Dependent Personality Disorder

A personality disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of culture, and causes problems in normal functioning. Generally, psychological dependence is characterized by the patient’s belief that they must continue to engage in certain behaviours in order to maintain homeostasis.

Hence, dependent personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive, excessive need to be taken care of, leading to submissiveness and clinging behaviours. People with dependent personality disorder develop separation anxiety because they feel abandoned. They are at risk for social phobia because they don’t like to leave familiar people and surroundings.

People with this disorder are characterised by the following personality traits:

  • Inability to cope with everyday life on your own
  • Lack of initiative
  • Anxiety and Inhibition
  • Exaggerated fear of rejection

Among the most commonly diagnosed personality disorder, DPD is found in about 14% of people who have personality disorders and about 2.5% of the general population. Fewer than 1% of US population is estimated to have DPD. Other estimates show a median prevalence rate of 20%, with a range from 2% to 55%. It is diagnosed more often in women, but in some studies, occurrence in men and women was similar.

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