Dependent Personality Disorder

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Serin Center

Children with ADHD and anxiety appear to experience more emotional dysregulation than their peers. While they experience the same emotions as individuals their age, they experience them much more frequently and intensely. They may be more likely to get stuck and caught up in their emotion due to difficulties with executive functioning skills and seeing the bigger picture.



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Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent personality disorder is best described as an inability to be alone. Individuals with dependent personality disorder have an excessive need to be taken care of and tend to be overly submissive and clingy. According to the DSM-5, these individuals fear separation, have difficulty making choices on their own, need others to resume responsibility, shy away from expressing disagreement, and go through excessive lengths to please others. They often feel unable to care for their selves and may experience feelings of helplessness. When a relationship ends (i.e. death of a loved one, a breakup) an individual with a dependent personality quickly seek out another relationship to attach to.

An individual with a dependent personality may:

  • Have trouble deciding what shirt to wear to work
  • Avoid confrontation
  • Avoid initiating projects due to lack of self-confidence
  • Demonstrate low self-esteem or feeling unworthy

It is important to note that this diagnosis should be used with caution, especially considering what is culturally and developmentally appropriate (i.e. the amount of dependence varies greatly between a three-year-old, a thirteen-year-old, and a thirty-year-old.) For example, a three-year old is dependent on his/her parents for survival and thus would not be diagnosed with dependent personality disorder. An individual in their twenties is still developing personality traits; therefore, a diagnosis of dependent personality disorder is typically reserved for older adults.

What We Don’t Treat

We are not an emergency clinic. We are an outpatient provider so we do not have inpatient facilities. We are not a hospital and do not provide detox services for addictions. We do not treat schizophrenia or brain disorders related to advancing age such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. We are not contracted with any court system and do not provide court ordered services related to child custody or other matters.

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