Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment at Promises

People with dependent personality disorder (DPD) have a difficult time functioning independently. They have trouble relying on their own mind and intuition and often find it impossible to make decisions on their own. They seek advice from others and look to others to tell them what to do, how to behave and how to live. Even after they receive advice, they need constant reassurance that they’re doing the right thing. Because of their clingy behavior, they tend to alienate people around them.

People with dependent personality disorder can become rigid and inflexible. They get stuck in their dependency patterns. There are negative effects on their social and family lives and jobs. In these situations, people may require residential personality disorder treatment.

At Promises, our mental health specialists provide personalized treatment for dependent personality disorder. We also treat co-occurring mental health disorders.

What to Expect in Treatment

People who seek personality disorder treatment at Promises will find a wide range of approaches. The first part of the process is psychological testing. Treatment for DPD requires an assessment of the client’s disorder symptoms. We also determine whether there is a different mental disorder involved. Our assessment may include ruling out or treating some of the following:

Dependent personality disorder symptoms may be treated with assertiveness training and cognitive behavioral therapy. This helps clients develop more self-confidence and new attitudes toward themselves and others. Therapists might also use psychodynamic psychotherapy. Or they may use time-limited therapy to look at their behavior. Some therapists use techniques from the field of positive psychology. When there are co-occurring disorders such as depression or substance abuse, we will address all issues. Promises’ therapies include individual, group and family therapy. Treatment may also include approaches like mindfulness and experiential therapies. Treatment may help with the following:

  • Creating awareness of existing personality traits
  • Strategies to help people with DPD care for themselves
  • Empowerment to help with difficulty making decisions
  • Supportive techniques for lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Help to learn how to express disagreement
  • Personality disorder medications if needed
  • Guidance with parenting issues and parental issues
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for fear of abandonment and dependent behaviors
  • Guidance for developing healthy close relationships
  • Group therapy with others living with dependent personality or other mental health disorders

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent personality disorder is diagnosed when a person has a long-standing need to be taken care of. They fear being abandoned or separated from other individuals important to them. Because of this, the individual may act submissive and dependent so that others will take care of them. Some people refer to the condition as codependent personality disorder. Many people with dependent personality disorder feel like they cannot live without others’ help. People with this disorder may spend much of their time people-pleasing. They try to anticipate and meet the needs of others.

A person with dependent personality disorder doesn’t trust their ability to make decisions. They will do almost anything to have others take care of them. And they will go to extraordinary lengths to maintain these relationships, even to the point of suffering abuse. Symptoms of dependent personality disorder include:

  • Avoidance of being alone
  • Acting submissive to keep a relationship
  • Being hypersensitive to disapproval or criticism
  • Difficulty accepting personal responsibility
  • Acting extremely passive in relationships
  • Feeling helpless when relationships end and urgently seeking another relationship so that the support can continue
  • Difficulty making decisions without the help of others
  • Difficulty expressing any kind of disagreement with others
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Lacking self-confidence, leading to problems initiating projects or doing things on their own
  • Pessimism
  • Placing needs of caregivers above their own
  • The tendency to fantasize and to be naïve
  • Difficulty starting new things and being responsible for projects
  • Wanting other people to think for them

Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder

The disorder usually begins in childhood. Dependent personality disorder most likely involves a combination of biological and developmental factors.

Chronic illness or separation anxiety disorder in childhood may predispose people. An overprotective or authoritarian style of parenting may also impact people.

Dependent personality disorder refers to both attachment and dependency behaviors. Researchers view them as two separate issues. They’ve also made a distinction between DPD and love or sex addiction. A person with DPD may have some of the same emotional traits and overlapping behaviors. But these are seen as two distinct syndromes.

A Disorder That Affects Both Men and Women

Gender stereotypes tell us women are more dependent and clingy. But, DPD occurs equally in men and women. It often becomes more apparent in young adulthood. Sometimes it becomes apparent later as important adult relationships form. It begins to manifest in a variety of relationships, including romantic, family, social and business situations. And it is likely to occur at different levels in most of these relationships.

The consequences of dependent personality disorder can be crippling. Many people with this disorder have a fear of abandonment and live in terror of loss. They sublimate themselves to the needs and desires of others in order to hold on to relationships. If one relationship is lost, they will seek to quickly replace it in order to recreate the caregiving with the other person.

Dependent Personality Disorder Vs. Borderline Personality Disorder

It is important to receive an accurate diagnosis. This will distinguish dependent personality disorder from borderline personality disorder. Some of the symptoms are similar, but there are important differences. For example, a person with DPD responds to the threat of abandonment by becoming fearful and submissive. Or they seek another relationship to try to fill the void immediately.

Get Help With Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment

If you answer yes to some of the following questions, you may want to consider treatment for dependent personality disorder:

  • Are you so dependent on another person that you feel like you’ve lost your own identity?
  • Do you obsess over being abandoned and left to fend for yourself?
  • Have you put up with extreme conditions, even abuse, so you will continue to receive care and support?
  • Do others regularly characterize you as “clingy” or “needy” in your relationships?

Promises’ dedicated team of mental health professionals can guide you through the issues that have robbed you of meaningful relationships. In residential personality disorder treatment, we help you address the underlying issues that can lead to dependent personality disorder and co-occurring issues like substance abuse. Call today for a free, confidential consultation: 1.713.528.3709