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Dependent personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which people depend too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs.
Personality disorder - dependent
Dependent personality disorder usually begins in childhood. The causes of this disorder are unknown. It is one of the most common personality disorders, and is equally common in men and women.
People with this disorder do not trust their own ability to make decisions. They may be very upset by separation and loss. They may go to great lengths, even suffering abuse, to stay in a relationship.
Symptoms of dependent personality disorder may include:
Like other personality disorders, dependent personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.
Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is considered to be the most effective treatment for gradually helping people with this condition make more independent choices in life. Medication may help treat other conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
Improvements are usually seen only with long-term therapy.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider or a mental health professional if you or your adolescent has symptoms of dependent personality disorder.
Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 39.