karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

Co-dependence and Dysregulated Eating

Co-dependence and Dysregulated Eating

Can it be that in all my blogs, I’ve never written specifically about co-dependence? I think that is the case, which is odd considering that it’s a prevailing trait among my clients—dysregulated eaters and otherwise. 

According to “6 Signs of a Codependent Relationship: Research explains why the ties that bind are practically unbreakable” by Linda Esposito, LCSW (Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-zen/201609/6-signs-codependent-relationship, 9/19/16, retrieved 9/6/19), co-dependency is “when two people with dysfunctional personality traits become worse together.” Suffice it to say that co-dependence involves poor boundary setting and maintenance, enabling unhealthy behavior, not taking responsibility for oneself, over-focusing on others’ needs to the exclusion of your own, and a general life imbalance around caretaking of self and other. You can read more about it online or in two classics books, Co-dependent No More by Beattie or Facing Co-dependence by Mellody. 

For now, I want to talk about how co-dependence and eating disorders go together. In a nutshell, if you spend a great deal of time and energy taking care of others, you may neglect your own needs and turn to food to meet them. My book, Nice Girls Finish Fat—Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever, is all about personality traits that link with dysregulated eating. Many “nice girls” and “nice guys” are co-dependent due to some of these traits, including wanting others’ approval. If you’re a people-pleaser, it’s worth wondering if you’re also co-dependent, that is, you’re not happy unless someone else is happy with you.

Dysregulated eaters are often enablers: Their behavior supports the unhealthy behavior of others. This occurs when someone has an addiction and you protect or compensate for them. Maybe you pretend someone isn’t addicted or abusive, so that he doesn’t need to face the consequences of his behavior. Or maybe you lie to her, others and yourself so you don’t need to face the reality the truth about someone’s pathology. 

Too often you may do for others what you would like done for you. You give others the caring that you would like to receive and keep hoping for reciprocity, but don’t get it back. Most of the time co-dependence is an unconscious dynamic, but people continue it even when they realize it’s going on because they’re afraid of rocking the boat and facing their own deep-seated issues. If you take care of yourself with food and think you may be co-dependent, learn more about the subject so that you can change.

 

Best,

Karen

 

http://www.karenrkoenig.com/

https://www.facebook.com/normaleatingwithkarenrkoenig/

http://www.youtube.com/user/KarenRKoenig

http://twitter.com/KarenRKoenig

APPetite on Facebook

 

Why It’s Hard for People to Give Up Weight Shaming
Book Review – My Body’s Superpower

shelf new

EBProfessionalBadgeLarge

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy