Studies by Cyrilla Hughes-Hammer, Donna S. Martsolf and Richard A. Zeller show that codependency affects 40 million American citizens, mostly women. It bears certain similarities to the Dependent Personality Disorder, which the World Health Organization mentions as having symptoms that encompass an overbearing reliance on other people to take decisions, fear of abandonment and feelings of helplessness or incompetence.
Forming healthy relationships with other people constitutes a significant part of human life. However, this can lead to codependency, should these relations turn into a compulsion.
Symptoms of codependency include the need to “fix” or control other people and/or situations. Individuals usually place responsibility for their feelings on others and may experience difficulties with trust, as well as fear of intimacy, avoidance problems and hyper-vigilance (constant feelings of agitation). Codependents may also develop their own addictions or adopt compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders, gambling or sex and love addiction.
What exactly does codependency mean, what are its symptoms and how can they influence family life? How does codependency differ from love addiction, and how can it be treated? All these questions will be answered in the interview with Dr. med. Konrad Hitz.