Dependent Personality Disorder

Definition

Dependent personality disorder is characterized by dependent and submissive behavior. The person often defers the majority or all decision-making to someone else. People with this type of personality disorder are not aware that their thoughts and behaviors are inappropriate.

Causes

It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of genetic factors and a person's environment.
The Central Nervous System
Brain face skull
A personality disorder is most likely a combination of chemical or electrical imbalances in the brain and a reaction to traumatic personal experiences.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Dependent personality disorder is more common in women and in early adulthood. Other factors that may increase your chance of developing dependent personality disorder include:
  • Early childhood parental loss
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Chronic physical illness during childhood
Other associated psychological problems can include:

Symptoms

Dependent personality disorder may cause:
  • Irrational fear
  • Relying on others for guidance, decision-making, reassurance, and advice
  • Excessive sensitivity to criticism
  • A strong fear of rejection
  • Perception of oneself as powerless
  • Low self-confidence

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