Personality disorders can cause inflexibility, maladaptive behaviors, and impaired functioning. According to Psychology Today, “dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a psychiatric condition marked by an overreliance on other people to meet one’s emotional and physical needs”. A person who has DPD often feels an excessive need to be taken care of – they may be seen as “clingy” and may have fears of separation. DPD often means having difficulty making everyday decisions – for example, a person with this disorder may have trouble deciding what to wear or whether to bring a jacket without excessive reassurance from others.
Cleveland Clinic provides several symptoms of DPD:
- Avoidance of personal responsibility, especially of tasks that involve independent functioning
- Requiring excessive advice and reassurance regarding minute, every day decisions
- An intense fear of abandonment and a sense of devastation or helplessness if a relationship ends
- Avoidance of disagreements that could cause losing support or approval from others
- Willingness to tolerate abuse or mistreatment from others
- Placing more importance on their caregivers than themselves
- Overly sensitive to criticism
- Being pessimistic and having a low self-esteem
- Having trouble beginning projects, especially on one’s own
DPD can wreak havoc in daily life, especially if one does not seek treatment to manage their symptoms. Previous research has shown that symptoms such as excessive dependence found in DPD could be associated with several other personality disorders, including bipolar disorder and major depression. Mental Health Resources, a website that provides information on depression and anxiety disorders as well as treatment, states that co-dependency is highlighted by feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, focus on others’ needs, and feeling unworthy, all which can lead into depression.
By suppressing one’s feelings regarding their needs and desires, they fail to focus on their own happiness. Depression can be considered as a feeling of hopelessness and a lack of fulfillment – the characteristics of DPD can cause a person to feel worthless, especially if their caregiver or significant other rejects or criticizes them.
Treatment for DPD and depression requires a holistic, integrative approach. This means that an appropriate treatment center should be able to help a person work on symptoms for both DPD and depression. Psychotherapy is a beneficial approach, as the person can work with a therapist one-on-one to develop the tools needed to overcome debilitating symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a great tool used in psychotherapy that helps a person change negative thought patterns into more positive, productive ones.
If you have dependent personality disorder and/or depression and are ready to manage your symptoms, call us at New Vista Behavioral Health today. We offer world-renowned, professional facilities with a home-like atmosphere so that you can focus strictly on your recovery. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals will work with you to ensure you develop the tools you need. For a consultation, call us today at 855-517-2669.