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Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment

Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment at Promises

People with dependent personality disorder (DPD) have a difficult time functioning independently and relying on their own mind and intuition. They often find it impossible to make decisions on their own. They constantly 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, needy behavior, they tend to alienate people around them.

Research shows that people with dependent personality disorder can become so rigid and inflexible in their dependency patterns, there are negative effects on their social and family lives, as well as their jobs. In these situations, people may require residential personality disorder treatment.

At Promises, our mental health specialists provide personalized treatment for dependent personality disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders. Treatment strategies may include assertiveness training and cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients develop more self-confidence and new attitudes toward themselves and others. In the case of co-occurring disorders such as depression and substance abuse, our medical and behavioral teams address all issues simultaneously. Therapies include individual, group and family therapy as well as approaches like mindfulness, support groups, psychiatric care and experiential therapies.

What Is Dependent Personality Disorder?

Dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-standing need to be taken care of and fears 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, trying to anticipate and meet the need of others.

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder

A person with dependent personality disorder doesn’t trust their ability to make decisions, whether major or minor. They will do almost anything to have others take care of them, and will go to extraordinary lengths to maintain these relationships, even to the point of suffering abuse.

Easily upset by separation and loss, a person with dependent personality disorder may also exhibit some or many of the following symptoms:

  • Avoidance of being alone
  • Act or be submissive to keep a relationship
  • Hypersensitive to disapproval or criticism
  • Difficulty accepting personal responsibility
  • Extremely passive in relationships
  • Helpless when relationships end, leading to urgently seeking another relationship so that the nurturing and support can continue
  • Difficulty making decisions without the help of others
  • Difficulty expressing any kind of disagreement with others
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Lacks self-confidence, leading to problems initiating projects or doing things on their own
  • Pessimistic
  • Places needs of caregivers above their own
  • Tendency to fantasize and to be naïve
  • Difficulty starting new things and being responsible for projects
  • Wants other people to think for them

Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder

While researchers do not know the specific causes of dependent personality disorder, it is believed that chronic illness or separation anxiety disorder in childhood or adolescence may predispose people to developing dependent personality disorder.

Dependent personality disorder most likely involves a combination of biological and developmental factors. Some researchers believe that an overprotective or authoritarian style of parenting can lead to the development of dependent personality disorder traits in people who are susceptible to it.

The disorder usually begins in childhood. While dependent personality disorder refers to both attachment and dependency behaviors, researchers view them as two separate and distinct entities. Researchers have also made a distinction between DPD and love addiction. While the person with DPD may present with some of the same emotional traits and overlapping behaviors, these are recognized as two distinct syndromes.

A Disorder That Affects Both Men and Women

Despite gender stereotypes that tell us women are more dependent and clingy, DPD occurs equally in men and women. It often becomes more apparent in young adulthood or later as important adult relationships form. It begins to manifest in a variety of relationships – romantic, family, social and business – and is likely to occur at different levels in most of those relationships.

For both men and women, the consequences of dependent personality disorder can be crippling. Many people with this disorder have a deep 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 to and from the other person.

Dependent Personality Disorder Vs. Borderline Personality Disorder

It is important to receive an accurate diagnosis and to distinguish dependent personality disorder from borderline personality disorder. Some of the symptoms are similar, but there are important differences. A person with DPD responds to the threat of abandonment by becoming fearful and submissive or seeking another relationship to try to fill the void immediately. With borderline personality disorder, the person has a different response: They typically feel empty and become angry and filled with rage.

Do You Need Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment?

If you answer yes to 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, just so you will continue to receive care and support?
  • Do others regularly characterize you as “clingy” or “needy” in your relationships?

Get Help Now

Our dedicated team of mental health professionals can assist you as you navigate through the issues that have robbed you of meaningful relationships. In residential personality disorder treatment, we help you address the underlying interpersonal, emotional and trauma issues that can lead to dependent personality disorder and co-occurring issues like substance abuse. Call today for a free, confidential consultation: 844-876-5568.

To learn more about Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment, call 844-876-5568

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