Dependent personality disorder is characterised by a pervasive, excessive need to be taken care of, leading to submissiveness and clinging behaviours.
- People with dependent personality disorder do not think they can take care of themselves and use submissiveness to try to get other individuals to take care of them.
- Medical professionals diagnose dependent personality disorder based on specific symptoms, including an individual’s need to be taken care of and fear of having to take care of self.
- Psychotherapy that focuses on examining fears of independence can help.
Personality disorders are long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause an individual significant distress and/or impair an individual’s ability to function.
Individuals with dependent personality disorder need to be taken care of and are extremely anxious about taking care of themselves.
To get the care they want, they are willing to give up their independence and interests. They thus become excessively dependent and submissive.
Dependent personality disorder occurs in less than 1% of the general population in the United States.
It is diagnosed more often in women, but some studies suggest it affects men and women equally.
Other disorders are also often present. Individuals often also have one or more of the following:
- A depressive disorder such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder).
- An anxiety disorder.
- An alcohol use disorder.
- Another personality disorder (such as borderline or histrionic).