Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a personality disorder. It is marked by dependence on social approval, fear of being alone, extreme helplessness, and sensitivity to criticism. It is defined by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. The DSM-5 is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

  • Needs excessive advice and reassurance to make everyday decisions.
  • Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of their life.
  • Needlessly fears of loss of support or approval if they express disagreement with others.
  • Struggles to initiate projects or tasks due to lack of self confidence in their judgment or their abilities.
  • Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others. This is to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.
  • Fear of being alone due to not feeling that they can care for themselves. Feelings of extreme helplessness when alone.
  • Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends.
  • Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of themselves.

DSM-5 indicates that the annual prevalence of dependent personality disorder is around 0.49%.

Sources & Resources


Journal Articles

  • Hofvander, B., Delorme, R., Chaste, P., Nydén, A., Wentz, E., Ståhlberg, O., Herbrecht, E., Stopin, A., Anckarsäter, H., Gillberg, C. and Råstam, M. (2009). Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders. BMC psychiatry, 9(1), 35+.

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