Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a mental health condition characterized by excessive dependence on others. People affected by this disorder often have difficulty making everyday decisions and may even go to extreme lengths to please others. This can lead to difficulties in making decisions and forming relationships, as well as a constant worry about losing the support of others.
DPD usually begins in early adulthood and can significantly negatively impact a person’s social and occupational functioning. In this blog post, we will discuss DPD in more detail, including its symptoms, causes, treatment, and prognosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder?
The symptoms of DPD can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
Inability to make decisions without the approval of others
Excessive need to be taken care of and a fear of abandonment
Difficulty starting or completing tasks without the support of others
Difficulty forming relationships or maintaining relationships due to the fear of abandonment
Low self-esteem and self-worth
Inability to express opinions or feelings
Submissive and clingy behavior
Difficulty expressing anger or asserting oneself
Substance abuse disorder
Causes and Risk Factors
Dependent personality disorder is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Research suggests that people with a family history of the disorder are at a higher risk of developing it. Additionally, traumatic events, such as physical or emotional abuse, may increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
DPD is often diagnosed in adulthood and is estimated to affect less than 1% of the general population in the US. The disorder is more common in women than men and often develops in childhood or adolescence due to inconsistent or neglectful parenting. Children who grow up in environments where their needs are not met and their emotional and physical safety is not ensured are more likely to develop DPD later in life.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing DPD requires a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional. The diagnosis is based on the individual’s symptoms, as well as their history and behavior. A mental health professional may also use self-report questionnaires, behavioral observations, and interviews with family members and friends to assess the individual’s behavior and symptoms.
Treatment for DPD can include psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy is often the preferred treatment for DPD and can help individuals learn new coping strategies, improve their self-esteem and self-worth, and reduce their fear of abandonment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy are two common types of psychotherapy that have been found to be effective in treating DPD.
Medication may also be used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression that often accompany DPD. Antidepressants and anxiety-reducing medications may be prescribed, but it’s important to note that medication should not be used as the sole treatment for DPD.
DPD can significantly impact a person’s daily life, making it difficult to form and maintain relationships, work effectively, and make independent decisions. However, with the help of therapy and medication, individuals with DPD can learn new coping strategies, reduce their fear of abandonment, and improve their daily functioning.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of DPD, seek help from a mental health professional. The team at Addiction Interventions is always here for you, so call us at (866) 584-2525 or contact us online today.
Join forces with our intervention specialists to break the cycle of self-destructive behavior if your loved one has an addiction. Addition Interventions is licensed by the State of California and provides addiction interventions nationwide.
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