Don’t Confuse Codependency With Love

Dr Nicholas Jenner

codependencyThese days we throw the words “narcissist” and “codependent” around like confetti. It is easy to label someone who appears self-centered as the former and one who gives a little bit too much as the latter. Despite the fact that we can easily recognise these traits in people, it is always dangerous to label people with any term that is not officially diagnosed by a specialist. While testing for NPD exists, it becomes more difficult when we delve into the murky waters that lie around the term codependency.

A formal definition of codependency has escaped psychology as a field for some time. It was originally a term proposed to describe the behavioral traits of partners of the chemically dependent (addicts). To date, there are no official, defined medical diagnostic criteria for the phenomenon we call “codependency”.   It has come to mean, among other things, extreme devotion, sacrifice, and attachment to…

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