Essay Codependency should be a Medical Diagnosis

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A staggering amount of Americans struggle with a form of addiction or “dependency”. According to Winters, 96% of Americans suffer from codependency. Codependency is referred to as a national epidemic, because almost every form of compulsive behavior can be classified as an addiction (1996). Knowing this staggering statistic, we must ask ourselves: How are we contributing to our own codependency? Being codependent (being addicted to something or someone), can be viewed in two different ways. The alcoholic or drug abuser is the dependent, and the person involved with the dependent person in any intimate way (spouse, lover, child, sibling, etc.) is the codependent. According to Strickland “Codependence is a ter used to describe a person…show more content…
Often because codependency is hard to diagnose, professional counselors look to other forms of diagnosis that feed codependent behavior. Codependency as seen in treatment facilities pathologies’ behaviors such as care giving, loyalty, empathy, and perpetuates male models of emotional health and diminishes the importance of relations and independence (Gordon, 1997). “A codependent marital relationships, has been termed by various family therapists, as over-adequate versus inadequate functioning of each of the spouses” (Bowen, 1960). And according to Beattie and Gordon, “A codependent person is the one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior” (Beattie, 1987). Societies may differentially foster and discourage dependent behavior in males and females (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). But codependency has no boundaries. Addiction has been referenced in a wide range of behaviors. In addition to familiar addictions such as alcohol dependence, drug dependence, and smoking, addictive behavior has been associated with food, exercise, work, and even relationships with others (codependency) (Strickland, 2001). “Experts describe many behaviors designated as addictive in terms of five interrelated concepts: patterns, habits, compulsion, impulsive control disorders, and physical addiction” (Strickland, 2001). People who engage in addictive behaviors

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