Dependent personality disorder
|Dependent personality disorder|
|Classification and external resources|
|Cluster A (odd)|
|Cluster B (dramatic)|
|Cluster C (anxious)|
Dependent personality disorder (DPD), formerly known as asthenic personality disorder, is a personality disorder that is characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on other people. This personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which people depend on others to meet their emotional and physical needs, with only a minority achieving normal levels of independence.
The difference between a 'dependent personality' and a 'dependent personality disorder' is somewhat subjective, which makes diagnosis sensitive to cultural influences such as gender role expectations.
A study in 2012 estimated the heritability of DPD to be between 55% and 72%.
Dependent personality disorder occurs in about 0.6% of the general population. The disorder is diagnosed more often in females than males; however, research suggests that this is largely due to behavioural differences in interviews and self-reporting rather than a difference in prevalence between the sexes. A 2004 twin study suggests a heritability of .81 for developing dependent personality disorder. Because of this, there is significant evidence that this disorder runs in families.  Children and adolescents with a history of anxiety disorders and physical illnesses are more susceptible to acquiring this disorder.
American Psychiatric Association
The DSM-IV-TR contains a Dependent Personality Disorder diagnosis. It refers to a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of which leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation. This begins by early adulthood and can present in a variety of contexts.
World Health Organization
It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:
- encouraging or allowing others to make most of one's important life decisions;
- subordination of one's own needs to those of others on whom one is dependent, and undue compliance with their wishes;
- unwillingness to make even reasonable demands on the people one depends on;
- feeling uncomfortable or helpless when alone, because of exaggerated fears of inability to care for oneself;
- preoccupation with fears of being abandoned by a person with whom one has a close relationship, and of being left to care for oneself;
- limited capacity to make everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.
Associated features may include perceiving oneself as helpless, incompetent, and lacking stamina.
- asthenic, inadequate, passive, and self-defeating personality (disorder)
It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.
|Disquieted||Including avoidant features||Restlessly perturbed; disconcerted and fretful; feels dread and foreboding; apprehensively vulnerable to abandonment; lonely unless near supportive figures.|
|Selfless||Including masochistic features||Merges with and immersed into another; is engulfed, enshrouded, absorbed, incorporated, willingly giving up own identity; becomes one with or an extension of another.|
|Immature||Variant of “pure” pattern||Unsophisticated, half-grown, unversed, childlike; undeveloped, inexperienced, gullible, and unformed; incapable of assuming adult responsibilities.|
|Accommodating||Including histrionic features||Gracious, neighborly, eager, benevolent, compliant, obliging, agreeable; denies disturbing feelings; adopts submissive and inferior role well.|
|Ineffectual||Including schizoid features||Unproductive, gainless, incompetent, useless, meritless; seeks untroubled life; refuses to deal with difficulties; untroubled by shortcomings.|
The following conditions commonly coexist (comorbid) with dependent personality disorder:
- mood disorders
- anxiety disorders
- adjustment disorder
- borderline personality disorder
- avoidant personality disorder
- histrionic personality disorder
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