Dependent Personality Disorder

Symptoms and Treatments

What is Dependent Personality Disorder?

Dependent personality disorder is an enduring pattern of distorted thought, behavior, and life functioning. Individuals with this type of personality disorder are more prone to experience anxiety disorders and affects a greater number of women than men.

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder

Individuals with dependent personality disorder typically experience:
  • A chronic and pervasive pattern of dependent, submissive, and needy behavior
  • Seek out excessive advice, approval, and encouragement
  • Sensitivity to criticism or rejection
  • Low self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • An inability to make decisions without direction from others
  • Feelings of helplessness when alone
  • An inability to disagree with others
  • Extreme devastation when close relationships end and a need to immediately begin a new relationship

Treatments for Dependent Personality Disorder

Psychotherapy is generally the recommended treatment for dependent personality disorder. In some cases, anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants are prescribed to help individuals overcome anxious or depressive symptoms and participate fully in therapy. Medication alone is not a recommended treatment for any personality disorder.

Because personality disorders affect thoughts, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships, cognitive-behavioral therapy is often very effective. This type of therapy helps individuals develop new ways of thinking, behaving, and communicating.


Further Reading:
Overview of Personality Disorders

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