However, medication therapy in itself does not usually treat the core problems caused by personality disorders. They may feel devastated by loss and separation, and they may even suffer abuse to stay in a relationship. Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is an anxious personality disorder characterized by an inability to be alone. That said, it might occur just as often in men, but remain undiagnosed for a variety of reasons. Without trained intervention families afflicted by DPD may disintegrate over time, but when treatment is provided it can lead to dramatic and positive changes in family dynamics—and this is especially true when family members … Gambling Disorder (Compulsive Gambling, Pathological Gambling), Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), Sedative, Hypnotic, and Anxiolytic-Related Disorders, Substance/Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder, Neurocognitive Disorders (Mild and Major), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Adult, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Children, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Teen, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (Children and Adolescents), Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder), Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia), Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), Binge-Eating Disorder (Compulsive Overeating), Persistent (Chronic) Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, Psychotic Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition, Genito-Pelvic Pain or Penetration Disorder (Sexual Pain Disorder), Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Arousal Disorders, Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder, Factitious Disorder (Munchausen Syndrome). This condition is inflexible, maladaptive, and can cause dysfunction and distress. A dependent personality disorder is an anxious personality disorder characterized by an inability to be alone. Although certain cultural factors can affect behavior in a way that may appear similar to DPD, it is not a disorder. They may have trouble making simple decisions. The health care provider will consider how long and how severe the person's symptoms are. Individuals with this disorder find it difficult to initiate projects or work independently. People with DPD develop symptoms of anxiety when they’re not around others. The disorder usually appears in early adulthood. Treatment. The dependent and submissive behaviors are designed to elicit caregiving and arise from a self-perception of being unable to function adequately without the help of others. It occurs equally in men and women, usually becoming apparent in young adulthood or later as important adult relationships form. Dependent Personality Disorder The dependent personalitydisordered individual suffers from a neediness that is marked by an over reliance on others. Work performance may be affected when initiative and autonomy are required. If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, they might refer the person to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other health care professional trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Individuals who experienced separation anxiety disorder or chronic physical illness in childhood or adolescence may be at higher risk of developing this disorder. All rights reserved. Adults with this disorder typically depend on a parent or spouse to decide where they should live, what kind of job they should have, and which people to befriend. Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is part of a category of disorders called Anxious Personality Disorder which is characterized by impotence, submissiveness, desire to be taken care of and continual reassurance, and failure to make choices. With psychotherapy (counseling), many people with DPD can learn how to make more independent choices in their lives. Antidepressants, sedatives, and tranquilizers are often prescribed for patients with dependent personality disorder to treat co-occurring conditions. More women than men have been found to have dependent personality disorder. Dependent personality disorder is a mental illness marked by an intense fear of being alone. The Psychological Insight From a $2.95 Cup of Coffee. Start Your Free Trial to Watch This Series . Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life. Other Signs and symptoms, as cataloged by the DSM-5: A pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following: Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others. People with this disorder do not trust their own ability to make decisions and feel that others are more quipped. The primary method of treatment for dependent personality disorder is Behavioral health therapy. Medication might be used to treat people with DPD who also suffer from related problems such as depression or anxiety. People with dependent personality disorder should consider psychotherapy for treatment. Dependent personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation. The prevalence of this disorder in the general population is estimated at less than 1 percent. People with DPD tend to display needy, passive, and clinging behavior, and have a fear of separation. Dependent personality disorder is a pattern of behavioral functioning that deviates from cultural norms. As is the case with many personality disorders, people with DPD generally do not seek treatment for the disorder itself. The symptoms of dependent personality disorder primarily include a long-standing need for the person to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned or separated from important individuals in his or her life. Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself. A diagnosis of DPD must be distinguished from borderline personality disorder, as the two share common symptoms. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Although prevention of the disorder might not be possible, treatment of DPD can sometimes allow a person who is prone to this disorder to learn more productive ways of dealing with situations. Inability to make decisions, even everyday decisions like what to wear, without the advice and reassurance of others, Avoidance of adult responsibilities by acting passive and helpless; dependence on a spouse or friend to make decisions like where to work and live, Intense fear of abandonment and a sense of devastation or helplessness when, Pessimism and lack of self-confidence, including a belief that they are unable to care for themselves, Avoidance of disagreeing with others for fear of losing support or approval, Inability to start projects or tasks because of a lack of self-confidence, Willingness to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others, Placing the needs of their caregivers above their own. Medicines may help treat other mental conditions, such as … It is often useful for the therapist and patient together to pay attention to the role of therapist in order to recognize and address ways in which the patient may form the same kind of passive reliance in the treatment relationship that happens outside of treatment. Learn dependent personality disorder with free interactive flashcards. Talk therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment. Dependent personality disorder is described as a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior as well as fears of separation. They are afraid to disagree with other people, and often accept abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional) of other people if these people offer them also nurturance and support. This leads the person to engage in dependent and submissive behaviors that are designed to elicit care-giving behaviors in others. Dependent personality disorder affects about 0.7 percent of the population and affects men at the same rate as women. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. Sociopath vs. Psychopath: What’s the Difference? Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is the main method of treatment for DPD. Learn more about this chronic condition. Submitter: Katie Cantu; Psychotherapy. Find an expert on dependent personality disorder. People with DPD are at risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and phobias, as well as substance abuse. The cause of this disorder is unknown. (Note: Does not include realistic fears of retribution.). It often begins in early adult years and is present in several contexts; social and personal. Individuals with this disorder feel uncomfortable or helpless when alone, because of their exaggerated fears of being unable to care for themselves. People with DPD often feel helpless, submissive or incapable of taking care of themselves. It's the most commonly diagnosed personality disorder and it seems to occur more often in women, based on gender splits of diagnosed cases. How do you treat dependent personality disorder? Some researchers believe an authoritarian or overprotective parenting style can lead to the development of dependent personality traits in people who are susceptible to the disorder. Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a mental state in which an individual overly or excessively depend on others to fulfill their emotional and physical needs. Psychotherapy aimed at modifying personality may be more successful when begun early, when the patient is highly motivated for change, and when there is a strong working relationship between the therapist and patient. Are Some Personality Disorders Polar Opposites of Others? Treatment Summary: The most effective approach is one that focuses on the life problems that the patient is having. Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a long psychological dependence on others for their own emotional and physical needs. These people look for overprotection and domination from others. Usually, people with DPD are clingy and behave in a submissive way. With DPD, the person responds to the fear with submissiveness and seeks another relationship to maintain their dependency. These individuals feel so unable to function alone that they will agree with things that they feel are wrong rather than risk losing the help of those to whom they look for guidance. This personality disorder is a long-term condition [1] in which people depend on others to meet their emotional and physical needs, with only a minority achieving normal levels of independence. Maskers Versus Anti-Maskers: Who Are the Bigger Sheep? 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