Am I Codependent or Just Too Dependent?

Mar 2022
2
0
US
Over the past several years, I've struggled with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and alcohol misuse due to my spouse's severe depression and anxiety. Essentially, her moods affect mine so much that it causes significant suffering with which I've been unable to cope in a healthy manner. Outside of the relationship, I have high self esteem and am fulfilled. Is this codependency or something else?

Hopeful that someone can point me to some resources to address this issue.

Thank you for your support!
 
Aug 2021
370
181
Texas, USA
If your depression and anxiety are a direct result of your spouses, we need to try to get her help first. Is your spouse addressing her depression and anxiety? Is she in counseling, on medication, in therapy? If not, encourage her to begin trying to get out of her state of despair, anxiety, and depression. She can start with her primary care physician, who can then recommend other courses of action to pursue. If you experience depression and anxiety independently of your spouse, then you should also follow the advice above. The two of you will need to go to counseling together at some point so that when one relapses the other does not relapse also. You will have to learn to lift one another up rather than pull each other down. But that is later. The symptoms you describe above do not make you codependent, nor even dependent, just two souls doing the best they can to survive the situation. If you decide you want to try to help yourself, look into something like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, perhaps Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Dummies, which you can probably find at your local library or used. If this has been a long standing condition for the two of you it will probably require professional help for the two of you to get through this...
Good luck to the two of you, and let us know how it goes,
Ivery
 
Mar 2022
2
0
US
She has been in counseling/on medications for years, but the issues continue. I need to work on my response to her, not just assume that she will get better. I find it difficult to accept that my mood should be so dramatically and regularly depressed by hers. After much research, I am fairly certain that I'm not codependent, but can you, or someone else, define unhealthy dependency?
 
Aug 2021
370
181
Texas, USA
Your definition request is not as easy as it may seem. For one person a behavior may be dependent, while for another that same behavior may not be dependent. My definition would be is it inhibiting you from living your best life? Is your dependency keeping you from enjoying the life you wish you could enjoy? If so, then you may have an unhealthy dependency. How comfortable are you going out by yourself with friends or by yourself for an evening out? Can you enjoy a day by yourself shopping or doing something you enjoy doing? These answers may give you insights to how dependent you are. Only you can answer...
I would still like to see the two of you in counseling together, has her therapist ever invited you to be part of the conversation? Also, have you addressed your issues with your primary care physician? We need to make sure your depression and anxiety are not the result of physiological issues like a chemical imbalance before looking at neurological or mental issues...
Good luck, and once again if you want to try and go it on your own I would recommend something like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, perhaps Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Dummies.
Ivery