What is Dependent Personality Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

 Mental health professional describes personality as the person behaving, feeling, and thinking in a certain way. The personality disorder condition impacts how a person acts and feels and it makes them behave differently over time. Today, we’ll discuss what is dependent personality disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Dependent Personality Disorder? 

DPD (dependent personality disorder) falls under the category of anxious personality disorder. Often, people with DPD condition feel incapable of taking care of themselves, submissive, and helpless. It’s difficult for them to make decisions. They can learn self-reliance and self-confidence with proper treatment.

People with DPD condition experience the symptoms of anxiety when others aren’t accompanying them. They often depend on the support, advice, reassurance, and comfort of other people. However, the difference with other people is that they require reassurance from other people to operate and function in their life.

According to a statistical study, approximately 10% of the people experience the personality disorder, and roundabout 1% of them meet the diagnostic criteria of DPD. The DPD condition is more common in women than men.

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder 

People with dependent personality disorder condition spend a lot of time pleasing other people and over-rely on their support. They tend to exhibit the behavior of clingy, passive, and needy out of the fear of separation. However, some of the main symptoms of DPD condition are as follows;

  • Tendency to fantasize and be naive
  • Putting the needs of their caregiver above all, and on their own
  • Willing to tolerate the abuse and mistreatment of others
  • Find it hard to be alone
  • Incapability to launch a new project because of the limited self-confidence
  • Not disagreeing with others due to the fear of losing their approval and support
  • Limited self-confidence and pessimistic attitude comprising of the belief that they’re incapable of taking care of themselves
  • Oversensitive towards criticism
  • Highly fearful of abandonment, and a sense of hopelessness and devastation at the end of the relationship; people with DPD condition move from one relationship to another without any pause
  • Ignoring the responsibilities of adulthood by acting helpless and passive, and they rely on their spouse or friend to decide for them where they have to live or work
  • Incapability to make the decision for the routine activities in the daily life like what to wear and asking for reassurance from others

Some of the other symptoms that the people with DPD condition experience are as follows;

  • Hopelessness
  • Fear
  • Panic attack
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

The abovementioned symptoms are similar to the anxiety disorder condition. People with medical conditions like menopause and depression also experience similar types of symptoms.

Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder 

Researchers don’t know the exact cause of dependent personality disorder. Many mental health professionals believe that combinations of environmental and genetic factors play their part in its development. Some of the main life experiences that play their part in developing it are as follows;

  • Family/Religious/Cultural Behavior: some religious and cultural practices make some people develop the DPD condition that focuses on depending on the main authority. But politeness and passivity aren’t the main signs of DPD
  • Family History: you’re more likely to develop a DPD condition if you have a family member that has an anxiety disorder condition or DPD condition
  • Childhood Trauma: if a child has gone through a childhood abuse or other type of traumatic experience, it also impacts people that have gone through the life-threatening sickness in their childhood
  • Abusive Relationship: the diagnosis of DPD condition is higher among people that have a history of an abusive relationship

Diagnosis of DPD 

Your doctor would conduct a thorough physical examination in order to rule out other symptoms and conditions. It comprises the blood test to analyze the imbalance of hormones. Your doctor would refer you to a mental health professional if the test isn’t conclusive.

Usually, your psychologist would diagnose the DPD condition by analyzing your history, mental state, and symptoms; and how long you’ve been experiencing them.

Treatment of Dependent Personality Disorder 

The focus of the treatment plan is to reduce the symptoms, and the best treatment method is psychotherapy. It would help you to better understand yourself, and it teaches you to establish a healthier relationship with others and amplify your self-confidence and self-esteem.

The duration of therapeutic treatment is shot-term. If the therapy session goes long term, then it amplifies the probability that the patient would rely on the therapist.

The last resort is medications, and they would help you to relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Your psychotherapist would also prescribe your medicines if the anxiety disorder is causing you a panic attack. It’s important to mention here that the medicines for depression and anxiety are addictive, and you should consult with your doctor before using them.

Conclusion: What is Dependent Personality Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is dependent personality disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that DPD could badly disturb your life and make you reliant on others. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should discuss it with your therapist.