Low Self-esteem: The Personality Dependent Disorder
The problem for people suffering from this type of personality disorder is that they continually need the approval of others to carry out any of their activities. They have an excessive need for them to be completed by others, which often results in submission and adhesive behavior because they fear being too separated from the environment in which they are protected. They are unsafe and agree to depend on others (spouse, family, friends, etc.) who will then take over the control on all important decisions, in short, they manage their lives. This dependence means that they do not dare to show opposing opinions to others, for fear that this will be a problem and the support will cease.
The cause of this disorder is unknown. There don’t seem to be any biological factors. The disorder usually occurs in early or mid-adulthood. People who suffer from this disorder do not trust their own ability to make decisions and believe that the ideas of others are better. They may be devastated by the separation or loss of a loved one and may be willing to do anything, even suffer abuse, in order to maintain the relationship.
Personality dependent disorder is characterized by the patient’s anxious or fearful personality traits. These individuals have a general and excessive need for them to be addressed (manifest as submissive or demanding behavior), as well as a great fear of separation.
There is no specific treatment for this disorder. Psychotherapy can help people gradually make decisions that affect their own lives in a positive way. Thus allowing them to rebuild faith in their abilities.
Improvements are often seen only with long-term therapies or treatments.
- they may suffer from depression
- there may be alcohol or drug abuse
A doctor should be consulted if the person thinks they have symptoms of a dependent personality disorder. Medical assistance should be sought if the person cannot make decisions on his or her own, if they decide to remain in an abusive relationship because of their fear of being alone, or if there is drug or alcohol use to avoid responsibilities and decision-making.