Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron1

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

Personality Disorder => Anxiety Disorder => Dependent Personality Disorder 2

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

(1) "a personality disorder that is characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on other people" (according to Wikipedia)
(2) "a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts" (according to American Psychiatric Association)
(3) Though not very clear, it's predicted that children with authoritarian parents could develop this disease later in life due to lack of choice offered to the child.

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

(1) has difficulty making everyday decisions without others' opinions
(2) avoids personal responsibilities
(3) finds it difficult to disagree with others due to fear of loss of support from them
(4) lacks self-confidence in judgment
(5) lacks motivation / energy to initiate activities
(6) does whatever it takes to obtain support from others regardless of how extreme it is
(7) feels uncomfortable / helpless when alone because 'supporters' are not present
(8) very fearful to take care of oneself alone without others
(**paraphrased from

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

It hasn't been quite defined what the cause of this disorder is, but it's predicted that it involves both biological and developmental factors. Some psychologists believe that dependent personality disorder may be derived from an authoritarian or overprotective parenting style due to continuous repression and lack of options for the growing child.

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

Alike other personality disorders, people with dependent personality disorder do not seek treatment for the disorder itself, but only when they are faced with overwhelming situations. People with this disease easily develop depression or anxiety if they are left alone to make decisions or take charge of an activity.Psychotherapy is the main method of treatment for people with this disorder. The therapy encourages the patients to become more active and independent in everyday lives through assertiveness training. Short-term therapy is preferred than long-term therapies for people with dependent personality disorders because they can become dependent on the therapist after a long period of time.Sometimes, medication is offered to treat symptoms such as depression or anxiety, but like the therapy, long-term in-take can be harmful if patients become dependent on the medicine. 2

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The NeuronNotes of first therapy session with Mona, female, 32, diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder (or Codependence)

"I know I won't actually die, but it often feels like it." - says Mona and nervously pats her auburn hair - "I can't live without him, that's for sure. When he is gone, it's like life switching from Technicolor to black and white. There is no excitement, this electricity in the air that seems to constantly surround him." She misses him so much that it physically hurts. Sometimes she feels like throwing up at the mere thought of separating or being abandoned by him. She is helpless without him: "He is so masterful and knows how to fix things around the house." He is gorgeous and a great lover.

Is he intellectually stimulating? Do they talk a lot? She moves uncomfortably in her seat: "He is more the silent strong type." She is supporting him financially. "He is studying". In the last seven years he had switched from psychology to political science to physical therapy. How long will she underwrite his quest for self-realization? "As long as it takes. I love him".

She acknowledges that he is verbally and sometimes physically abusive. He has cheated on her more times than she can count, usually with classmates at the university. So, why is she still with him? "He has his good sides". Do they outweigh his bad ones? She is evidently displeased with my question but is reluctant to express her reservations.

I tell her that - her intimate partner having refused to attend therapy - I am merely trying to get to know him better if only by proxy. Evidently something is bothering her, otherwise we wouldn't be having this therapy session. "I want to learn how to hold on to him."- she whispers - "He is a very special man and has special needs. I am looking for guidance on how to hook him. I want him to become addicted to me, like a junkie." She even participated in group sex once or twice to make his fantasies come true.

Does this strike her as the basis for a healthy relationship? She doesn't care. She consulted all her friends and even casual acquaintances but she doesn't know whether to trust them. Does she have many friends? Not any more. Why not? People get tired of her, they say that she is clinging. But that's not true - she only asks their advice on a regular basis. "What are friends for, anyhow?"

Does she have a job? She is a lawyer, but her dream is to become a film director. She vividly and enthusiastically describes what she would do behind the camera. What's holding her back? She laughs self-deprecatingly: "Except for mediocre talent, nothing."
Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron

Dependent Personality Disorder - 2010 - The Neuron



More pages