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Progressive Stages of Co-dependency

 

 

I. THE BEGINNING STAGE
 

  • Often raised in a dysfunctional family

  • Learns to "care" for others

  • Becomes preoccupied with persons, places or things

  • Quickly picks up cues and learns how to survive

  • Takes on behavior patterns such as Caretaker, Martyr, People Pleaser,

      Workaholic or Tap Dancer



II. FEAR AND CONTROL STAGE
 

  • Has intense need to control everything and everyone

  • Attempts to control the uncontrollable leads to depression

  • Fear of abandonment, rejection and loneliness prevails

  • Frequently makes pleas and threats related to dependent's behavior

  • or (e.g. drinking, gambling, eating, working)



III. OBSESSIVE STAGE
 

  • Judges self and becomes guilt and shame driven

  • Becomes obsessed with achievements and accomplishments

  • Social life affected

  • Anxiety increases

  • Often tries to run away from problems: seeks geographic cure

  • Finds relief by dropping out of social relationships

  • Slides into compulsions ( eating, drinking, controlling, religion, etc.)

  • to relieve anxiety



IV. FROZEN FEELINGS STAGE
 

  • Stuffs feelings to avoid the emotional pain

  • Becomes guilt ridden and dishonest with self and feelings

  • Overwhelmed with need to control and feelings of powerlessness

  • Joy, hope and spontaneity take leave

  • Becomes sick and tired of being sick and tired

  • Denial no longer works



V. STUCK STAGE
 

  • Lets self go physically, mentally and spiritually

  • Displays fixed behavioral patterns that are self-defeating

  • Feels helpless and unable to deal with everyday life

  • Stressful emotions lead to "physical leaks" -- headaches, backaches, colitis, hypertension, etc.

  • Out of control

  • Hits bottom

Un-dependent Communities

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