Characteristics of Dependent Personality Disorder

 

Dependent Personality Disorder pic

Dependent Personality Disorder
Image: webmd.com

Dr. Christie Mensch serves as a psychiatrist at the Wyandot Center in Kansas City, Kansas. At the mental health center, Dr. Christie Mensch draws on experience treating patients with personality disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), describes a personality disorder as a pervasive maladaptive pattern of relating that affects the way an individual perceives and interacts with others, the environment, and the self on a consistent basis across the adult lifespan. To be diagnosed with a personality disorder, the person’s experience must significantly deviate from cultural norms and must affect at least two of a group of areas that include cognition, affect regulation, social functioning, and control of impulses.

Dependent personality disorder includes conditions characterized by anxiety and fear. Persons with dependent personality disorder fear to be alone and feel incapable of caring for themselves.

Such individuals depend on others, or a single significant other, to make most major and minor decisions ranging from everyday wardrobe selections to career paths. Because people with dependent personality disorder feel so dependent on others, they avoid conflict and seek to ingratiate themselves with others.

This need to be controlled goes beyond what is typical for the person’s age and developmental stage. Adults may continue to depend on parents or seek out new relationships as soon as old relationships end so they do not have to face their fear of functioning independently in society.

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