Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder

By: Cassie Sieradzky

Dependent Personality Disorder is characterized by a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that could lead to clingy behavior and a fear of separation. These behaviors stem from a perception that the individual is unable to function properly on their own. People with dependent personality disorder have a difficult time making everyday decisions on their own and require an excessive amount of reassurance and advice from others. They often let others make major life decisions for them. The need of advice from others goes far beyond the appropriate amount for the individual’s age and situation at hand. Individuals with dependent personality disorder may go to extreme lengths to get the nurture they need and are preoccupied with worries of being left to take care of themselves.

Individuals suffering from dependent personality disorder do not trust their own decision making and often feel as though others are more competent. They have difficulty making decisions without reassurance from others, are extremely passive, have difficulty expressing disagreements with others, and avoid taking personal responsibility. They try and avoid being alone, feel helpless when a relationship ends, are easily hurt by disapproval from others, and are sometimes willing to tolerate mistreatment and abuse from others. Some possible risks associated with Dependent Personality Disorder are depression, addiction, and susceptibility to abuse by others.

The recommended treatment for dependent personality disorder is psychotherapy and medication if needed. Cognitive behavioral therapy is successful in altering the maladaptive thinking patterns and behaviors associated with this disorder, such as the belief that one is unable to make decisions on their own.

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from Dependent Personality Disorder, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit

Dependent Personality Disorder. (2017, April 19). Retrieved January 30, 2018, from

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