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Dependent personality disorder Personality Disorders  Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment Dependent Personality Disorder Root Cause Dependent personality disorder

Dependent personality disorder

The Dependent Personality Disorder is a form of various personality disorders. The Dependent Personality Disorder is characterized by a profound and excessive need to be cared for and leads through the fear of separation to submissive and clinging behavior.

This pattern begins in early adulthood and can be observed in various areas. Dependent and submissive behavior is intended to be cared for and incapable of adequately functioning without the help of others through one’s own judgment.

People with Dependent Personality Disruption find it extremely difficult to make daily decisions without the support of other people’s advice or recommendations for reassurance or confirmation. This can be very simple decisions, such as what pants should be worn or if an umbrella should be taken outside.

These individuals tend to live passively and allow other people and often only one person to take the initiative and responsibility for them throughout most of their lives.

Adults with this personality disorder often depend on their parent or partner to decide where to live, what job to take, or which neighbors to make friends with. Adolescents who have a dependent personality disorder tend to leave their parents with choices about what they wear, with whom they make friends, how they spend their free time, and what school or university they attend.

The need for others to take on responsibility exceeds age-appropriate or situational norms, such as when a child has a particular need for a developmental disorder or an elderly or physically handicapped person needs support in day-to-day functions.

Due to the great fear of losing support or consent, people with dependent personality disorders often have great difficulty expressing disagreements or differences with others, especially those of whom they are dependent.

These people feel so helpless to cope on their own that they even prefer to agree with things that they may find wrong, rather than risking losing the person they depend on.

People with dependent personality disorder have difficulty starting projects or doing things on their own. It may be that they take extreme routes to seek the support and empowerment of others. It happens that they voluntarily do unpleasant things as long as they serve to obtain or receive the needed support.

When they are alone, people with dependent personality disorder feel extremely exasperated and helpless because of their exaggerated fear of not being able to look after themselves.

After a relationship ends, such as the separation of a partner or the death of a parent, people with dependency disorder usually seek a new relationship as quickly as possible, providing them with the support they need.

Most are worried about being left alone and caring for themselves.

Dependent personality disorder is one of the most common diagnosed and occurs equally in women and men, with some studies indicating that women are more likely to be susceptible to addicted personality disorder. Usually, the disorder becomes apparent in young adulthood or later, when important relationships are formed.

Dependent Personality Disorder Symptoms

People with dependent personality disorder do not believe in their ability to make their own decisions and believe that others are better thinkers than they. Separation or loss from a person they depend on can greatly upset them, and may lead them to take special paths or even be emotionally or physically abused just to maintain the relationship.

Next enclose symptoms:

  • Difficult to make decisions without the consent of other
  • Extreme passivity and often pessimism
  • Problems expressing disagreements with others
  • Avoidance of personal responsibility
  • Avoiding being alone
  • Confusion or helplessness when a relationship ends
  • Inability to meet everyday needs
  • To be left in thoughts with fear
  • Easily vulnerable to criticism or disapproval
  • Willingness to tolerate poor treatment or abuse by others
  • Make the needs of others more personal
  • Tendency to be naive and to fantasize

Complications associated with this disorder may include depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and susceptibility to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Dependent Personality Disorder Root Cause

Although the causes of the disorder are unknown, there are indications that biological factors and developmental factors may be involved. Some scholars believe that an authoritarian or caring parenting style can contribute to the development of dependent personality disorder. The disorder usually manifests itself in young adulthood. Although the disorder is common, it has not been widely explored.

Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment

Psychotherapy is the preferred treatment for dependent personality disorder. The goal of any psychotherapy should be to make the person more active and independent, and to learn to build healthy relationships. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on maladaptive thought patterns that cause individuals to be unable to make their own decisions or unable to begin relationships. A short-term therapy (eg Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can be helpful in interrupting very concrete patterns of behavior and replacing them with optimized strategies.

A strategy for this can be, for example, a training in assertiveness to build the self-confidence of the person. There are also methods that help to develop new views and attitudes towards yourself and others. More meaningful for the change of a personality of a person, however, is a long-term psychotherapy (for example, psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy).

Here, experiences during the childhood development are illuminated and how they led to certain defense mechanisms, coping styles and attachment styles and intimacy styles in close relationships. Results are usually only visible after a long-term treatment or therapy.

Medicines are usually only prescribed if the disorder is subject to other problems, such as depression or anxiety disorders, especially as people are very vulnerable to becoming dependent on medicines and other substances.

As with most personality disorders , most people do not seek treatment themselves, but only seek treatment when problems occur in their lives, especially with regard to interpersonal relationships. Individuals with dependent personality disorder are particularly prone to develop depression or anxiety disorders , which can often be the trigger for seeking help.


American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.)
American Psychiatric Association, 
National Institutes of Health, 
National Library of Medicine

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Dependent personality disorder Personality Disorders  Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment Dependent Personality Disorder Root Cause Dependent personality disorder

Dependent personality disorder Personality Disorders  Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment Dependent Personality Disorder Root Cause Dependent personality disorder

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