Dependent personality disorder and its Management


Dependent personality disorder is a condition in which one is largely reliant on other people to meet his or her emotional and physical requirements; and is primarily characterized by huge psychological dependence on others.

Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder


The precise etiology for the occurrence of DPD is not yet known. However, experts and researchers link ‘clinging parental behavior’ to the condition.

Dependent Personality Disorder Symptoms

The following are the frequently seen symptoms and manifestations of dependent personality disorder:

  • Those suffering from DPD tend to avoid being alone
  • They dodge personal responsibilities
  • These individuals get hurt easily by condemnation and disapproval; and fear desertion by others.
  • It is not possible for these individuals to make choices and decisions without help from others.

· They see other people as ‘able’ and ‘capable’ of successfully tackling all situations and responsibilities and dealing effectively with the anxieties of life. They see these people as proficient, gifted and competent, and able to provide a sense of security for themselves.

· Individuals suffering from DPD consider themselves weak, insufficient, and defenseless; they believe that they will not be able to cope up on their own, and portray themselves as being hopeless.

Dependent Personality Disorder Treatment


The effective treatment of dependent personality disordercalls for a multi factorial methodology and consists of the following:

· Psycho-therapy: psycho-analysis and counseling are the most effective and helpful ways to manage dependent personality disorder; psychotherapy little by little and gradually helps the individual to deal with the condition. It makes him less dependent on others and more self reliant.

· Group psycho-therapy: this technique has also been found to be rather useful in the management of DPD; in fact, experts say that group therapy is more helpful than individual therapy.

· Drugs and medicines: experts say that in certain cases, the patient needs to be given certain medications to manage the case better. Medicines take care of anxiety, nervousness and depression that are linked to the disorder. Those suffering from dependent personality disorderare liable to anxiety and depressive attacks. Accordingly, the doctor may prescribe anxio-lytics and anti depressants to deal with the symptoms better. However, the dosage and frequency of medications need to be strictly monitored.

· Day treatment and residential programs: these are advocated for cases that are severe. These treatment programs ought to be continued for about 6 to 8 months, and must incorporate group as well as individual therapies.

The outcome for a case of dependent personality disorderis quite moderate. Improvement becomes evident only with continuing and constant therapy. It is very crucial that the patient’s family and friends support him. Certain complications that may affect the prognosis are: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, physical, psychological or sexual abuse and depression.

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