Diagnosis of Dependent Personality Disorder

A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific diagnostic criteria.

For medical professionals to diagnose dependent personality disorder, individuals must have a persistent, excessive need to be taken care of, resulting in submissiveness and clinging behaviour, as shown by at least five of the following:

  1. They have difficulty making daily decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from other people.
  2. They need to have other people be responsible for most important aspects of their life.
  3. They have difficulty expressing disagreement with others because they are afraid of losing support or approval.
  4. They have difficulty starting projects on their own because they are not confident in their judgement and/or abilities (not because they lack motivation or energy).
  5. They are willing to go to great lengths (for example, do unpleasant tasks) to obtain support from others.
  6. They feel uncomfortable or helpless when they are alone because they fear they cannot take care of themselves.
  7. When a close relationship ends, they feel an urgent need to establish a new relationship with someone who will provide care and support.
  8. They are preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of themselves.

Also, symptoms must have begun by early adulthood.

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