Dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people depend too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs. This personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which people depend on others to meet their emotional and physical needs, with only a minority achieving normal levels of independence. Individuals with Dependent Personality Disorder are often characterized by pessimism and self-doubt, tend to belittle their abilities and assets, and may constantly refer to themselves as “stupid.”
- Inability to make decisions, even everyday decisions like what to wear, without the advice and reassurance of others.
- Feelings of helplessness when alone
- An inability to disagree with others
- Avoidance of disagreeing with others for fear of losing support or approval.
- Inability to start projects or tasks because of a lack of self-confidence.
- Oversensitivity to criticism.
- Urgently seeks another relationshipas a source of care and support when a close relationship ends
- Willingness to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others.
- Having problems expressing disagreements with others
Like most personality disorders, dependent personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s.
Talk therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment. The aim is to help people with this condition make more independent choices in life. Medicines may help treat other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression that occur along with this disorder. This type of therapy helps individuals develop new ways of thinking, behaving, and communicating.