Westborough Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder in Westborough, MA—Counseling and Therapy

Do you recognize this story? A young girl’s mother dies, and her father quickly remarries a woman with two daughters. Soon thereafter, the young girl’s father dies. The stepmother’s evil nature is revealed, and she forces the girl to become the family’s servant. The girl complies with her stepsisters’ outlandish demands and accepts any criticism her stepmother offers. It is not until the girl’s animal friends and fairy Godmother intervene that she then is freed and goes to live with her prince charming. Most likely, you recognized the story of Cinderella. It is well-know, but what is not as well-known is that the story is an illustration of Dependent Personality Disorder. Sometimes, this disorder is often called “The Cinderella Complex” because Cinderella displays so many of its symptoms. Mental health professionals used to believe that the disorder could only develop in women, but the reality is that all people can suffer from this disorder.

Like Cinderella, people with dependent personality disorder are often overly compliant—living to please those in authority over them. They often suffer from low esteem and believe that they cannot take care of their own needs. Instead, they rely upon others for their provision, or in Cinderella’s case, for their rescue. The disorder introduces a number of difficulties into people’s lives, but it also has treatments. Several therapies and medications have proven effective for healing the wounds the disorder causes and for helping people learn to live their own, unique, independent life.

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough helped many clients who struggle with dependency. We know how Dependent Personality Disorder can steal people’s uniqueness. Fighting for who you are can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.

Dependent Personality Disorder’s Risk Factors

Understanding how Dependent Personality Disorder develops is important because it can easily be mistaken for normal childhood development or cultural practices. For example, certain cultural emphasize passive behavior toward authority figures and deference toward caregivers. Certain actions, in isolation, can look like dependency, but given an individual’s context, cultural practices are not Dependent Personality Disorder. Similarly, it is developmentally appropriate for children and teens to depend upon their parents or guardians. This is not dependency either.

The full diagnostics are outlined in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) raises an individual’s risk factor for other mental health problems, including other adjustment, personality, anxiety, and depressive disorders.

Dependent Personality Disorder’s Diagnostics

Dependent Personality Disorder is about behaviors, but those behaviors are fueled by beliefs. The disorder teaches people several untrue things about themselves. It teaches them that they are not capable of fulfilling their own emotional and material needs. It teaches them that they are helpless on their own. It teaches them that they need other people to meet their needs. These beliefs fuel clinginess and anxiety and self-degradation.

The DSM-5 outlines the behaviors and emotions that result from these beliefs. The main diagnostics for the disorder are:

  1. Behavior that is very deferential.
  2. A core need for someone to provide for them.
  3. Anxiety when disconnected from care givers.

Additionally, at least five of the following will be displayed:

  • Needing excessive advice and reassurance for making any decision, even what color sweater to buy or where to eat out for lunch.
  • Feeling discomfort when by oneself—going to extremes not to be alone.
  • Abdicating authority of a significant portion of one’s life—handing over responsibility to a caregiver for things like paying the bills.
  • Changing one’s ideas, values, preferences, beliefs, and thoughts in order to ensure nurture and support from an authority figure or caregiver.
  • Experiencing a deep-seated dread of abandonment, especially by a caregiver.
  • Complying easily to what an authority figure demands.
  • When one caretaking relationship ends or fails, replacing it quickly with another.

It is easy to see from these symptoms how Dependent Personality Disorder can severely hinder an individual’s ability to function well in life. Personally, people who struggle with dependency struggle to form and maintain true friendships that do not evolve into a caretaking relationship. They often have social circles that are limited to their family. Professionally, it can be difficult from them to secure employment or advance in a career because they often lack confidence and do not take initiative—two important factors for professional success.

Setting Up Therapy at Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough for Dependent Personality Disorder

If you are struggling with dependency, know that you can live your own, unique, independent life. With treatment, many people who have Dependent Personality Disorder are able to heal the wounds that the disorder causes and learn just how capable they are. The path to independence is unique for each person, but for many, working with a mental health professional is an important first step. A skilled therapist can tailor a holistic and individualized plan for your particular needs.

If you are ready to meet with a mental health professional, the therapists at Thriveworks in Westborough are ready to meet with you. When you call our office, a real person will answer (not a voicemail) and help you schedule an appointment. New clients are often able to meet with their therapist the day after their first call. Weekend and evening sessions are offered. We also accept many different forms of insurance. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks in Westborough today.

Dependent Personality Disorder in Westminster, CO—Therapists and Counselors

Buster Bluth climbed underneath his company’s boardroom table to hide. No, he was not a child playing hide-and-seek at his father’s office. Buster was leading his first business meeting on his first day of work. In his over thirty years of life, Buster had never had to work and provide for himself. He lived with his mother and for her every whim. However, when Buster’s father was arrested and his older brothers quit the family business in frustration, Buster tried to step up. His inabilities contribute to many jokes on the hit show Arrested Development, but Buster Bluth also draws attention to a serious disorder: Dependent Personality Disorder.

Like Buster, many people who have Dependent Personality Disorder have a number of professional and personal problems. They rely upon an authority figure to be their caretaker, and they often have very low self-esteem. People with the disorder often do not have confidence to take care of their own physical and emotional needs so they look to others to meet their needs. Instead of building a unique, independent life, they depend upon another’s provision, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Dependent Personality Disorder can severely limit an individual, but there are treatment options available. People with the disorder can learn to autonomous and self-reliant. They can live their own, unique life.

“Man’s life is independent.
He is born not for the development of the society alone,
but for the development of his self.”
—B. R. Ambedkar

Thriveworks Westminster has appointments available for Dependent Personality Disorder, and our mental health professionals have worked with many people who struggle with dependency. We know how the disorder can hold people back, but we also know the treatment options that are available. It is possible to live an independent life.

Dependent Personality Disorder’s Red Flags

Dependent Personality Disorder introduces many distorted ways of seeing the world. Two of the most toxic thoughts it leads people to believe is that they cannot take care of themselves and that they must rely upon other people to provide for their financial, psychological, emotional, and material needs. These are two side of the same coin, and these beliefs send people into a spiral of dependency. The toxic thoughts show up in real-life actions and experiences. Which people have the disorder, they often are clingy and experience severe separation anxiety. They may have an inaccurate self-image that overemphasizes their weaknesses but underestimates their strengths. They often feel incapable.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines a full description for diagnosing the disorder. The major red flags for Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) are:

  1. Fear of separation.
  2. Submissive behavior.
  3. A need to be cared for.

When people are diagnosed with the disorder, a minimum of five other symptom will also be displayed:

  • Feeling uncomfortable with one’s own independent, uniqueness, and individuality.
  • Reaching out for advice and reassurance for most daily decisions.
  • Handing over major areas of one’s life to a caregiver or an authority figure (e.g., having a parent pay your bills).
  • Experiencing the intense fear of being abandoned by a caregiver.
  • Being extremely obedient and compliant toward authority figures.
  • When a caretaking relationship comes to an end, replacing it quickly so as to avoid caring for oneself.
  • Having difficulty with establishing and cultivating mutual friendships that do not evolve into caretaking relationships.
  • Downplaying one’s thoughts, feelings, opinions, and perspectives in order to appease a caregiver and secure an authority figure’s continued support and nurture.

A quick read through these red flags, signs, and symptoms gives a little picture of the difficulties that Dependent Personality Disorder can cause. The disorder can introduce many personal and professional handicaps into an individual’s life. Professionally, those with the disorder may have difficulty finding and maintaining a job because they often lack initiative and confidence. Personally, people with the disorder often have social circles that are limited to their family and/or caregivers. The disorder also increases their risk for other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders.

Dependent Personality Disorder: Learning to Be Independent

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
—Michel de Montaigne

When people treatment for Dependent Personality Disorder, the goal is independence. Therapists and counselors must avoid becoming yet another authority figure or caretaker in an individual’s life, but instead, mental health professionals must teach skills for self-reliance. Reaching independence may require a client to dig into past psychological wounds to find healing. It may require them to learn how to cope with difficult emotions. There are a number of ways to achieve these goals, but a few include…

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: focuses upon the false beliefs that undergird the disorder and seeks to confront these with true, positive thinking.
  • Medication: may help alleviate some of the worst symptoms so that individuals can focus upon healing and building their coping skills.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: delves into how and why the disorder formed. When there are psychological wounds, those can then be identified and healing applied.

Scheduling Treatment at Thriveworks Westminster

If you are experiencing dependency, know that you are not alone and help is available. When you call Thriveworks Westminster, you may be meeting with a therapist the following day. A scheduling specialist answers our phone and helps our clients set up their sessions. Weekend and evening appointments are offer, and many different insurance plans are accepted. Call today.

Dependent Personality Disorder Counseling in Littleton, CO—Therapy and Treatment

After his first meeting with employees as the new boss, Buster Bluth climbed under the conference room table and hid. Buster’s first time as boss was also his first day on the job. His dad had been arrested, and his older brothers quit the family business in frustration. After more than three decades of being cared for by his mother, Buster decided to try his hand at running the real estate development ventures. The only problem is that Buster could barely take care of himself—much less a business. Buster is completely dependent upon his mother, and he complies with her every wish, even zipping up her dresses. Buster Bluth provides a lot of laughs on the show Arrested Development, but he also illustrates a disorder that in real life is not funny. Dependent Personality Disorder is a serious illness that often keeps people from living a unique, self-sufficient life.

Dependent Personality Disorder introduces a number of serious personal and professional challenges that can severely handicap an individual’s life. When people have the disorder, they are often overly compliant with their caretaker or authority figures in their lives. They often underestimate their own skills and do not trust their own ability to provide for themselves. They usually have low self-esteem and look to others to meet their financial, emotional, material, and psychological needs. In short, Dependent Personality Disorder can keep people from living a fully independent and self-reliant life, but it has treatments.

“Man’s life is independent.
He is born not for the development of the society alone,
but for the development of his self.”
—B. R. Ambedkar

The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Littleton have worked with many clients who have Dependent Personality Disorder. It is possible for those with the disorder to live a unique and fulfilling life.

Signs of Dependent Personality Disorder

Certain beliefs fuel Dependent Personality Disorder and keep people trapped in caretaking relationships. Two particularly distorted beliefs are two sides of the same coin. First, people with the disorder often tell themselves that they are not capable of caring for themselves. Second, they often tell themselves that other people have to take care of them. These untrue thoughts can lead people into a number of difficulties in their personal and professional lives. People with the disorder are often clingy and experience separation anxiety. They often do not assess their strengths and weaknesses well, underestimating their abilities and overestimating their faults.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the signs and symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) as follows:

  1. A need to be cared for.
  2. Fear of separation.
  3. Submissive behavior.

Further, a minimum of five of the following signs will also be present:

  • Seeking advice and reassurance for most decisions… which color sweater to buy… what to eat for lunch… and more…
  • Challenges forming and maintaining mutual friendships that do not evolve into a caretaking relationship.
  • Having others take over responsibility for significant portions of one’s life, like paying one’s bills.
  • Being acutely afraid of abandonment, particularly by a caregiver.
  • Doing anything and everything to guarantee the continued support and nurture from a caretaker.
  • Minimizing one’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts to please a caregiver.
  • Conforming to a caregiver’s feelings, opinion, and thoughts in exchange for their help and continued support.
  • If one relationship ends that was a caretaking relationship, it is quickly replaced.
  • Feeling uncomfortable with one’s own independence and individuality.

A quick look at the diagnostics for Dependent Personality Disorder shows how destructive the disorder can be in an individual’s life. It introduces severe handicaps into people’s professional and personal lives. Professionally, people with the disorder often have difficulty securing and maintaining a job because of their insecurities and lack of initiative. Personally, people with the disorder often have limited social circles, and they face an increased risk of other mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

Learning Independence

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
—Michel de Montaigne

Independence and self-reliance as the goal of any treatment plan for Dependent Personality Disorder. In order to achieve this goal, mental health professionals have many tools to offer their clients, but they must avoid becoming another authority figure or caregiver upon which the client depends. A few of the options available for treatment include…

  • Psychodynamic therapy is a treatment option that seeks to identify the root causes of the disorder. It explores when and how the dependency started. Clients who need this therapy also need to know that it is a long-term commitment. It may take time, but it often offers holistic healing.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapy that focuses upon the disordered belief that fuel the dependency. It helps people recognize the negative, false beliefs for what they are so that they can replaced these beliefs with true, positive ones.
  • Medication is often necessary for healing. When a prescription can relief an individual’s symptoms, they can often focus more upon healing and coping strategies that allow them to live independently in the long-term.

Scheduling Therapy at Thriveworks Littleton for Dependent Personality Disorder

Are you ready to meet with a mental health professional? When you call Thriveworks Littleton, a real person will answer you call and help you make an appointment. Weekend and evening sessions are available. We also accept many different forms of insurance. Call Thriveworks Littleton today.

Counseling for Dependent Personality Disorder in Marietta, GA

Most people have heard this story: When a young girl’s father dies, her stepmother and two stepsisters turn her into the family’s servant. This young girl does the cooking and cleaning without fail and without thanks. She complies with her stepmother’s demands and appeases her stepsister’s picky requests. Instead of making her own decisions, the young girl relies upon her animal friends, her fairy Godmother, and her prince to rescue her. Cinderella is a difficulty story to disguise because it is so well-known, but what people may not know is that the story is also an illustration of Dependent Personality Disorder, which is sometimes called “The Cinderella Complex.” Initially used to diagnose women who feared independence, mental health professionals came to understand that both women and men, old and young, poor and rich can suffer from Dependent Personality Disorder.

A need to be provided for, low self-esteem, an acute desire to please, and difficulty with mutually-beneficial relationships are the key characteristics of the disorder. It presents many professional and personal difficulties in a person’s life, but it also has treatments. Mental health professionals can often tailor a treatment plan to meet an individual’s needs and promote self-reliance and individuality.

“Every human has four endowments—self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom…
The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
—Stephen Covey

The therapists at Thriveworks Marietta have worked with many clients who have Dependent Personality Disorder. We understand how the disorder works and how people may learn how to live resourceful, independent lives.

How Dependent Personality Disorder May Develop

Diagnosing the disorder can be difficult because certain developmental stages or cultural practices can look very much like Dependent Personality Disorder. Children into their late teens rely upon their parents to provide for their needs. This is not a disordered dependence, but it is developmentally appropriate. Similarly, in some cultures, it is respectful to defer to those in authority. Again, this is not a disorder, but such behavior is culturally appropriate.

Because of these factors, it is important for mental health professionals to carefully diagnose the disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the diagnostics for Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]). Often, the condition develops as people transition from adolescence into adulthood. They often have difficulty making that change and enter into a fully self-sufficient maturity. Further, the disorder increases an individual’s risk of other anxiety, depression, personality, and adjustment disorders.

Dependent Personality Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

When people have Dependent Personality Disorder, they often tell themselves two untrue things: that they cannot provide for their own needs and that they must rely upon others for their care. People with the disorder often feel intense separation anxiety when they are not near their authority figures. They are often clingy and have difficulty being in reciprocal relationships. Further, they often accept criticism without question and are overly compliant. Many times, people with the disorder are their own worst critics and belittle their own capability.

The three major signs for Dependent Personality Disorder are:

  1. Behavior that is overly deferential.
  2. Anxiety when separated from care givers.
  3. A core need for someone to care for them.

A minimum of five other symptoms will also be displayed:

  • Consulting with an authority figure or caretaker for advice and resassurance before making everyday decisions (e.g., calling a caregiver to consult about where to eat dinner).
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Abdicating a significant portion of responsibility within one’s life (e.g., allowing a parent to pay one’s bills).
  • Sacrificing or hiding one’s true identity, feelings, thoughts, and views in order appease a caregiver or authority figure and ensure their continued provision.
  • Being overly compliant to a caretaker’s wishes, beliefs, thoughts, and more.
  • When a caretaking relationship ends, quickly replacing it with another.

Even a passing glance at these signs and symptoms will show that Dependent Personality Disorder can severely disrupt an individual’s life. People with the disorder often suffer personally and professionally because of it. They often have limited friends and social circles because any mutual relationship can morph into a caretaking relationship. Professionally, people with the disorder often have difficulty finding and maintaining employment. They often lack initiative and confidence which may lead to poor work performance.

Setting Up Therapy at Thriveworks Marietta for Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder does not have to steal people’s uniqueness and their abilities. It is a serious illness, but there are several therapies available that have been used to help others find their way as a self-sufficient individual. Some people benefit from cognitive behavior therapy; others are aided by psychodynamic therapy. Medication may be helpful as well. Skilled therapists can develop a holistic and personalized treatment plan. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Marietta have worked with many clients who has Dependent Personality Disorder.

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you call our office to make an appointment, here are a few things that would be helpful to know. A scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you schedule a session. We do not have a voicemail. Weekend and evening sessions are offered, and we accept many different forms of insurance. Let’s work toward independence. Call Thriveworks Marietta, GA today.

Therapy for Dependent Personality Disorder in Beverly Hills, MI—Counselors

See if you can recognize this story: A little girl’s mother passes away, and in his grief, her father remarries a woman with two daughters. Before long, the father also passes away, and the stepmother forces the little girl to live in poverty and become the family’s servant. The little girl complies willingly with the outlandish demands of her step sisters—without fail and without thanks. Over time, the little girl grows up, but she does not advocate for herself. Instead, others step in to rescue her. Her animal friends and fairy-Godmother scheme to deliver her safely to her prince. Of course, this story is the famous story of Cinderella, but what is less well-known is that the story is an illustration of Dependent Personality Disorder or “The Cinderella Complex.” When people fear independence, are overly obedient toward authority figures, and desire to be rescued (or cared for) by someone else, they may have developed Dependent Personality Disorder.

When people have this disorder, mutual relationships are difficult because they often escalate into caretaking relationships. Individuals often have low self-esteem and an intense desire to please authorities in their lives. They also often have the expectation that those authority figure will in turn provide for them. Dependent Personality Disorder introduces many difficulties into a person’s life, but there are treatments available. Many people work with a mental health professional and learn how to live their own, independent life.

The therapists at Thriveworks Beverly Hills have worked with many clients who have Dependent Personality Disorder, and we provide therapy for the disorder. We love helping our clients learn how competent they are of providing for their own emotional, physical, and financial needs.

Dependent Personality Disorder: How It Develops

It can be easy to mistake Dependent Personality Disorder for developmentally appropriate behavior or cultural practices. Often, the disorder is not diagnosed until adulthood for that very reason. When teens or children rely upon their parents or go through a clingy stage of development, that is not a disorder. Some cultures display deferential treatment toward their elders and toward authority. This behavior is not a disorder.

In contrast, Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) often keeps people from entering into adulthood. Its full symptoms are outlined in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and these symptoms often keep people trapped in dependency. Instead of living a self-sufficient life as a fully-functional adult, people often stay adolescents. The disorder also comes with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other personality/adjustment disorders.

Dependent Personality Disorder: Symptoms

Dependent Personality Disorder twists people’s thinking in two distinct ways. First, it teaches them that other people need to provide for them. Second, it teaches them that they cannot provide for themselves. Thus, people with the disorder look to others, usually authority figures, to meet their emotional, financial, material, and psychological needs. They are often clingy and needy, and thus, they may have difficulty developing mutually beneficial relationships. Their social circles are often limited to family members. They may also underestimate their own skills and abilities while being their own worst detractor.

Diagnostics outlined in the DSM-5 emphasize three primary symptoms that will be present in the disorder:

  1. Anxiety when separated from care givers.
  2. Behavior that is overly deferential.
  3. A core need for someone to care for them.

Five of the following symptoms will also be present:

  • Refusing to make any choices without first consulting with an authority figure for advice and reassurance.
  • If a caregiving relationship ends, quickly replacing it with a new relationship.
  • Adapting what one feels or values or thinks to what others want in order to ensure their approval.
  • Releasing significant portions of one’s life to another person. For example, a parent who runs errands for a child or pays a child’s bills.
  • An extreme fear of having to care for oneself.
  • Feeling discomfort when alone and going to extremes to be around other people.
  • An extreme fear of being abandoned.

Even a passing glance at the symptoms shows that the disorder can cause severe challenges in an individual’s life. Personally, individuals with the disorder struggle with meaningful relationships. Professionally, they often struggle to obtain and maintain gainful employment.

Scheduling Therapy at Thriveworks Beverly Hills for Dependent Personality Disorder

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dependent Personality Disorder is a serious illness, but it has treatments. When people seek treatment, they are often able to learn how to rely upon themselves and live a fulfilling, independent life. That is why Thriveworks Beverly Hills offers therapy for it. Our mental health professionals understand how the illness develops and functions. We also understand the treatments that may be helpful. Some clients need Cognitive Behavior Therapy; others need psychodynamic therapy; many benefit from medication. Everyone needs personalized care, and that is what Thriveworks Beverly Hills offers.

If you are ready to seek treatment for your dependency, we are ready for you. When you call our office, a real person (not a voicemail) will answer and help you make an appointment. New clients often meet with their counselor the following day. We accept many different forms of insurance, and we offer evening and weekend sessions. We do not keep a waitlist, so you will never be put on one. Instead, our desire is to give our clients the help they need when they need it. Call today.

Dependent Personality Disorder in Peachtree City, GA—Counselors and Therapists

Immediately after their father was arrested, none of the other Bluth siblings were willing to take over the family’s real estate development business so Buster stepped up to the plate. His first day in the office was literally his first day on the job. For 30+ years, Buster Bluth had never worked a day in his life, but he depended entirely upon his mother. In turn, he zipped up her dresses and catered to her needs. Buster is not equipped to run his own life, much less a business. After his first meeting with employees, he cowers under the conference room table and whispers, “you guys are so smart.” Buster provided many laughs for fans of the TV show Arrested Development, but he was more than a character. He was also a caricature. Buster showed, in an extreme way, what Dependent Personality Disorder looks like.

Many aspects of Buster Bluth’s life overlap with symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder. Like Buster, many with the disorder suffer from low self-esteem. They often are afraid of having to take care of themselves so they please an authority figure who is also a caregiver. People with the disorder often have limited social circles and difficulty forming mutual relationships. The disorder often introduces extreme difficulties into a person’s life. Specifically, people often do not make the leap into an independent adulthood. The disorder can erase an individual’s uniqueness, their likes and dislikes, thoughts and emotions, skills and abilities. It is a severe illness, but it also is an illness that has treatment.

Thriveworks Peachtree City provides treatment for Dependent Personality Disorder because healing and independence are possible. We have worked with many clients who were empowered to live their own lives.

Dependent Personality Disorder: What Is It?

Dependent Personality Disorder is undergirded by two disordered thoughts. First, people with the disorder think that they are incapable of fulfilling their own needs. Second, people with the disorder think that others need to fulfill their needs. These false thinking patterns are two sides of the same coin, and they fuel clinginess and separation anxiety. They are two big reasons why people with Dependent Personality Disorder experience many emotional, financial, material, and psychological difficulties. They are also the reason people with the disorder are often their own worst critic.

It is important to note that many of the symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder, when displayed in teens or children, may not be the disorder but an appropriate developmental stage. Often, the disorder is not diagnosed until adulthood for this reason. It is difficult to distinguish between development and disorder before an individual is an adult.

The symptoms for Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) are outlined in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The diagnostics begin with three main criteria:

  1. Separation anxiety.
  2. Submissive behavior.
  3. A need to be taken care of.

If an individual who had the disorder will also display at least five of the following:

  • Discomfort with their own, unique individuality—feelings, opinions, thoughts, choices, skills, et cetera.
  • Difficulty making everyday choices without consulting an authority figure for reassurance and advice.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Fear of having to provide for oneself.
  • Abdicating responsibility in major areas of one’s life. For example, allowing a parent to pay one’s bills.
  • Going to great lengths to appease caregivers and ensure their support and nurture.
  • Being overly compliant—hiding one’s actual feelings and thoughts.
  • Quickly replacing a caregiving relationship if it ends.

These symptoms give a picture of just how much destruction Dependent Personality Disorder can cause in an individual’s life. The disorder often introduces many personal and professional difficulties. Personally, people with the disorder have a hard time forming mutual relationships that do not becoming clingy or dependent. This can lead to very limited social circles. People with the disorder often do not have relationships outside of their family. Professionally, people with the disorder look for others to take care of them so they rarely take initiation—something that is essential in the professional world. They have difficulty securing and maintaining a job. In addition, the disorder raises people’s risk of other mental illnesses, including other anxiety, depression, adjustment, and personality disorders.

Setting Up an Appointment at Thriveworks Peachtree City for Dependent Personality Disorder

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
—Michel de Montaigne

Like many other serious illnesses, Dependent Personality Disorder often requires intervention for healing to occur, and many treatment options are available. Skilled therapists can oversee a diagnosis and formulate a personalized treatment plan. A mental health professional can work with you to determine which options may help you the most. A few examples of the different therapies that may help include…

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – examines the disordered thought patterns that an individual holds and seeks to challenge them. Positive and true thoughts can then replace the untrue, negative thinking.
  • Psychodynamic therapy – delves into how the disorder developed, the psychological wounds that may have caused it, and why the dependency continued. It seeks to apply deep, holistic, and long-term healing.

If you recognized some of the symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder, reaching out for help may be the right next step. When you contact Thriveworks Peachtree City, you may be meeting with your therapist the next day. Weekend and evening sessions are offered. Many different forms of insurance are accepted. Let’s work together. Call today.

Treating Dependent Personality Disorder in Newport News, VA—Therapists and Counselors

You have likely heard this story before: after a young girl’s father dies, her stepmother and step-sisters force her to become their servant. This young girl does the family’s cooking and cleaning while her stepfamily does not lift a finger. As time goes by, the young girl continues to comply with their outlandish demands—without thanks and without fail. With time, the young girl loses her identity and self of self so that others come to her rescue. Her fairy godmother and animal friends conspire to help her escape and find her prince charming. This is, of course, the familiar story of Cinderella, but it is also the story of people who have Dependent Personality Disorder, which is often called the “Cinderella Complex.” When people are acutely compliant, fear independence, and need to be cared for (or rescued), they may have Dependent Personality Disorder.

Mutually beneficial relationships are difficult for people with the disorder. They often struggle with low-self-esteem. They usually have an intense desire to please authority figures and for those figures to then take care of them. Dependent Personality Disorder can cause severe challenges in an individual’s life, but it is a disorder that has treatments. Different psychotherapy approaches and medications have proven effective for treating the disorder. People can learn to be self-reliant.

The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Newport News understand how Dependent Personality Disorder works and the treatment options that are available. That is why we offer treatment for the disorder. We have helped many people discover how capable they are.

How Dependent Personality Disorder Develops

Children and teens go through dependent stages of development, and certain cultures have practices that are deferential to authority figures. These stages and practices are very different than Dependent Personality Disorder. This disorder is a mental illness that is not developmentally or culturally based.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the criteria for diagnosing Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]). The disorder often develops as an individual transitions from adolescence to adulthood. They are often unable to make the leap into independence and sustain a fully-functioning adult life that is self-sufficient. Further, Dependent Personality Disorder raises an individual’s risk for other depression, personality, anxiety, and adjustment disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder

Two distorted thoughts are the fuel for Dependent Personality Disorder. First, people with the disorder often tell themselves that they cannot be responsible for their own needs. Second, people with the disorder often tell themselves that others, therefore, need to provide for them in order to survive. Neither of these are true, but they feel very real to people with the disorder. Neediness and clinginess are, thus, very common traits of people who are fighting Dependent Personality Disorder. They can also be their own worst critics and accept critique or denigration without question. They often understandable their own abilities.

The DSM-5 outlines these three symptoms as essential for a Dependent Personality Disorder diagnosis:

  1. Anxiety when separated from care givers.
  2. A core need for someone to care for them.
  3. Behavior that is overly deferential.

In addition, at least five of the following will be present:

  • Quickly finding new caregivers when one caregiving relationship ends.
  • Adjusting what one thinks or feels or values to what others think in order to secure their approval.
  • The inability to make everyday choices without consulting with an authority figure for reassurance and advice.
  • Handing over responsibility of significant portions of one’s life to another. For example, parents who pay an adult child’s rent.
  • An extreme fear of being abandoned.
  • Feeling distress when alone and going to extremes to be around other people.
  • An extreme fear of having to care for oneself.

Dependent Personality Disorder, can cause extreme difficulties for people. In their personal lives, those with the disorder have difficulty forming genuine friendships that do not devolve into caretaking relationships, and thus, they often have very small social circles. Professionally, people with the disorder often struggle to find or hold a job. They often lack confidence and do not take initiative which hampers them professionally.

Setting Up Therapy at Thriveworks Newport News for Dependent Personality Disorder

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without a doubt, Dependent Personality Disorder can wreak havoc in an individual’s life. It is a serious illness, and like other serious illnesses, healing often requires treatment. With intervention, it may be possible for people with the disorder to live independent, self-sustaining lives—to live their own lives. Thriveworks Newport News works with many clients, and we offer holistic and individualized therapy. Some clients benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy while others need psychodynamic therapy. Some people need medication while others do not. Our mental health professionals are committed to helping their clients find the specific treatments they need.

We want to help. When you contact our office, know that a scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you make an appointment. New clients often meet with their counselor within 24 hours of their first call. We offer evening and weekend appointments, but we do not put our clients on a waitlist. Instead, we want them to have the help they need when they need it. We also accept many different forms of insurance. Call Thriveworks Newport News today to schedule an appointment for Dependent Personality Disorder. Let’s work together.

Dependent Personality Disorder in Chesterfield, VA—Counselors and Therapists

Maybe you have heard this story: a young girl who has lost both her mother and her father is left to live with her stepmother and two step sisters. Instead of caring for the young girl, the stepmother forces her to become the family’s servant. This young girl does all the cleaning and cooking—without fail and without thanks. As time passes, the young girl grows up and complies with their every wish. In the process, she loses her sense of self. Others eventually rescue her—her animals, fairy godmother, and prince charming. Most people are probably familiar with the story of Cinderella, but they may not be as familiar with the “Cinderella Complex.” When an individual is overly compliant, wants to be cared for, fears independence, they may have the “Cinderella Complex,” another term for Dependent Personality Disorder. Although Cinderella was a little girl, Dependent Personality Disorder can develop in men and women, rich and poor, old and young.

When people have Dependent Personality Disorder, they often have difficulty functioning in mutual relationships, display low-esteem, desire to please people in authority, and have a need to be cared for. Dependent Personality Disorder can cause many personal and professional difficulties, but treatment options are available. Skilled therapists often combine psychotherapy with appropriate medication as clients grow and their self-awareness and self-reliance.

The therapists at Thriveworks Chesterfield treat Dependent Personality Disorder, and we have appointments available. Many of our clients have worked with our staff to learn how resourceful and capable they are.

Dependent Personality Disorder’s Risk Factors

Diagnosing Dependent Personality Disorder can be tricky because certain developmental stages or cultural practices can look like the disorder. For example, children are dependent upon their parents in a way that is not disordered but developmentally appropriate. Similarly, certain cultures value deferential treatment toward elders and authority figures. Again, this displays of passivity or deference are not Dependent Personality Disorder.

Diagnosing a mental disorder should never be done lightly. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives a detailed outline on how to recognize Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]). The DSM-5 says that people with Dependent Personality Disorder generally begin to show symptoms as they transition into adulthood. They may be unable to establish an independent, adult life and function self-sufficiently. They are also at an increased risk for other adjustment disorders, personality disorders, depression, and anxiety.

Recognizing Dependent Personality Disorder

There are two thoughts that provide the foundation for Dependent Personality Disorder. First, Dependent Personality Disorder teaches people that they cannot provide for their own physical and psychological needs. Second, the disorder teachers people that others have to care for them to survive. Thus, people with the disorder are often needy and clingy. They may experience and display separation anxiety. They are often very compliant as well as denigrate themselves or accept criticism without question. Often, Dependent Personality Disorder turns people into their own worst critics and causes them to underestimate their own competence.

The diagnostics for Dependent Personality Disorder are outlined in the DSM-5. Individuals with the disorder display:

  1. A core need for someone to care for them.
  2. Behavior that is overly deferential.
  3. Anxiety when separated from care givers.

Additionally, a minimum of five of the following will be displayed:

  • Difficulty making daily decisions without extreme reassurance or advice from an authority figure.
  • Feeling uncomfortable with being by oneself—even going to extreme measure to be around other people.
  • Depending upon another individual to be able to function in one’s life. For example, if someone else pays the rent.
  • Sacrificing one’s own values, beliefs, and identity in order to obtain nurture and support from others.
  • An extreme fear of abandonment.
  • An extreme fear of having to care for oneself.
  • Conforming to what others think to secure approval.
  • When one care-giving relationship ends, quickly replacing it with another one.

Even a quick glance at these symptoms will show how much difficulty people can have with Dependent Personality Disorder. The disorder can severely handicap people’s ability to carry on a healthy personal and professional life. People with it often have very limited social circles—only people who are their caregivers. They often struggle to hold a job or advance in their career because of their lack of initiative and confidence.

Setting Up Counseling at Thriveworks Chesterfield for Dependent Personality Disorder

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Chesterfield have worked with many clients who have Dependent Personality Disorder. We offer individualized and holistic treatment. Some people need cognitive behavior therapy. Others would benefit from psychodynamic therapy. Many need medication as they manage their symptoms and delve into emotional wounds. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Chesterfield know that each client has unique needs, and we are committed to providing personalized care that addresses each individual’s needs and symptoms.

If you are fighting dependent behaviors and are considering reaching out for help, know that Thriveworks Chesterfield has appointments. When you call to schedule your session, a real person will answer and help you find an appointment time. Your first appointment may be within 24 hours of your first call. We accept many different forms of insurance, and weekend and evening appointments are offered. We do not keep a waitlist, so our clients are never put on one. Let’s fight Dependent Personality Disorder together. Call Thriveworks Chesterfield today.

Dependent personality disorder is characterized by one’s excessive need to be cared for by others, driven by the individual’s belief that he or she cannot do so sufficiently without help. This need leads to clinginess and fears of separation. Individuals who suffer with dependent personality disorder underestimate their abilities, accept criticism and disapproval, and even criticize themselves.

This disorder begins to develop in an individual by early adulthood. Diagnosis in children and adolescents should only be made after very careful evaluation, considering dependent behavior at this age may be developmentally appropriate.

Diagnostic Criteria for Dependent Personality Disorder DSM-5 301.6 (F60.7)

In addition to the desperate need to be taken care of, which leads to submissive behavior and fears of separation, five or more of the following indicate the development of dependent personality disorder:

  • The individual has a hard time making everyday decisions without an abundance of advice and reassurance from others.
  • The individual needs someone else to take over major areas of his or her life.
  • The individual has a difficult time disagreeing with others due to his or her fear or losing support and/or approval.
  • The individual has trouble doing anything on his or her own, due to a lack of self-confidence in their capabilities.
  • The individual does whatever it takes to receive support and nurturance from other.
  • The individual feels uncomfortable alone because he or she fears an inability to take care of himself or herself.
  • The individual searches for another relationship for care when a close one ends.
  • The individual unrealistically fears being abandoned to care for himself or herself.

Occupational and social functioning also may become impaired, as an individual with dependent personality disorder fears or is unable to take initiative and limits their social circle to their trustworthy caretakers. There also may be an increased risk of developing depressive, anxiety, and adjustment disorders, and a co-occurrence of other personality disorders.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Dependent Personality Disorder DSM-5 301.6 (F60.7)?

As previously mentioned, it’s important that age, as well as cultural factors, are considered when assessing whether or not an individual may have the disorder. A diagnosis should only be determined if the dependent behavior or fears are clearly excessive compared to these cultural norms. For example, different societies may foster passiveness and deferential treatment, which should not be confused with dependent personality disorder.

The 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions reported that only an estimated 0.49% of individuals have dependent personality disorder. Those that do, at least in clinical settings, are more frequently female. However, some studies contrastingly report parallel prevalence rates among males and females.

Is There Treatment for Dependent Personality Disorder DSM-5 301.6 (F60.7)?

Therapy can be tricky in these cases—long-term therapy treatment can lead to the patient’s dependency on the therapist, so the therapist must remain cautious. Still, a couple types of therapy can be used to treat individuals who suffer with dependent personality disorder:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy can help these individuals develop healthier and more accurate thinking habits. The therapist will use cognitive restructuring to change the patient’s distorted thoughts and emotions, as well as behaviors.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: Despite the long-term commitment, psychodynamic therapy is one of the most effective approaches to treating dependent personality disorder. It involves an exploration of the psyche and studying the root of the dependency problems.

Characters with Possible Dependent Personalities

Television shows and films often discuss disorders and illnesses using the world’s favorite characters. This can help those who suffer with a given disorder feel understood and not alone. Additionally, it helps the rest of the world understand better what it’s like to, say, be diagnosed with dependent personality disorder, as illustrated by the following characters:

  • Buster from Arrested Development: Buster is the socially awkward, youngest sibling in Arrested Development, but an adult nonetheless. He was severely coddled throughout his childhood, which resulted in panic attacks and a dependency on his mother. He’s a “mama’s boy” and has difficult maintaining relationships outside of this bubble, even as he grows older. Although it cannot be certain, these factors all point to a possible dependent personality disorder.
  • Cinderella: Everybody knows the classic Cinderella fairytale. The princess lives with her horrible stepfamily and tends to their every demand, cooking and cleaning her days away. While she is a hardworking young woman, Cinderella also appears to struggle with making decisions for herself, as she is dressed by her animal friends and freed only with the help of a prince and fairy godmother. The “Cinderella complex” emerged in 1981, in part due to this movie, and describes women who are motivated by an underlying desire to be taken care of due to a fear of independence. Could this explain why Cinderella stayed in such a dysfunctional situation for so long?

People Love Our Providers!

Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 5 E Main St Suite 3,
    Westborough, MA 01581

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

It’s Time to Start a Relationship with a Thriveworks Counselor

It’s not easy, but we’re extremely selective about the counselors, psychologists, and coaches that join our practice. Experience a provider with skill and passion for helping clients make meaningful advances in their lives, relationships, careers, and happiness.


Get Started Today!