Dependent Personality Disorder

Asthenic Personality Disorder

What is it?

A pervasive and exvessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation.

Psychological dependence of other people to meet their emotional and physical needs.

What are the factors of the disorder?

  • Starts as young as 6-7 years old, and continues to their adulthood

  • Life-lasting disorder without proper treatments

  • Biological and social factors

  • Psychological Factors

  • USA statistics in 2001~2002

  • 1.0 million (0.5% of population) diagnosed with DPD
  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in the past
  • No specific blood or genetic tests performed


  • Essentially Unknown
  • Hypothesize it's biological or inborn

  • interaction with others
  • developing relationships
  • pessimistic outlook

  • personality
  • temperament shaped my environment
  • learned coping skills


  • Over-protective parents
  • Family members discourage the patients' independence
  • Limit the patients' relationship with others


  • Fear of losing support of others
  • Difficulty standing up for themselves - to avoid conflict
  • Fear of losing relationship
  • Vulnerable to manipulation and abuse
  • Difficult to express disagreement or to make independent decisions
  • Challenged to begin a work without an assist
  • Immediately seeks for another relationship when one ends
  • Excessive to obtain nurturance and support from others
  • Lack social skills of independence, assertiveness, and peacemaking


  • Diagnosed based on psychological evaluation assessing the history and severity of symptoms
  • Distinguished from Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Improvements usually seen only with long-term therapy
  • Family contributions

Talk therapy

  • most effective
  • "untangle relationships"

  • discuss the patients' concerns
  • build self problem-solving skills

Psycho-dynamically oriented therapy

  • time-limited treatment
  • predetermined number of sessions
  • increase the patients' sense of autonomy and ability to function independently

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • push assertiveness and social skills
  • reduce reliance on others


  • anti-anxiety agents
  • anti-depressants
  • generally not recommended

New Information!

DSM-V made new definition for personality disorder

  • patient reflects "adaptive failure" involving
  • "impaired sense of self-identity"
  • "failure to develop effective interpersonal functioning"
DSM-V simplified the system

  • DPD, NPD, HPD, and Paranoid cut down from original 10 types

Dependent Personality Disorder (Mental Health Guru)

Works Cited / Consulted



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