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Question: As a one who read the book, how do you rate this book?
Excellent - 15 (62.5%)
Good - 7 (29.2%)
Fair - 2 (8.3%)
Poor - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 22

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Author Topic: Codependent No More - Melody Beattie  (Read 13300 times)
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« on: April 12, 2007, 01:03:47 AM »

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Author: Melody Beattie
Publisher: Hazelden (1992)
Paperback: 229 pages
ISBN-10: 0894864025
ISBN-13: 978-0894864025

Also see Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence

Book Description
Three years on the New York Times bestseller list, CODEPENDENT NO MORE first identified attitudes, feelings, and behaviors now recognized as hallmarks of codependency. Now, sixteen years after it was originally published, this book still sells 15,000 copies a month.  The book is about what it means to take responsibility for, and take care of, yourselves. Beattie explains concepts like setting boundaries, dealing with manipulation, feeling feelings, and detachment then takes it one step further. Checklists, activities, and self-tests provide concrete tasks to help readers examine the nuances of codependency in their lives.

These books will help anyone who is thinking or feeling responsible for other people, feel it is your responsibility to help other people solve their problems, feel needy people are always attracted to you, and feeling unappreciated or used; or you have weak boundaries with the people in your life; you have dependency issues; poor communication; and low self-worth- you are codependent.

About the Author
Melody Beattie is an author and journalist. She has written fourteen books during the course of her 24-year writing career.  Beattie has focused on codependency--the pattern of trying to control or change someone who repeatedly makes trouble for themselves and others, and who usually is manipulating and controlling others as well. The problem is often part of an addictive or depressive syndrome or both which the author understands well from her own experience.

The codependency movement may have its roots in the theories of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In 1941, she proposed that some people adopt what she termed a "Moving Toward" personality style to overcome their basic anxiety. Essentially, these people move toward others by gaining their approval and affection, and unconsciously control them through their dependent style. Al-Anon was formed in 1951, 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous was founded. Al-Anon holds the view that alcoholism is a family illness and is one of the earliest recognitions of codependency.

The expansion of the meaning of codependency happened very publicly. Janet G. Woititz's Adult Children of Alcoholics had come out in 1983 and sold two million copies while being on the New York Times bestseller list for forty-eight weeks.

Robin Norwood's Women Who Love Too Much, 1985, sold two and a half million copies and spawned Twelve Step groups across the country for women "addicted" to men.

Melody Beattie further popularized the concept of codependency in 1986 with the book Codependent No More which sold eight million copies.

In 1986, Timmen Cermak, M.D. wrote Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence: A Guide for Professionals. In the book and an article published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Volume 18, Issue 1, 1986), Cermak argued (unsuccessfully) for the inclusion of codependency as a separate personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987).

Cermak's book paved the way for a Twelve-step take-off program, called Co-Dependents Anonymous. The first Co-Dependents Anonymous meeting was held October 22, 1986.
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Posts: 1185

« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2007, 01:27:41 PM »

After coming out of the deep abyss of depression  with leaving my ex BPD gf, I realized I was co dependant and started to read a lot stuff , on this board, the internet and then I bought this book. I am about 100 pages into it and WOW, how codependant I was- AM, kind of a relief and scary at the same time with that list that you checked 0, 1, and 2, that is where I am at with this book now.

Time for a change for me.

With that said and time for healing from leaving my ex, I am ready to move on become the real me and let go of the codependant ways/thinking.

All the wrong thoughts & thinking patterns come back sometimes in little reminders and sometimes in big waves of realizing my past behavior after reading some of the above book.

Do any of you have any advice on what worked well for you with this book and or examples of what you did to change ?

So far so good ? Though in all honesty, I am a little afraid of opening up some old scars/wounds and ones that I have yet to remember. I guess that is my question and my fear.

Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated.
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2007, 03:56:23 PM »


I read that book also.  She also has a book out of affirmations called, "Letting Go." 

As far as advice on what to do, I spent and I am still spending a lot of time getting to know myself.  It helped for me to figure out what made me "tick" and then I could follow the patterns.  This helped me be more aware of my co-dependent tendencies. 

For example, if you catch yourself sacrificing your needs for someone, think about it.  Think about how you feel and what could be hurting you as well as the other person if you try to control the situation. 

Journal some situations, and write down side by side your codependent reaction and write down the negative affects of it.

It's hard in the beginning because you think you are doing the right thing.  How are you going to figure out what is wrong unless you start catching yourself doing it wrong?

When you realize what the wrong response is, write down what would have satisfied your needs as well without feeling bad about not helping.

I started off by saying no to people.  I wasn't used to that.

Start off slowly, experiment when it isn't too risky and see how you feel.

You can do it!   wink


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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2007, 07:47:03 PM »

I have read Melody Beattie's book.  It is excellent.  I am reading it again now.  I have re-read it every year or so!  I find that I make some changes but then start to regress backwards.  Keep it in your library!  I also read al-anon's 12 step book.  I am not dealing with an alcoholic situation but it has some helpful information for us co-dependents and healing. 

One thing I did not realize about BPD is that it is usually more common in women.  I am surprised at the men who get hooked on the same roller coaster that women do.  I actually find it a little comforting to read your stories and see that men can love just as deep.  I hope to find a man like that one day.  Seems like all the men I have dealt with are not "one woman" men.  Thanks for the inspiration although you aren't in such a good place.  Good Luck
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2007, 11:47:15 PM »

Hi Critical,

I just read that book about six months ago. I definitely recognized myself in it and I have been working on getting healthy. I guess there isn't any one thing I do to accomplish this. Reading that book helped me to identify my problems and now when old feelings and habits arise I sort of examine myself and the situation. It's a challenge but I do think I am making progress.

I find that I give myself a lot of positive self talk and reassurance. I tend to panic and feel out of control whenever a situation arises that I'm helpless to change. So I remind myself that I don't need to control everything, that even if the outcome of a situation is negative, it's alright because I'm still going to be okay. Same goes with my personal relationships. I can feel devastated when somebody is angry at me, so now when I feel that someone is angry or disappointed with me, I tell myself that that's okay too. I let myself know that it's okay for other people to have unpleasant feelings, even unpleasant feelings about me and it's not the end of the world. Just because someone is temporarily unhappy with me it doesn't mean that they don't still love me and care about me, it doesn't mean that I have to rush in and make them feel better and it certainly doesn't mean that I have to abandon my own feelings and needs to take care of someone elses. Taking the time to reassure myself does wonders to calm me down and keep a healthy perspective on life.

All that being said, I also keep in mind that changing bad coping habits that I have had for a lifetime is not going to happen overnight. I give myself permission to fall and make mistakes here and there, I realize that I may fall back into old patterns from time to time but that doesn't mean that I can't change or that I'm not improving. It's so important that we treat ourselves with the same patience, empathy and forgiveness that we give others.
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 11:45:12 AM »

Ok, I finished the book last night, it was good, although I found it hard to go from chapter to chapter with a lot of over kill with different stories form different people perpesctives, in my opinion it would of been better if it had a better outline in each chapter and less stories in between points made.

I would give it  3.5 stars on a scale of 1-5, 5 being best.

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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007, 01:05:25 PM »

Ok, I finished the book last night, it was good, although I found it hard to go from chapter to chapter with a lot of over kill with different stories form different people perpesctives, in my opinion it would of been better if it had a better outline in each chapter and less stories in between points made.

I would give it  3.5 stars on a scale of 1-5, 5 being best.


The book had a lot of great tools, and there was many references to " he " and "him" as the co dependant, but I think it is a better book for women- then men.

just my opinion.

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Posts: 261

« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 03:21:48 PM »

This book changed my life. I was a member of Naranon, trying to cope with my BPD daughter's drug use, and was having a terrible day. Sobbing, I called the leader of the group about the time of a meeting, and she directed me straight to the bookstore to obtain a copy of "Co-Dependent No More".

What this book taught me was that I wasn't crazy, that I was definitely co-dependent, and how to get on the road back to health. I have recommended it many times. It is a gift to those of us who care so much, but are unable to change others - because it can't be done. And so we change ourselves.

Bless you, Melody Beattie for this wonderful book.
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2007, 07:30:36 PM »

Ok, I finished the book last night, it was good, although I found it hard to go from chapter to chapter with a lot of over kill with different stories form different people perpesctives, in my opinion it would of been better if it had a better outline in each chapter and less stories in between points made.

I would give it  3.5 stars on a scale of 1-5, 5 being best.


When I first got this book for my personal library years ago, I found it hard to read.  Once some of the facts started hitting home, it became easier.  Everyone I know says you must read it more than once! 

It is not about the other person, it is about self.  You can be perfectly healthy.  The other person is the problem.  Read it again and place the facts upon yourself.  Then you will get the idea. 

It is the most important book I have ever read in my personal growth and understanding of others problems, be them emotional or not, and how it effects my life. 

I got control back of my life by realizing:  It is about me, not them.

Read it again and again as needed!
clean slate
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2010, 09:46:51 AM »

I recently finished this book and found quite a bit of my behaviors included in the pages.  Some of the behaviors were completely foreign to me, but I suppose that's to be expected with any book of this nature -- not everything will apply to everyone.  I'm working on the activities listed at the end of each chapter.  It's great independent-therapy, isn't it?  Look at that!  I'm doing something independently rather than codependently!

I recommend this book wholeheartedly.  It's not preachy or pathetic.  It give real examples and real solutions.  It's exactly what I needed to read to continue helping myself.
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