sibling codependency

I don’t know how many people are familar with codependency, but I’ve been pretty interested in it for some time now.
I was researching a bit about sibling codependency because I think that might be what is bothering my younger sister and brother. But, in the websites that i visited, they listed the causes as having a dysfunctional family; I’m pretty sure that my family is not dysfunctional.
A few years ago, some actions of mine cause me to be diagnosed with a few disorders and I was just wondering if that could possibly be effecting the problem?

What are the ages the the participants? Holw old are you and your siblings?

What kind of problems were you diagnosed with?

Would you describe the “sibling codependency” means in your words? Can you put the definition aside and describe exactly what you are observing in them?

“Dysfunction” is a pretty harsh word that makes people naturally avoid wanting to even finding out what it really means. Most people view a “dyfunctional” family as one with an alcoholic abusive father and a submissive mother… or some kind of physical abuse. Only the most extreme cases are given attention. What is often ignored is the subtle yet still damaging aspects of a family… the slight favoring of one child over another because she’s a boy or girl, unspoken expectations of a child that makes them feel that they aren’t good enough as they are, not wanting a child to grow up, children believing they are part of the reason why mommy and daddy argue and fight, punishing a child speaking for honestly, the list goes on and on.

As a rule of thumb, unless the parents are 100% emotionally healthy, there will be some level of dysfunction in the family. I would say that ALL families have some level of dysfunction in their families in one area or another… because nobody’s perfect. In my opinion, needing to maintain a self-image of not having anything wrong with you and being afraid of being totally honest to yourself is the first sign of the emotional problems I speak of.

Well, my sister is 11 and my brother is 9.
I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and bi polar type 1.
They fight constantly. I mean, they actually punch and kick each other. They act hateful towards one another by means of physical and emotional abuse. My parents are constantly interveaning, but doesn’t that just drive the conflict even more?
When I think of dysfunctional, I guess i stereotypically asume that it’s a family with a lot of problems. I suppose that you are correct in saying that no family is perfect and that everyone is a bit dysfunctional. My parents and I used to fight a lot, but we went to family counseling and worked through it. Both of them were kinda pushed back into the corner when I was working through all of that and I guess I just felt kinda responsible for their behavior towards each other.


My heart goes out to you… I sense that your situation is pretty complicated and painful, and you are doing your best to try to survive and remain in good spirits about the situation.

I think that your siblings attacking eachother physically and emotionally is a much bigger problem than simple codependency. You’re right about your parents intervening… that does tend to complicate the problem. Do your parents ever fight in a similar manner?

I think it’s great that you went to counseling… often, just admitting that counseling is needed is incredibly difficult. You mentioned you felt responsible for your parents fighting… do you feel responsible for your siblings as well?

I’ve had to play referee for my parents in the past, and it can be really painful… even though you are young and supposed to be taken care of by your parents, you feel as if the roles are reversed and you have to take care of everybody else. It was a hard thing to work through, but I did (and it was definitely worth it).

Well I want to tell you right here, right now that it’s not your fault that your siblings are fighting, nor is it your responsibily to stop them. That is entirely their choice. It can be really hard, because sometimes you just wish it would STOP. But unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it, and it’s not your fault. And it WON’T last forever, one day you won’t have to deal with this, I promise.

Have you ever read “A Guide To Rational Living” by Albert Ellis? I think there’s a lot of tools in that book that might help you get through this with your sanity. I’ve found it at most bookstores for about ten bucks, and you can find it at here: … 80-6479804

Hope it helps! Keep your chin up.

Thanks a lot for your words of support-they helped.
My parents do sometimes fight a lot about money, my sister and I and the music that we listen to, a whole bunch of trivial stuff…Do you think that they are just serving as a model for my siblings?
A lot of the time, my parents fight because of things I say. I feel like sometimes my siblings fight for the same reason. I try to help and usually it just makes things between them and myself more tense.
I’ll have to check out that book. Thanks for suggesting it.
Is serving as a referee for everyone really worth it? Usually, I feel more exhausted than the people fighting. It’s almost like they’re trying to get back at me for trying to interfere.
But, yes…thank you again for helping me out. And for the whole therapy support thing…my parents laughed at me when I suggested it and talked to my doctor about it.