Dependent Personality Disorder

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Dependent Personality Disorder

Post  Matthew on Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:32 am

The DSM-IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines dependent personality disorder as 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, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

-Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others
-Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life
-Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval (this does not include realistic fears of retribution)
-Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)
-Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant
-Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself
-Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends
-Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself
-Many cases of dependent also have roots to Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and instead of being afraid if they are alone when not in a relationship, tend to think everything is wrong.



A mnemonic that can be used to remember the criteria for dependent personality disorder is DEPENDENT.

D – Difficulty making everyday decisions
E – Excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others
P – Preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of self
E – Exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself
N – Needs others to assume responsibility for his or her life
D – Difficulty expressing disagreement with others
E – End of a close relationship is the beginning of another relationship
N – Noticeable difficulties in initiating projects or doing things on his or her own
T – “Take care of me” is his or her motto
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