Ross Rosenberg, a codependency and addictions expert, introduces his codependency addiction model and outline treatment objectives and protocols. Not only are codependents reflexively and irresistibly attracted to pathological narcissists, but they are also driven and controlled by a powerful and insidious addiction.
Codependency addiction manifests as a repetitive and compulsive pattern of relationships with pathologically narcissistic lovers. Short or long-term relationships with narcissists, their drug of choice, create temporary or fleeting moments of euphoria and feelings of relational perfection. Like a drug addiction, codependents seek to replicate the initial blissful experience of connection and emotional fulfillment. Sadly, like any drug or process addiction, the codependent cannot control the “drug” or narcissist who, by their very nature, cannot be controlled.
Despite chronic disappointments, broken promises to self and others, and a cascade of negative consequences, codependents continue their cycle of personal and relational self-destruction. The number one and most excruciatingly painful withdrawal symptom is pathological loneliness. This form of loneliness is reported to be as agonizing as any other chemical addiction withdrawal symptom. Codependency addiction and its unique withdrawal symptoms can also be explained by basic neurophysiology and bio-chemistry.