The following information was taken from Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of codependency. We recommend her books on codependency to gain more insight into her work with addiction and its effects on the family.

Definition of Codependency – A Codependent is a person who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her in such a way that they become obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.

Characteristics of Codependents

  • Reactionaries – overreact or under-react to situations rather than taking action.
  • Controlling – try to control everyone and everything rather than taking control of your own life and happiness.
  • Givers / Not Receivers – constantly give to others (often resenting it), but don’t know how to give to themselves or to accept gifts from others.
  • Indirect – may become manipulative and controlling rather than asking for needs to be met directly.
  • Hide True Feelings – often have difficulty dealing with anger or expressing anger in appropriate ways. Codependents frequently keep people guessing about their true feelings and thoughts but then blame others for not guessing them correctly.
  • Caretakers – try to anticipate others’ needs and may feel responsible when others aren’t happy.
  • Feel Like Victims – often criticize themselves, but may feel angry, defensive, self-righteous, and indignant when others criticize them or blame them for problems. (i.e. “How can you say that after all that I have done for you.”)
  • Lots of “Shoulds” – think they know best how people should behave and how things should turn out.
  • Dependency – tolerate abuse and pain to keep people “loving” them.
  • Denial – deny own feelings and needs. Codependents deny that they feel angry. They may deny that they are part of the problem or even deny that there is a problem.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit to learn more.