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Dependent Personality Disorder

Seeking approval and reassurance from our loved ones is a natural human desire. We value their opinions and often look to them for guidance. But, when that guidance becomes a complete dependency on another person and an inability to function adequately without help from others, a Dependent Personality Disorder may be the underlying issue.

Dependent Personality Disorder is a cluster C personality disorder characterized by a crippling emotional and often physical reliance on others. This dependency can make it challenging to make day-to-day decisions, maintain healthy relationships and have an empowered sense of self. Those struggling with Dependent Personality Disorder often see their symptoms appear in early adulthood and can go to extreme lengths to feel loved and valued.

People with DPD become very emotionally dependent on their caregivers and spend a significant amount of time trying to please others. They tend to display passive, needy and clingy behaviors. Some of the most common features of Dependent Personality Disorder include:

· Difficulty being alone
· Avoidance of personal responsibility
· Extreme sensitivity to criticism
· Inability to make everyday decisions without the reassurance from others
· Intense fear of abandonment
· Lack of self-confidence and overall pessimism due to the belief that they are incapable of caring for themselves
· Placing the needs of others before themselves
· Tolerance of abusive treatment

While Dependent Personality Disorder is a rare and infrequently occurring mental health issue, it is correlated with separation anxiety and experiences in adolescence that requires chronic attention, such as physical illness. Presently, psychotherapy and more specifically, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is a leading treatment for those struggling with DPD. By challenging clients to critically assess their thought patterns and actualizing skills to promote independence and self-empowerment, clients can learn to reinforce patterns of behavior and thoughts that promote a stronger self of self and agency in decision making.

At Resilience Treatment Center clients are presented with the tools and skills to overcome their obstacles such as DPD. In working with one’s primary therapist and treatment team to institute a tailored treatment plan, clients will work towards their therapy using a range of effective modalities such as CBT, DBT and others in both individual and group settings.

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