DPD, or dependent personality disorder, is part of a group of mental conditions that are categorized as anxious personality disorders. The earmarks of this type of disorder are fear and nervousness. It can also present with feelings of submission and helplessness, neediness, and needing constant reassurance with the inability to make even simple decisions.
The primary symptoms of DPD include clingy, needy, and passive behavior as well as the fear of being separated from loved ones. Other symptoms can include the inability to make everyday decisions without seeking the confirmation and advice of others, overly sensitive to criticism, pessimism, lack of self-esteem, feeling as though they cannot take care of themselves, avoidance of confrontations or disagreements, problems with being alone and tolerating abuse from other. They also tend to put the needs of others ahead of their own.
Due to the nature of DPD, most people never seek help for this specific disorder. Instead, they may seek help for anxiety or depression. Hopefully, a good therapist will recognize the root cause of the anxiety or depression and treat the DPD. The primary goal of DPD therapy techniques is to guide the individual into leading a more independent life and allow them to form healthier relationships and have a better quality of life. One of the techniques is assertiveness training that aids in the development of self-confidence and self-worth.
As far as the condition itself, there are no medications that have proven effective for DPD. Therapy is used to combat DPD while antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are used to treat the depression and anxiety that can occur due to DPD. Some of the drugs used for DPD depression and anxiety include Paxil, Ativan, Prozac, and Valium.
Various forms of therapy can help a person with DPD learn to live an independent life through education and training. The general outlook for DPD varies depending on the person and the cause of their disorder. Most people experience improvement with proper therapy.
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