Codependency and Anxiety

Codependency: The Disease of Control

I continue to be amazed at the number of hits on our site that come from the keyword search "codependency" or "codependent" or "overcoming codependency." So I thought I need to create a page that deals specifically with this subject. And it really shouldn't surprise me, because so much of codependency revolves around controlling our circumstances, environment, and other people. That in itself is enough to make someone anxious!!!

Codependency and anxiety really do go hand-in-hand. The reason for this stems from the definition of codependency. We'll look at a few of the popular definitions here...

Most psychologists define codependency as an inordinate and unhealthy compulsion to rescue and take care of people. This can occur in a number of settings: spousal relationship, friend relationships, parenting situations, and also in the work environment. My definition of codependency has come to be this: "when you let another person's problems control how you act, think or feel."

This "other person," then, with his or her problems and issues, sets the tone for your day. If they are letting their behavior or issue get the best of them, then you are going to have a bad day. If this other person isn't acting out or presenting with the undesirable behavior, then you will have a good day. But you find yourself spending all your time wondering what kind of a mood the other person will be in and trying to keep the environment "just so." You are tossed to and fro with whatever behavior they are walking in that day. 

But Jesus doesn't want us to be controlled by another person's behaviors, addictions or sin issues. That is bondage and Paul said in Galatians 5:1 to "not be enslaved again to the yoke of bondage." God's answer to codependency is walking and living in the spirit. Living a life of codependency is actually living a life according to the flesh. And I believe a long time ago, God showed me in no uncertain terms that I was going about my life fighting things in the flesh instead of fighting things in the spirit. 

Walking in the spirit is evidenced in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...God expects us to practice self control, not to take on the responsibility for others and try to control them, too. We need to take responsibility for ourselves, our bodies, and our minds. And that means not letting that other person's behavior have such an affect on us. When they see us responding in a different way to them, and to their behavior and addiction issues, they will naturally begin to react differently as well. It is not an easy thing, and it is often not a quick thing, but little by little, bit by bit, you can move from being a codependent "walking on eggshells," to thinking and behaving independently!!!

My message titled "You're Not Responsible for What You Can't Control" deals with the issues surrounding codependency and outlines for you the biblical truths that release us from this bondage. So often, codependent people are performance and perfection-driven, and are big approval seekers. But ultimately, you only need your approval from God. And He already says your OK! He doesn't want you to be subjected to abusive and controlling behavior from others in your life. You don't have to get rebellious and defiant, but He does want you to stand on His word, set healthy boundaries, and live your life according to His principles and guidelines! 

Visit our Panic Attack Online Store  to order the CD or DVD, and be sure to listen to a 5-minute excerpt of "You're Not Responsible for What You Can't Control" on our  Anxiety Audios and Videos  page.