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.



Self-Love Deficit Disorder Categories

From chapter 7: “Although all codependents are habitually and instinctively attracted (and later bonded) to severely narcissistic partners, there are two categories: passive and active codependents. Both 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. Both try to control and manipulate their narcissis­tic partners, but they each go about it differently.”

  1. Passive Codependents are more fearful and avoidant of conflict. For complicated reasons, mostly related to their extremely low self-esteem, fear of being alone, and tendency to be in relationships with controlling, dangerous, and/or abusive pathological narcissists, the passive codependent attempts to control or influence their partner through carefully, if not meticulously, executed strategies—most of which are intended to fall under the pathological narcissist’s radar. Because of the secretive and hidden nature of their tactics, a passive codependent is perceived as more resigned, stoic, and compliant than an active codependent. The attachment trauma experience taught them that there was no benefit in fighting back, or that doing so would result in worse consequences. For this reason alone, I surmise that passive codependents suffered a higher degree of childhood trauma than active codependents and are more afraid to reach out for help.
  2. Active Codependents are overtly manipulative in their control strategies to remedy the love, respect, and care inequity in their relationship. Not only are active codependents less insecure than their passive counterparts, but they also fall victim to what I call the codependency delusion. Since a delusion is a belief that is not supported by reality, an active codependent is being delusional when they sincerely believe they can control or mitigate the harm caused by their pathologically narcissistic loved one.


Five Codependency Categories

  1. Active
  2. Passive
  3. Anorexic
  4. Cerebral
  5. Oblivious

Watch this video to get a more thorough explanation of Ross’s Five Codependency Categories:

YouTube Videos on Codependency/SLDD

Codependency is Self-Love Deficit Disorder
"Codependency" No More - Self-Love Deficit Disorder Explained
Why Can't I Quit My Narcissist? Codependency Addiction (with Tracy Richards)
Codependency and Pathological Loneliness. Why We Stay with Narcissists?