Dependent Personality Disorder
Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is one of a group of conditions called "anxious personality disorders," which are marked by feelings of nervousness and fear. DPD is also marked by helplessness, submissiveness, a need to be taken care of and for constant reassurance, and an inability to make decisions. DPD is one of the most frequently diagnosed personality disorders. It appears to occur equally in men and women, and usually appears in early to middle adulthood.
People with DPD become emotionally dependent on other people and spend great effort trying to please others. They also tend to display needy, passive, and clinging behavior, and have a fear of separation. People with DPD are prone to developing depression or anxiety, and symptoms of these disorders might prompt the individual to seek help.
Other common characteristics of this personality disorder include the following:
Inability to make decisions, even everyday decisions, without the advice and reassurance of others.
Avoidance of personal responsibility; avoidance of jobs that require independent functioning and positions of responsibility.
Intense fear of abandonment and a sense of devastation or helplessness when relationships end; often move right into another relationship when one ends.
Over-sensitivity to criticism.
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.
Difficulty being alone.
Willingness to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others.
Placing the needs of their caregivers above their own.
Tendency to be na´ve and to live in fantasy.
Although the exact cause of dependent personality disorder is not known, it most likely involves both biological and developmental factors. 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.
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