Introduction to Self-Love Deficit Disorder and Self-Love Abundance
The SLDD and SLA Pyramids
People find themselves chronically in unhealthy and unbalanced relationships, where they give most of the love, respect, and care; only to receive nothing in return. Despite the pain, they stay in this unhappy and toxic dance, because they are afraid of feeling the intense shame and pathological loneliness that will arise if they leave.
Often this has been called codependency, however, a more appropriate name is Self-Love Deficit Disorder or SLDD. On the SLDD pyramid, codependency is a mere symptom of not loving oneself. Codependency is not what needs to be treated, rather the root cause needs to be addressed.
The pyramid demonstrates why someone with codependency/SLDD does not respond to traditional psychotherapy, as the problem that is treated is not the actual cause of the disorder. This invisible and treatment-resistant addiction cannot be remedied unless its underlying causes are addressed and solved. In other words, by understanding that codependency/SLDD is just a bunch of symptoms of much more complicated and fundamental psychological problems, the problem can never be solved.
It all begins with attachment trauma, the root cause. This often occurs when a child is raised by a narcissistic parent who does not allow them to feel loved, respected, cared for, and safe. Love is merely conditional and judgmental.
This trauma is then responsible for causing core shame. It is a distorted belief of being fundamentally bad or flawed. Such toxic shame reduces a person to feeling only good when they take care of others while ignoring themselves.
Loving someone, while being invisible creates pathological loneliness. Deep bone aching emotional pain. This is the excruciating codependency/SLDD addiction withdrawal pain that reduces one to feeling invisible, worthless, and unlovable.
The pain of it is simply unbearable, hence the person with SLDD (codependent) is uniquely prone to codependency addiction which is the desperate need of a relationship that will make the lonely pain go away. The pathologically narcissistic romantic interest becomes their drug of choice which never remedies their loneliness and lifelong pursuit of love.
There is however a cure for Self-Love Deficit Disorder (or codependency): the achievement of self-love abundance. This is the exact opposite of each of the SLDD pyramid’s levels.
SLDD/Codependency Personality Types
Although all codependents are habitually and instinctively attracted (and later bonded) to severely narcissistic partners, there are five codependency personality types: passive, active, cerebral, oblivious, and "anorexic" codependents. All hold tight to the belief that one day their pathological partner will realize their mistakes and finally give them the love, respect and care they so desperately want and need. It just never happens. They all try to control and manipulate their narcissistic partners, but they each go about it differently.
The creation of these codependency types help people who normally are in denial about their codependency/SLDD to see themselves in a specific diagnostic “light.” It is impossible to heal codependency/SLDD if you don’t know what it is and how it manifests within you.
I wrote my Human Magnet Syndrome books to help people understand and identify their codependency/SLDD. For the purpose of healing and overcoming what was previously invisible and unknown to them.
Codependency or Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD) is a problem of distribution of love, respect and caring, within close, and/or romantic relationships. Codependents give the preponderance of love, respect and caring (LRC), with the hopes of having it reciprocated. All codependents believe that their narcissistic partner will realize their mistakes and finally give them the LRC they want and need. It just never happens.
Are more fearful and avoidant of conflict. They disassociate from their deeply private anger and resentment through a persona of admirable empathy, compassion and generosity. They give in to the inequity of love, respect and caring. Such sacrificing martyrs never escape their below-the-surface burning rage.
The attachment trauma experience taught them that there was no benefit in fighting back, or that doing so would result in worse consequences.
They aggressively but futilely try to persuade, control and manipulate narcissists into loving, respecting and caring for them. They delusionally believe such constant surveillance and counter-aggression is justifiable and effective.
Active codependents are often not intimidated or afraid of their narcissist lover. As such, they rely on an aggressive and confrontational approach to both protect themselves and get what they need. Their controlling, antagonizing, and manipulative method is rarely effective. In fact, it often results in the pathological narcissist’s retaliation, which often harms the codependent even more.
They are the intellectual codependents. Cerebral codependents devour education and “transformational” experiences to overcome narcissistic abuse. They believe that the more information they know, they will be able to solve the problem.
This form of dissociation will never resolve the trauma and core shame that is responsible for their suffering.
They live by the “ignorance is bliss” credo. It is an effective defense mechanism for keeping them comfortable. They not only ignore or deny their problems, but they compartmentalize and rationalize them.
By purposely dissociating from the real causes of their problems, and feigning blindness, they uphold the delusional belief that what is not seen, is simply not there.
Codependency anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their lifelong relationship pattern with pathological narcissists. The codependent often transitions to codependency anorexia when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain inflicted by their narcissist.
This is a control measure to feel protected, but they starve themselves from normal emotional and sexual intimacy. Also, as soon as the no romance “diet” ends, their insatiable “hunger” for harmful narcissists will return.
The Codependency Cure™: Recovering From Self-Love Deficit Disorder
Watch this video to get a more thorough explanation of Ross’s Five Codependency Categories: