Dependent Personality Disorder
This personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing need for the person to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned or separated from important individuals in his or her life. This pervasive fear leads to "clinging behavior" and usually manifests itself by early adulthood. It includes a majority of the following symptoms:
- has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others
- needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life
- has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval.
- has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)
- goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant
- feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself
- 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 himself or herself
Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.