How to Help a Child With Dependent Personality Disorder

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2011 12:16 PM

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Dependent personality disorder happens when a person is totally dependent on another person to fulfill their emotional needs. The person who has it is very clingy and terrified of being left alone. They are very submissive and have extreme separation anxiety. Adults can have this disorder, as well as children.

The best way to help a child with dependent personality disorder is to get them into therapy. For a young child getting into family therapy has had good results. However, it can be very difficult unless everyone in the family is involved. The family therapist will try to change the family dynamic and the way that the family is enmeshed with each other. Personality disorders are all products of maladaptive behaviors that a person has used to cope. Then they become habit and the person can't deal with life in any other way.

Another way to help a child with DPD is to do one-on-one therapy. The best kind of therapy for a child with DPD is cognitive behavioral therapy. The child learns to identify the thoughts that trigger the behaviors. Once the child can identify those behaviors they learn new ones to take their place. Eventually the child learns assertiveness and is less dependent on anyone else for emotional support.

Trying to figure out how to help a child who has DPD can be very hard. It is hard on a family to deal with a child who has this disorder. Finding the right therapist and getting the entire family involved are the best ways to do it. It would be very hard to teach a child new coping skills if the old situation still exists, which is what makes family therapy especially important in this case. Getting help for a child who suffers from dependent personality disorder will help that child live a normal life.

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