Chabad Lifeline believes that the core issues depicting codependency are relevant to most recovering addicts as well as the family members.

Some core issues of codependency include:

  • Self-defeating coping strategies (unhealthy defenses). These defenses include: denial (minimize, rationalize, ignore, stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings), rigidity, humour, perfectionism, control (attempt to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation or domination).
  • Inability to identify and express feelings
. Codependents may not have had healthy role models to teach them a feelings language. There may also have been spoken or unspoken rules against the open expression of feelings and, therefore, shut down emotionally (numbing).
  • Excessive caretaking (rescuing and enabling)
Feeling responsible for others’ actions, feelings, and choices. Doing for another person what they should and could be doing for themselves.
  • Repeated unhealthy relationships
. Codependents are often attracted to people whom they can take care of and fix. They may find themselves in a pattern of unhealthy relationships because of a belief that "this time it will be different".
  • Fear of Abandonment
: Codependents are people who need to be needed. Individuals would rather stay in an abusive relationship than to be alone.
  • Fear of Anger
Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one’s anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
  • Low self-esteem
Codependents are people who need to be needed. They only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for anything that goes wrong.
  • Boundary issues
Codependents have difficulty setting and maintaining healthy limits and boundaries. Being unable to honour yourself, your values, and your beliefs, codependents resort to people-pleasing and confusing threats for boundaries.
  • Health problems
The stress of codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma, high blood pressure and other physical problems.
  • Victim Role
Individuals may struggle with having an external focus believing that others are responsible for their life, needs, feelings, etc. They may lose their sense of personal empowerment, and lack the awareness that they are responsible and capable of making positive changes.