Is Codependency a Personality Disorder? Best Online Codependency Behavioral Therapy

Codependency can be caused or stimulated by several reasons. Many people develop codependent behaviors and habits as a result of traumatic or toxic childhood experiences, unhealthy relationships, or a lack of secure attachment from parents or primary caregivers.

When answering the question, ‘is codependency a personality disorder?’. It is important to understand the root causes of codependency.

According to therapists, codependency is not a recognized personality disorder or mental illness. However, it does share similar psychological symptoms with other personality disorders.

Your root causes of codependency could have been triggered from a very young age. When a child is taught from a young age that they need to place someone else’s interests before their own, it causes psychological and emotional damage.

Over time, this results in codependency behavioral challenges.

is codependency a personality disorder

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How do I find an online specialist in codependency behavioral therapy?

If you are looking for an online specialist in codependency behavioral therapy, you need to make sure that you connect to a professional and certified therapist. With such a vast selection of codependency specialists to choose from, it is important to first understand what you expect from your codependency behavioral therapy sessions.

As it is, an overwhelming experience to find an appropriate match, we urge you to do thorough research before choosing an online codependency therapist. Regain has a team of experienced, certified, and highly professional codependency therapists to choose from.

Get matched with a Regain codependency behavioral therapy specialist online.

Effective, convenient, and affordable online sessions. Start by filling out this survey in it’s entirety.

When choosing to connect to a codependency therapist with Regain, you will have the opportunity to get matched with the most appropriate codependency therapist for you.

With a simple three-step sign-up process, Regain gives you the benefit of professional and private codependency behavioral therapy sessions. Simply complete the Regain questionnaire carefully, this helps us understand the nature of your challenges and how we can best assist you.

Shortly after, based on your questionnaire answers, Regain will match you with the best codependency therapists.

No hassle, no long forms to fill out, and no waste of time. Professional, affordable, and effective online methods of therapy are at your fingertips.

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What causes codependency?

It is human nature to experience a wide range of emotions. Throughout life, you will possibly experience traumatic occurrences that you will only realize much later in life. A common cause of codependency is having an unhealthy or toxic childhood or upbringing. What this means is that during childhood you may have experienced negative parenting behaviors from your parents that had a direct impact on your psychological development.

When a child is taught from a young age that their needs, wants and emotions should be put second to accommodate someone else’s for them to be loved, admired, comforted, or accepted on any level – it causes emotional distress.

When these negative habits start to develop, you grow older and start showing codependent behaviors. In a relationship, it is normal for someone to want to alleviate their partner’s discomfort or unhappiness, however, when this overtakes your happiness, comfort, or morals – it becomes unhealthy, this is known as codependency.

Childhood root causes of codependency:


1. Overprotective parents.

It is common for overprotective parents to shield their kids from trying new things or forbid them from doing activities that could potentially harm them. This inevitably makes a child fearful and entirely dependent on their parents for safety. In adulthood, these unhealthy learnings become standard practice in an intimate relationship – resulting in an imbalance between partners.

2. Under protective parents.

When parents do not give their kids the safety and protection that they need, children often end up getting emotionally, mentally, or physically hurt. As a result, these kids will seek protection and safety elsewhere, the danger with that is developing an unhealthy understanding of love, comfort, and protection.

3. Codling.

Codling is a form of comforting or protecting a child from learning basic life lessons. Parents will do this out of fear of their child getting hurt or being exposed to temporary discomfort. Although it may seem like a good idea, it delays a child’s psychological and emotional development when they need to learn new life skills.

Root causes of codependency in adult relationships:


1. Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and negative self-image.

Codependent people often struggle with self-acceptance. Based on previous negative experiences, whether from childhood or familial circumstances, they have developed unhealthy attachment habits that contribute to codependent behaviors.

2. Hyper-critical of themselves.

Another common cause of codependency is being overly critical of yourself. Many codependent people believe that they are extremely flawed and are not deserving of genuine love and support.

3. Lack of boundaries and underlying guilt.

What causes people to be codependent is having a lack of firm boundaries that protect them from being taken advantage of. Many codependent people end up becoming a “doormat” or pushovers because they have an unhealthy habit of pleasing people.

Although there are many causes of codependency, it is important to identify your root causes. This will help you further understand how to unlearn bad codependency behaviors and develop healthier habits. A codependency therapist will be able to guide you through this process effectively.

Ok, but… what is the root cause of codependency?

Each codependent person will have their unique root causes. When assessing the root causes of codependency,  it is common to notice childhood impacts. As a consequence of experiencing an unhealthy living environment or relationship between primary caregivers, a child usually ends up taking responsibility to survive the circumstances. This causes them to ignore their emotional needs and wants.

As a result of learning these ‘survival behaviors’, you become accustomed to maintaining toxic or unhealthy relationships in adulthood. One of the main root causes of codependency is parenting styles.

When parents are over or under protective of their children, it comes extremely damaging to crucial development.

This dysfunctional relationship between child and parents directly impacts:

  1. Learning independence.
  2. Crucial life lessons.
  3. Ability to deal with rejection or fear.
  4. Emotional expression.
  5. Healthy self-esteem and confidence.
  6. Financial understanding.
  7. Ability to assess an unhealthy relationship.

When these children are put in situations that cause them to take inappropriate responsibilities into their hands, such as having to raise younger siblings or take care of parents – they become overly independent for their age and struggle to accept support from others later in life. This becomes a manifestation of codependent behavior in adults.

Because codependency is learned from a young age, it is possible to unlearn codependent behavior. Once you have identified the root cause of codependency, it is helpful to look out for the symptoms and indicators of codependency.

What are the characteristics of a codependent person?

Codependency in adults will look different for each individual. There are common codependency patterns, characteristics, and triggers to identify that can look like this.

  1. You find it almost impossible to express your needs and wants.
  2. You feel guilty for saying no to people or putting yourself first.
  3. It is common for you to plan your life around others, especially a partner.
  4. Your self-esteem is heavily based on the approval and admiration of others.
  5. You struggle with anxiety when it comes to pleasing or taking care of others.
  6. You deeply dislike being alone and struggle to do day-to-day chores without your partner around.
  7. You lack self-confidence and don’t trust your instincts.
  8. You often feel incomplete when a partner is not around.
  9. Your happiness and purpose seem solely based on caretaking.

It is important to be patient with yourself through identifying codependent behavior, you learned these behaviors when you didn’t know better. This is a great way to get to healing the root causes of codependency in adulthood. We urge you to seek professional codependent behavior therapy that will help you further understand codependency, as well as, learn your triggers and patterns.

Is codependency a personality disorder?

When assessing the characteristics and patterns of codependency, it overlaps with various other personality disorders. However, according to studies done, codependency is not considered a personality disorder or a mental illness. Codependency is better described as an emotional and behavioral condition as it is learned behavior through generations.

Because the root causes of codependency are primarily based on the relationship between parent and child, as well as the household environment, codependent behavior is learned. As a consequence, this leads to becoming unable to develop and maintain mutually healthy relationships, causing a codependent to prefer and maintain one-sided and emotionally distrustful or dysfunctional relationships.

As a result of witnessing unhealthy family relationships or growing up in a household with addicts, these survival responses that develop become negatively imitated and practiced in adult relationships.

Further root causes of codependency:

  1. Family addictions – drugs, alcohol, sex, work, gambling, or work.
  2. Witnessing or experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
  3. A family member suffering from a mental illness or chronic physical illness.

The impact of these experiences leads to unresolved emotions that manifest into complications later in life. In addition to being prone to develop codependency behaviors, you may also develop mental health challenges, physical illnesses, and psychological disadvantages.

What are the unhealthy codependent friendship signs?

A codependent friendship means that you and your friend start to lose your sense of individuality.

The friendship becomes the center of your life and governs how you make decisions. In a codependent friendship, one or both friends overshare their opinions, thoughts, values, and major life decisions.

These are all based on friendship which does not allow for any personal development or growth.

A common sign of an unhealthy codependent friendship is not having any time for yourself, it is almost impossible to engage in small things like self-care.

Although it is healthy to have close relationships with your friends that you can rely on from time to time, in an unhealthy codependent friendship, that line is crossed and boundaries are lost.

Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘my friend is codependent on me?’ and did not take it seriously? That may have been a sign of an unhealthy codependent friendship.

If you are looking to understand or identify the signs of an unhealthy codependent friendship, counselors suggest looking out for these indicators:

1. One friend always feels extremely drained after spending time together.

If you are the friend that is always giving or helping your friend overcome challenges or personal problems, you might start to feel drained after spending time with your friend.

2. Your friend always needs saving.

Although it is normal to be there for a friend during tough times, someone who enjoys being taken care of can tend to take advantage of your good nature. This leads to you always having to come to the rescue when something goes wrong.

3. One person is in control.

In a codependent friendship, there is an imbalance. One friend will always find a way to overrule the situation. This is because there is a lack of boundaries that allow you to separate your feelings from your friends.

4. Happiness or state of being depends on your friend.

Because a codependent friendship becomes so dysfunctional, when you or your friend are upset or unhappy, it automatically affects the other. There are no individual feelings or emotions.

5. Your friend’s needs come before yours.

It is common in codependent friendships for one to dismiss their own needs and feelings to make the other happy. This becomes dangerous because over time you may find yourself disregarding your values and morals to please a friend.

6. Feeling guilty for expressing personal needs or wants.

If you are the giver in the friendship, it may be hard for you to share your needs with your friend because you feel guilty for not considering them first.

7. There is jealousy.

If a friend becomes extremely jealous of you growing closer to someone else, they will start to act passive-aggressive with you or make you feel bad for abandoning them for another person.

8. Relying on the friendship.

If one or both friends are heavily relying on the friendship to help their self-esteem, confidence, or happiness, it is a sign of an unhealthy codependent friendship.

Codependency in friendships can be hard to identify and acknowledge. If you have ever thought, ‘my friend is codependent on me’ or are having doubts that you are so dependent on your friend, keep reading and learn how to overcome codependency in friendships.

How to overcome codependency in friendships?

The first step to overcoming codependency in friendships is to identify and accept the signs of an unhealthy codependent friendship.

Once you have taken note of that, we encourage you to learn about the root causes of codependency that may have been triggered by childhood experiences.

When there is codependency in friendships, one or both friends become entirely reliant on one another and the friendship for personal benefits. It is not uncommon to feel that a codependent friendship is emotionally, mentally, and physically draining.

The dysfunction and imbalance cause long-term effects that can complicate into further challenges.

Overcoming a codependent friendship will help you better understand the causes of codependency and avoid any potential damage.

Setting boundaries with codependent friends can help you build a balanced, healthy, and interdependent friendship.

If these questions apply to you, this is what you can do. ‘I am codependent on my friend, what can I do?’, ‘My friend is codependent on me, how can I change this?’

Here’s how to overcome codependency in friendships.

1. Discover, acknowledge and accept.

When dealing with codependency in friendships, it is usually a sign of unresolved past trauma. Codependency develops from unpleasant childhood experiences or toxic previous relationships. Figure out why you or your friend are codependent in the friendship.

2. Identify what the friendship brings.

It is time to evaluate the friendship from an objective standpoint. Make a list of how the friendship adds value to you and your life. As well as, how you do so for your friend. If there is no other benefit beyond just feeling good because of your friend, it may be a dying friendship.

3. Discuss the issue with your friend.

It is important to share your honest feelings with your friend and be open to listening and talking about the issue at hand. This will bring you closer and help create a genuine bond between you when working towards overcoming codependency in friendship.

4. Boundaries.

In any relationship or friendship, healthy boundaries are necessary. Setting boundaries in a codependent friendship can be hard, especially if it has been developing over time. Learn to establish your needs and wants, then set boundaries for yourself based on that.

5. Spend time with others.

In a codependent friendship, it’s easy to neglect all your other relationships and just focus on your friend. It is unhealthy to rely on one person for your happiness, comfort and support all the time. Spend time with family and other friends and learn to manage your life as your own.

6. Reassurance.

Setting boundaries with codependent friends can be difficult. It may seem harsh and cause friction. Reassure your friend and yourself that these boundaries and changes are good for both of you. Let them know that you appreciate, love, and support them.

7. Put yourself first.

This is one of the most important steps when overcoming a codependent friendship. Do things for yourself that make you happy. Learn to self-regulate and deal with personal challenges without feeling like you need your friend to accomplish everything.

Many codependent friendships can be changed and saved, however, it requires both friends to work together to build a healthier friendship.

Setting boundaries with codependent friends?

When there is codependency in friendships, a lot of the time there will be weak or no boundaries at all. This harms the personal well-being of one or both friends.

We encourage you to learn, acknowledge and communicate your needs and wants to a friend when setting boundaries.

Without boundaries, codependency in friendships can be extremely draining and cause feelings of anger and resentment. This consequently can lead to the end of a friendship.

Steps to take when setting boundaries in a codependent friendship.

1. Respect each other’s time.

Make sure that both you and your friend are respecting one another’s time. If you have obligations to attend to and your friend disregards that, set a boundary to make sure that no one feels like they’re being mistreated or disrespected.

2. Your needs.

It’s important to clearly communicate your needs to a friend without feeling guilty. If you need time by yourself or need them to be punctual for something important to you – communicate that with them.

3. Reciprocation.

When there’s codependency in a friendship, one friend will always be giving more than the other. Do not dismiss this. If you or your friend only call or make time for each other when it benefits you, it might be time to reassess the friendship and make sure that there is a balance of giving and taking.

4. Sharing information.

If your friend pressures you into sharing information that you may not be comfortable with at the time, make sure that they respect your decision. Reinforce that you need more time and do not feel comfortable.

5. Respecting values.

When it comes to values and morals, a codependent friend is likely to disregard these. You need to let them know that you want them to respect your values and morals no matter what. And vice versa.

6. Separate your feelings and well-being.

It’s great to be empathetic towards your friend. But work on not getting influenced by their emotional or mental state of being.

7. Support.

Learn to accept and reciprocate support in times of need but do not try to control or overrule your friend’s decisions. In codependent friendships, it is common for one friend to feel that they know what is best. Let them make decisions and mistakes and learn to do the same for yourself.

Dealing with codependency in friendships is difficult, you will feel very conflicted and even guilty at times. It’s important to stick to the boundaries you set for yourself, in the long run, this will help your friendship grow stronger and healthier.

It is advised to connect to a professional codependency counselor who can give you the support and guidance you will need during this time.

Signs of a codependent parent?

It is easy to overlook the signs of a codependent parent when you don’t know any better.

As an adult, you may start to pick up on certain codependent behaviors from your parents.

It is important to take note of the signs of a codependent parent, this will help you learn to understand the effects of a codependent parent that you may be experiencing, and learn how to set boundaries with codependent parents.

The signs of a codependent parent:

  1. They are overly involved in your life and try to influence or control your decisions.
  2. You may have had to take care of your parents at a very young age.
  3. Your codependent parent may have been choosing your clothes at an inappropriate age.
  4. They will altogether dismiss anyone else or their own needs just to be involved in your life.
  5. They may be passive-aggressive with you and have random outbursts of anger especially when you made a decision that takes you away from them.
  6. They make you feel guilty for doing things for yourself that might consume your time spent with them.
  7. They always believe that they are right no matter what.
  8. A codependent parent will never take responsibility for their wrongdoings and always play the victim to make you feel bad for them.
  9. They will not have boundaries with you and always dismiss or excuse bad behavior.
  10. They have low self-esteem and are only happy when you are around.

Breaking codependency with a parent can be hard. They have an intense need to be involved in your life and will always try to manipulate you into doing things that make them happy.

When learning how to deal with a codependent parent, you will slowly be able to set boundaries with them to help them let go of their codependency behaviors.

By understanding the effects of a codependent parent, you will be able to effectively protect yourself and the relationship with your parent.

The effects of having a codependent parent can be extremely harmful to your adult life. From a young age, your psychological and emotional development has already been negatively impacted as a result of this experience.

As you grow older, you may become codependent yourself and have to deal with the long-term consequences of codependent parents.

Do not ignore the effects of a codependent parent:

  1. Codependent behaviors.
  2. Lack of boundaries.
  3. Rebellion.
  4. Mental health challenges or anxiety.
  5. Personality disorders.
  6. Poor parenting skills.
  7. Staying in toxic relationships.
  8. Unable to formulate your own opinions or make decisions.
  9. People pleasing.
  10. Can’t take responsibility for your actions.
  11. Unresolved anger or frustration.
  12. Unhealthy relationships with your children.

Any of the above-mentioned effects of a codependent parent can develop over time if not dealt with effectively. We encourage you to reach out to a professional codependency counseling therapist.

How to set boundaries with codependent parents?

When setting boundaries with a codependent parent, can be very difficult. Codependent parents need to feel as though they are in control and involved in your life at all times. This becomes a very dysfunctional relationship and causes feelings of resentment towards a parent.

It is important to set firm boundaries with a codependent parent and stick to them. Without proper boundaries, your parents will continue to feel that it is okay for them to be overly involved in your life and base their happiness on you.

How do you set boundaries and break codependency with parents?

As challenging as it will be, there are effective ways that you can set boundaries with a codependent parent. Let’s have a look.

1. Be honest, clear, and direct.

Remember, a codependent parent will automatically become defensive when confronted about unhealthy behaviors. Before introducing these boundaries, make sure you paint a clear picture to them about why this needs to happen and mention specific behaviors that make you feel a certain way.

2. Be compassionate but firm.

It will be hard for them to accept your terms, you need to remind them that it is for your benefit as well as the relationship. Express your honest feelings and be open to listening and having a conversation about it.

3. Show appreciation.

When you address a codependent parent, they will take your boundaries personally and begin to feel like they’ve made a mistake. Reassure them that you appreciate them, the relationship as well as their concern for you.

4. Repeat yourself.

A codependent parent will try to negotiate and persuade you out of setting boundaries. Continue to repeat yourself, your needs, and your wants. They will eventually accept, understand and respect your decisions.

5. Practice releasing feelings of guilt.

It is normal to feel guilty when setting boundaries with a codependent parent. Practice acknowledging and releasing feelings of guilt. You deserve to express yourself and have your needs met.

It will be a challenging journey through dealing with a codependent parent as an adult, however, it is important to address it and avoid any further effects of a codependent parent.

Connecting to a professional codependency counseling therapist will offer you support during setting boundaries with a codependent partner, as well as, help you learn more about the effects of a codependent parent and how to overcome it effectively.

How does Online codependency behavioral therapy work?

Online codependency behavioral therapy sessions through Reagin are private, professional, and effective. With a wide range of carefully selected certified and experienced therapists, you are guaranteed to find the best match.

Regain offers the option of conducting individual therapy sessions or couple sessions, this allows you to be as comfortable as possible through your therapy journey.

After a simple three-step sign-up process, you will be matched with the best-suited codependency behavioral therapists to choose from.

You have the freedom to select a therapist who you feel most comfortable with.  Conduct sessions via phone call, video call, live chat, or mail – it’s all up to you. Affordable, convenient, and effective methods of online therapy.

How will Online codependency behavioral therapy improve my life?

Online codependency behavioral therapy is a learning and healing opportunity.

Through intimate sessions with your therapist, you will be able to identify the root causes of codependency that you have developed.

Your therapist will guide you through the process of acknowledging, accepting, and effectively overcoming the effects of codependency.

Codependency behavioral therapy gives you the chance to address any unresolved traumatic experiences, and advise you on how to manage and overcome them.

Through the journey of online codependency behavioral therapy, you will learn how to rebuild yourself, become independent, develop a positive self-image and love yourself.

The journey to an enhanced, healthy and happy life at your own pace.

what causes codependency


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