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The phenomenon of codependency: psychological and medical genetic aspects

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Addictive behavioral disorders are multifactorial diseases with clinical, neurophysiological, and genetic heterogeneity, a high comorbidity with other disorders, and a low curability. The etiopathogenetic mechanisms of non-chemical forms of addictive behavior have not been sufficiently studied, which makes it difficult to search for effective therapeutic procedures.

Objective: to study the psychological and genetic components of a non-chemical addictive disorder as the phenomenon of codependency.

Patients and methods. The investigation enrolled 256 women who were divided into three comparison groups: 1) those with the phenomenon of codependency, 2) phenotypically healthy women; 3) a population sample. Psychometric testing was carried out using the «Hand Test» by E. Wagner (adapted by A.I. Gerasimov and S.N. Enikolopov) and the clinical and genealogical characteristics of women with the phenomenon of codependency were studied. Results and discussion. There was a statistically significant predominance of the level of aggressiveness as autoaggression in the structure of the personality profile of women with the phenomenon of codependency (t=2.924–3.015; p=0.004–0.005). The clinical and genealogical characteristics of persons with addictive behavioral disorder as the phenomenon of codependency suggest that there is a statistically significantly high frequency of secondary alcoholism among first-degree and second-degree relatives or both and first-degree male relatives (p<0.001).

Conclusion. The phenomenon of codependency as a non-chemical addiction includes psychological and genetic components. Women with codependency had autoaggressive destructive behavior patterns and a family history of alcoholism. The identified psychogenic characteristics can be considered as a risk for an addictive disease and somatoform disorders.

About the Authors

T. M. Rozhnova
I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Ministry of Health of Russia
Russian Federation

Tatiana M. Rozhnova

8, Trubetskaya St., Build 2, Moscow 119991

S. V. Kostyuk
Acad. N.P. Bochkov Research Center of Medical Genetics
Russian Federation

1, Moskvorechye St., Moscow, 115522

V. L. Malygin
A.I. Evdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Ministry of Health of Russia
Russian Federation

20, Delegatskaya St., Build. 1, Moscow 127473

S. N. Enikolopov
Mental Health Research Center
Russian Federation

34, Kashirskoe Shosse, Moscow, 115522

V. N. Nikolenko
I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Ministry of Health of Russia; M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

8, Trubetskaya St., Build 2, Moscow 119991, 

1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow 119991


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For citations:

Rozhnova T.M., Kostyuk S.V., Malygin V.L., Enikolopov S.N., Nikolenko V.N. The phenomenon of codependency: psychological and medical genetic aspects. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2020;12(5):53-59.

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