A person is diagnosed as having dependent personality disorder when they depend on others to meet all their emotional needs. They aren't able to be alone without great anxiety. The person is extremely submissive and they need for other people to take responsibility for them.
The primary treatment for DPD is therapy. The most common therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. This kind of therapy focuses on self-talk and teaching the person to be aware of their thoughts and actions and how they influence each other. Part of this kind of therapy is encouraging the patient to set their own goals and learn to be more assertive.
Any treatment for a DPD person needs to be self-limiting. Since therapy encourages a bond between the patient and the therapist it can be easy for the patient to transfer their dependence onto the therapist, defeating the purpose of therapy.
Getting into family therapy is one of the newer treatments for people with dependent personality disorder. This is because the family members become so enmeshed that it can be impossible to help the DPD patient without the spouse or other family members there.
While some doctors think that prescribing medication for treating DPD the prevailing theory is that there is no good reason to prescribe them. They really don't treat anything and the person with dependent personality disorder can become psychologically dependent on them instead of their own resources.
There aren't necessarily any new treatments for people with dependent personality disorder, but there are always people trying new therapeutic models as well as research scientists trying to develop new medications that will help with this personality disorder.
But for now the best treatment is therapy, preferably short-term and cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy as needed. Therapy lets the patient learn new coping skills and become more assertive and able to meet their own emotional needs. This has been the most effective and successful therapy for people who have to deal with DPD.
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