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Dependent Personality Disorder

What is it?

People with dependent personality disorder feel incapable of taking care of themselves. They often feel helpless or incompetent, even if the matter involves simple decision-making such as choosing what to wear. Therefore, they are very reliant on others for their emotional and physical needs to the extent where others may describe them as clingy or needy. They also consistently seek other others’ assurance for their decisions or actions. As people with dependent personality disorder are very reliant on others while find great difficulty in being alone or facing disapproval, they can be easily taken advantage of as well. 

 

Symptoms

  • Fear of being left alone to provide for oneself 

  • Extreme dependence on others and feelings of helplessness when alone 

  • Lack of self-confidence, overly sensitive to criticism and pessimistic

  • Difficulty making small decisions (e.g. what to eat) or disagreeing with others (in the fear of disapproval)

  • Excessively seeking advice or reassurance

  • Tendency to start a new relationship when the previous one ended

 

Treatment

Like other personality disorders, the treatment for dependent personality disorder is talk-therapy such as psychotherapy or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of dependent personality disorder, seek out a professional. He or she will work together with you to improve your self-confidence and work on goals for you to be more self-reliant.