Dependent personality disorder

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Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder

     There are an endless amount of disorders that psychologists have to deal with everyday in their line of work. Some of these disorders can be treated fairly easy, others might be incurable or very hard to handle. There are some disorders that can harm the person or even other people. This is why it is important to know a small portion about some common disorders. In this essay, dependent personality disorder (DPD) will be discussed. I will discuss the symptoms, the affects on relationships, the way people with the disorder look at others and themselves, and what drug abuse does to this kind of individual.
     Dependent personality disorder is a persuasive and excessive need to be taken care of that results in submissive and clinging behavior (Morris 437). The symptoms of DPD are as follow: reliance on other people to make life decisions, fear of abandonment, feelings of helplessness and incompetence, passive compliance with others, and a weak response to daily life. People with DPD are described as people that are partly but not fully in existence (Morris 437). They think that they have to have the same personal needs of other people. DPD causes people to tolerate mistreatment. Sometimes they will be abused, but they will do nothing about it because any attention is attention to them. Generally, people with dependent personality disorder will live with someone who is controlling and overprotective (Mental Help). When with a controlling person it makes the person with DPD feel nurtured when they submit to the dominant person. People like this have one significant goal in life, which is to avoid disturbing or offending others. By this I mean they will put themselves down, will not demand anything, and
will be very apologetic. One psychologist believes that three of the diagnostic items for DPD may be tactics to keep a hold to important others. These three tactics are as follow: pressuring for reassurance, mindlessly agreeing with others in case disagreement could result in rejection, and doing favors for the purpose of being ingratiating (Mental Help).
     Personality-disordered people aren’t the only people who can show the need for strong dependency. Normal people can have the same problem. It is the way that the needs are expressed that makes the two types different. Personality-disordered people tend to express their needs in a more uncontrolled and maladaptive way (Morris 437).
     People with DPD tend to see other people as the type that can take in the responsibilities of life. They believe others are much more capable of dealing with the in depth world and the competitions that life has to throw at them. To people suffering from personality-disorder, other people are powerful, competent, and capable of providing security to support someone like themselves (Ekleberry). Dr. Kantor puts it like this: "Judgment of others is distorted by their inclination to see others as they wish they were rather than as they are" (Morris 438). One way to describe their view of others is that they keep a kind of childlike view of them. They keep these unsophisticated ideas of the people that they are totally submissive to. They believe that they will be fine as long as the dominant figure that they rely on is accessible.
     A relationship to someone with DPD is necessary for their survival as far as they are concerned. They must be in a supportive relationship to be able to manage their life. In order to keep these life sustaining relationships, those with DPD will avoid letting on even the slightest hint of anger (Ekleberry). They will be admiring, loving, and willing to give everything in their power. Other things that DPD individuals will be to their significant one are loyal, unquestioning, and affectionate. Now to most females out there that would seem like the perfect boyfriend, but people with DPD take all of those qualities to the extreme. Dependant individuals play the submissive role to the dominant other very well. They will communicate to their other in a way that makes them seem useful, sympathetic, strong, and competent (Ekleberry). When doing this, individuals with DPD are a lot of times able to get along with people who are unpredictable or even unpleasant. Some of the things that these people do are out of control. They will go to endless lengths to be accepted by their partner. Even if this means doing something that they believe is morally wrong, risky, or unpleasant. The peculiar part about people with DPD is that even though they have an intense need for others, they do not necessarily attach strongly to specific individuals. For example: if they have lost a significant relationship, they will become quickly attached to others without picking certain ones to be attached to. The strength of the dependency needs is basically interchangeable (Ekleberry).
     The scary part of this dependency disorder is that, due to their frequent failures in self-regulation, they have an increased tendency to use drugs and alcohol as an alternative solution to their problems in life. Freud once said that intoxicating substances keep misery at a distance and provide a greatly desired degree of independence from the external world (Mental Help). With the help of drugs, anyone can withdraw from pressures that fill their life, but after a while it all catches up to them. The one good thing is that DPD individuals do not have a choice of drug. They will only use the drugs when there is a hardship in their life. The location, kind of drug, and frequency of use makes no difference to them. Most of the time these people will just drink alcohol or seek sedative-hypnotics from a physician (Mental Help).
     Dependent personality disorder is a very serious disorder. There are many disorders that have effects that are much more harmful, but this disorder is one of the most common. It also can lead to depression and cause endless amounts of stress. As it is easy to see, this disorder has affects on many parts of the human life. The symptoms of clingingness and dependency have affects on how these people view themselves and others. It causes many problems in their head and probably in their relationships. This is what causes the drug use. Fortunately this disorder has been proven treatable. The only problem is that these people don’t usually realize that they have a problem. If they do, they will be complaining of serious depression. All of this information has been put forward to make everyone aware of the seriousness of personality disorders. There are much more than one disorder and I recommend researching much further into them if you find them interesting.

Ekleberry, Sharon. "Dual Diagnosis and the Dependent Personality Disorder." From Our Desk. March 2000. 20 Nov. 2002.
Morris, Charles G., and Albert A. Maisto. Understanding Psychology. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 1991.
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders." 1995. 20 Nov. 2002.

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