Dependent disorder is a kind of personality disorder that greatly impacts your way of thinking and daily life. The feelings of anxiety can feel overwhelming as a result of the disorder. However, it is still possible to address and overcome your symptoms and regain a sense of control and self-esteem despite personal experiences.
Left unaddressed, dependent disorder can continue to impact an individual on a mental, emotional, and physical level. The ability to identify and address your struggles with dependence is necessary to create a more self-fulfilled and healthy lifestyle.
What Is Dependent Personality Disorder?
Dependent personality disorder is an anxious personality disorder that stems from the inability to care for your needs or the belief that you cannot sustain or support yourself without the support of another. While you may believe that financial or emotional independence is not possible, others may experience this type of disorder as an inability to make everyday decisions.
Those suffering from dependent personality disorder may also feel “clingy” in their relationships, or feel as if they are defined by their status in a relationship, and can become fearful of losing those closest to them. This need for reaffirmation and support in all areas of your life can lead to making personal concessions of your identity while inviting a fear of being alone into your life. These by-products make this disorder a potent force of anxiety that continues to seep into other aspects of life.
The Various Symptoms of Dependent Disorder
Dependent personality disorder can manifest in a number of unique ways. While the need for emotional support from others to navigate daily decisions may continue to impact your daily life, there are other symptoms that can also present. Some of these symptoms include:
- Inability to process criticism
- Pessimistic view of self
- Fear of being alone
- Lack of self-confidence
- Inability to make decisions
- Constant self-doubt
- Feelings of helplessness
- Compromised interests or hobbies
You may also find it difficult to tend to daily responsibilities without the support of others as the feelings of self-doubt can become crippling and ever-present. This disorder is characterized by the above-listed symptoms or a combination of symptoms that can dictate your reality. However, identifying these symptoms can help you better recognize and address dependent personality disorders in your life and help to build an effective plan for healing.
The Sources of Dependent Personality Disorder
There can be a number of reasons why you suffer from this kind of anxious personality disorder. It is possible that your feelings of dependence can stem from fear of abandonment during your childhood and developmental years. Abusive relationships can also instill this feeling of dependence to your detriment. Being brought up in traditional households with an over-reliance on authoritative practices can also develop into a dependent personality disorder.
Regardless of how you develop this sense of dependency, addressing it and learning to become self-sufficient and confident is necessary to formulate your self-image into a healthier outlook on life. While being wholly self-sufficient is not necessary in life, it is important to find a balance between reliance on others and the ability to perform tasks on your own without reassurance or assistance.
Self-confidence is essential to combat the persistent and debilitating feelings of self-doubt that can manifest as a result of dependent personality disorder. Guidance from trained professionals can help begin this journey to embracing a degree of confidence or become more self-assured. Beginning with small goals can help you develop the feeling of success by your hand, rather than relying on others.
These simple goals, such as deciding dinner one day, or repeating positive affirmations in the mirror can be a great way to begin to explore the positive effects that self-confidence can have on your life. As the adage goes, “skilled people were not born with their skills.” This holding true, it is important to practice esteemable acts to build up your self-esteem and confidence. Through doing so, you will begin to view yourself as a more capable and independent source of happiness.
Pick a Hobby
It is common that you may sacrifice hobbies or interests in order to instead partake in whatever your significant other wants to do, effectively compromising parts of your identity and agency in order to please others. Finding a hobby of your own is essential to begin reintegrating a sense of identity into your life.
The act of choosing a hobby based on your interests is an empowering experience. Having professionals to lean on through the process while processing feelings of doubt or anxiety can construct a healthy base needed to begin embracing a feeling of confidence, agency, and identity in your daily life.
Dependent personality disorder can be extraordinarily difficult to cope with, and your mental well-being and symptoms may feel out of your control. However, at Avalon Malibu, we understand the complex situation that dependent personality disorder presents and are prepared to help you take the first steps towards your healthy future. Your time with us can be personalized based on your unique needs and goals with a plethora of therapeutic options available. From individual and group therapy to writing, art, music, and even a families and couples counseling program, we are prepared to help you regain your sense of agency while navigating anxiety and stress. Our comprehensive approach also allows us to address every facet of your life, from your experiences with anxiety and dependent disorder to substance abuse. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation and symptoms, call us today at (844) 857-5992.