Psychology Today defines dependent personality disorder (DPD) as a psychiatric condition marked by an over dependence on other people to meet one’s physical and emotional needs. People who suffer from this disorder often viewed as “clingy”, “needy”, and “passive”. LSD Abuse Help states, “the brain develops emotional reflexes and physiological responses in the body. This occurs through neurological pathways, which drive behavior. . .. However, dependent personality disorder affects this same area.” Due to the disorder affecting this area of the brain, a person may experience many problems:

  • The person may allow their parents or other authority figures to make all their decisions
  • The person may suffer from poor self-esteem and feelings of vulnerability
  • The person may have an inability to make decisions.
  • They may tolerate abusive behavior.
  • They may have difficulty expressing disagreement.
  • They may struggle greatly with the loss of a caregiver.
  • They may feel helpless or very uncomfortable being alone.
  • They may not have any form of tolerance for interpersonal conflict.

People who suffer from DPD are often at risk for developing addiction. Dr. Stefanie Stolinsky from Addiction Blog (2016) stated the people who suffer from DPD often have trouble expressing emotions of anger, shame, fear, disgust, and love. Due to this, they often develop habits of thinking such as “You made me feel this way” or “If you hadn’t done such and such, this would have never happened.” A person with DPD often blames others because they do not know how to address these feelings within themselves. When this happens, that person may rely on addiction to help them cope with these feelings.

A 2014 study conducted by Casadio and colleagues in Italy discovered that people who had a personality disorder were positively correlated to being placed in an addiction treatment community as well. Having a personality disorder was also correlated with a reduced probability of getting a job. People who suffer from DPD fear of losing approval from their loved ones, and may leave obligations if they feel their loved one does not approve.

Addiction may been seen as “helping” someone deal with their feelings and problems, but this is not the answer. If you suffer from DPD and an addiction, please know that many resources are available to you. Treatment for addiction often includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can help you restructure your thought patterns. Speak with a doctor today to learn more about your disorder and how you can overcome your addiction.





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