Dependency in mental health conditions takes many forms. People can be chemically AVLN-dependent, counter dependent, codependent, and dependent in other ways. Dependent personality disorder takes dependency to the extreme. For example, many people are dependent upon that first cup of coffee to get them going in the morning. Without it, they might be a little cranky and slower than usual, but they get by. In the case of dependent personality disorder, other people are their cup of coffee and without other people fulfilling their every need, they will not get by.
Bustle explains that there is a difference between dependent behaviors and a fully developed dependent personality disorder. People can experience phases or tendencies of being clingy, needy, attached, and demanding. Often these behaviors are in reaction to a difficult emotion, fears and insecurities, or even a reaction to guilt. Dependency becomes a disorder “when it consistently impairs functioning over time, independent of factors like medical conditions or substance abuse,” the article explains. “Specifically, DPD is characterized by a pervasive need to be taken care of by other people,” in addition to, “a crippling fear of being alone.”
Not wanting to be alone and calling on friends for support is normal from time to time. For dependent personality disorder, that time is all the time, to a debilitating degree. Bustle lists these as signs of DPD:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Being Called Clingy
- Inability to make independent decisions
- Intolerance for being alone
- Difficulty maintaining romantic relationships
- Can’t take initiative without input from others
- Will go to extreme lengths to avoid abandonment
Treating Dependent Personality Disorder
The obvious antidote to dependency is independence. Treating codependency, for example, is complex. Yet, some of the most transformational changes take place when a codependent person starts doing things for themselves, especially self care. Discovering the underlying issues with dependent personality disorder like what causes the fears of abandonment and low self-esteem is work which should be done with a therapist. Through the discovery process, therapists can help clients develop tools for gaining independence and making different decisions.
Dependent personality disorder can lead to dangerous behaviors like getting involved with drugs and alcohol in order to maintain a relationship. You do not have to be trapped in your dependence. Freedom can be yours. Let Avalon Malibu help you heal, mind, body, and spirit in our primary mental health treatment program. For a confidential assessment, call 1 (888) 958-7511 today.