The term codependency comes out of the recovery movement with the reliably frequent observation that unhealed families tend to unconsciously subvert the newly-achieved sobriety of addicts. Recovery is not a matter of individual healing: Every interaction in a family damaged by the abuse must now change, which is difficult and scary.
But codependency involves more than a fear of change. Rather, it refers to the subtle (or not so subtle) encouragement of people's dependency on oneself. The codependent seek the company of the needy, the bewildered, the at-risk, the mentally ill: those with a wing down. Someone to help.