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Dependent Personality Disorder –What You Should Know

Published on: June 20, 2022

Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder is one of the most common personality disorders, affecting about 3% of the population. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least understood.

The term “dependent” encompasses a lot of different behaviors, but all of them are characterized by an inability to function without help from others. The disorder affects men and women equally, and most people with Dependent Personality Disorder are not aware that they have it.

People with dependent personality disorder have difficulty making decisions independently and often need help with day-to-day tasks that other people take for granted, like making appointments or doing laundry. As a result, they can be afraid to make decisions because they think they’ll be judged negatively if they make the wrong choice. Thereby, they rely on others to choose for them, leading to resentment and conflict in the relationship when one person feels like they’re constantly being told what to do!

Types of Dependent Personality Disorder

There are three types of Dependent Personality Disorder, and they’re not always easy to tell apart.


This person is typically the one who puts up with a lot from others—they’re often the ones who take on the caregiving role in relationships—and they may feel like they don’t have much going for them on their own. As a result, they might be overly submissive and accommodating and may have difficulty making decisions without input from others.

High-functioning Dependent

High-functioning dependent means that this person has a job or education but still struggles with maintaining relationships and making their own decisions. In this type of disorder, the person with high-functioning dependent personality disorder may appear independent most of the time but still struggle with making decisions or doing things independently.

Maladaptive dependent

Another type of dependent personality disorder is called “maladaptive dependent.” This dependency is similar to classic co-dependency but has more severe symptoms. For example, maladaptive dependents might be unable to live independently because they need so much support from others, use manipulation or control tactics to get what they need, or have trouble setting boundaries.

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough? That you have to be perfect to be loved? Do you feel like no one will ever understand you or accept you for who you are?

If so, you may have a dependent personality disorder (DPD). DPD is a mental health condition that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s characterized by an extreme need for other people’s approval, a sense of helplessness when alone, and an excessive desire to depend on others.

A dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition that causes the sufferer to have an extreme need to be cared for by others.

The symptoms of dependent personality disorder include:

  • Excessive worry about being abandoned or left alone
  • Difficulty trusting yourself or others because of past betrayals
  • Low self-esteem, feeling like nothing works out right no matter
  • Need for constant reassurance
  • Inability to make decisions without help from others
  • Excessive need to be taken care of or feel like you’re being taken care of
  • Tendency to give up your wants and needs in favour of those of someone else
  • Inability to function independently

Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder

A dependent personality disorder is a psychological condition that causes people to feel they need to rely on others to make decisions or do things for them.

People with a dependent personality disorder often have low self-esteem, becoming overly reliant on others. They may also have trouble making decisions independently and may be afraid of being alone.

The causes of dependent personality disorder are not well understood, but researchers believe it may be related to past experiences or trauma in childhood.

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a condition that results from having poor self-esteem. Because of this, DPD sufferers tend to rely on others for help, approval, and guidance, which can be detrimental to their well-being.

Here are some of the causes of dependent personality disorder:

  • Having a history of being bullied in childhood
  • Having experienced emotional or physical abuse as a child
  • Being raised by parents who were overly critical or did not provide adequate support

How to Recognize Dependent Personality Disorder?

A dependent personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by an extreme need for other people’s help and support. People with dependent personality disorder tend to lack confidence, have low self-esteem, and are emotionally needy. They may also be passive-aggressive, manipulative, and demanding.

What is the difference between borderline personality disorder and dependent personality disorder?

A borderline personality disorder is primarily characterized by frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by others. Unfortunately, this can lead to impulsive behaviors like binge eating, risky sex, substance abuse, or self-harm.

A dependent personality disorder is primarily characterized by an excessive need to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned or left alone, leading people to cling excessively to others. As a result, people with this disorder may experience symptoms like depression and anxiety when they’re separated from someone they depend on for support. In addition, they often have difficulty making decisions without help from others.

For more information about Mental Health Conditions. Visit our Mental Health Library page.  To understand and cope with your Dependent Personality Disorder, get help from our Top 10 Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Therapists who are known for providing the best mental health treatment and psychiatry services. To book an appointment please call us at (800) 457-4573 or submit an appointment request.

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