~You're going to have to try a little harder than that if you want to zing me. I'm not going to be baited by this.

~What is your point? Do you have anything to contribute to this discussion or are you looking for a fight? I'm not going to fight you. You want to make a case for Codependency, go right ahead. You want to argue the efficacy of AA start a new thread.

January 31, 2005
9:10 pm
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Workin,

With the stream of words within this thread, I see your point of view well stated in it's brevity.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, as you stated:

"I wonder why it is, so much time is spent debating issues so unimportant as "codependency is or is not real"

To make your point, agreed by some here and myself also, by saying:

"...in the sense that FOR ME, codep would become a prison of symptoms if I dwelled on the why's and when's. My choice is to ask what can I do to stop that?"

My quest, at this time, is to ask myself, how do I deal with it (codependency behaviors), to make the best of my life and who I am. This is what I posted in another thread, that you are aware of, to pursue for personal self awareness and growth.

We can banter this to pieces and end where we started, or just take it for what it's worth and go on to more meaningful, productive pathways of learning how to cope in life, within ourselves, and with others by learning how to cope in having codependency behavoirs/traits.

Thanks for reminded me how simple and clear our purpose and goals really can be.

Sew

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