Dependent Personality Disorder
Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect the way a person thinks and acts. Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is just one of several different known types of personality disorders and without treatment, it can lead to complications with daily functioning at work, home, and in social situations.
Dependent personality disorder usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood and is characterized by symptoms of anxiety that appear when a person is left alone. Someone with dependent personality disorder has an overwhelming need for support from others. They may appear to be overly reliant or “clingy” and unable to make decisions on their own.
Dependent personality disorder can cause stress and anxiety as well as contribute to depression and reduced quality of life. If you or someone you know may be suffering from dependent personality disorder, we encourage you to call Blair Wellness Group to schedule an appointment with a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills.
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Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder
People with DPD are often fully capable of functioning and making decisions on their own, however, they still feel the need for support and constant reassurance from others. Because of this, they may be overly sensitive to feedback and have a fear of rejection or being left alone.
To be diagnosed with dependent personality disorder, an individual must exhibit at least five of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty making decisions without the input or reassurance of others
- Avoids disagreeing with someone for fear of disapproval
- Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life
- Difficulty doing things on their own without the support of others
- Feels helpless when left alone
- Quickly seeks another relationship when one ends
- Preoccupied with fears of being left alone
Risk Factors of Dependent Personality Disorder
Similar to other types of personality disorders, there is no specific cause but rather its development is thought to be caused by one or more possible risk factors such as:
- History of separation anxiety disorder in childhood
- Childhood trauma
- Family history of DPD or another anxiety disorder
- History of chronic illness in childhood
- Being brought up in a household with authoritative or overprotective parents
- Being in a long-term abusive relationship
Complications of Dependent Personality Disorder
Because DPD is similar to other types of anxiety disorders, individuals who struggle with it may develop mood disorders or turn to unhealthy means of coping. That’s why it’s imperative to seek treatment as early as possible. Although many people may feel awkward or self-conscious about reaching out for help, ignoring their symptoms will only lead to complications such as depression, changes in sleeping and eating habits, and the development of substance abuse disorders.
Treatment For Dependent Personality Disorder
Medication can be used to treat anxiety and depression related to DPD in the short term, but psychotherapy is a longer-term solution aimed at helping individuals better understand their disorder and build resilience that will aid in managing and even overcoming their symptoms. If you have questions about dependent personality disorder or would like to meet with a licensed psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, please contact Blair Wellness Group to schedule an appointment.
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